by Robin Kegler
Are you a leader of your family, team, ministry, or organization? Are you aspiring to become a leader one day? Do you feel like you're in a battle and not winning? If you're under attack, here is a key leadership quality to help turn things around.
A continuous and growing relationship with Christ is the key quality every leader must have to overcome the attacks of the enemy. There are four (4) sub-sections within this quality identified in The Fanning The Flame Leadership Series. We'll briefly look at the first part.
A leader must have a continuous relationship with Christ.
Christ must know your name. If Christ does not know your name, demons will not recognize your authority. We have no authority apart from Christ.
Acts 19: 14-16 speaks about the sons of Sceva. Sceva was a Jewish Chief Priest in Ephesus. His sons were exorcists. The sons felt that because "dad" and the disciples could use Jesus' name to cast out demons, they had the power to do the same.
The sons of Sceva failed to understand that the power to successfully defeat the enemy comes from the Holy Spirit operating in our lives. Look what happened to them.
"And the evil spirit answered and said, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are ye?' and the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded." Acts 19:15-17
There was a three-fold attack on the sons of Sceva. The evil spirit leaped on them, overcame them and prevailed against them. Are you feeling leaped on, overcome or defeated? Today the enemy still comes to steal, kill and destroy leaders and aspiring leaders to negate our effectiveness in service to the Lord.
The First Attack: The evil spirit leaped on them.
The enemy leaps on us to steal our position in Christ. The only way the devil can leap on us, as leaders, is if we get out of position. Ephesians 2:6 says, "God has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. According to Ephesians 1:21 Christ is sitting far above all principality, power, might and dominion.
Maintaining a continuous relationship in Christ, allows us to sit in heavenly places in Christ, above principalities too! If we sit in heavenly places, the enemy is under our feet. If the enemy is under our feet, there is no way he can leap on us because we are above.
When we move out of position by standing in the place of another's domain (remember when Adam sinned, Satan was given dominion of the earth and it's atmosphere), we stand in a place that is unfamiliar. Standing allows the enemy to catch us off guard because we are not focused on where we are (no longer in heavenly places but the enemy's domain). Our eyes are focused on "I", "me", "my ability". We forget to check our position spiritually. We go in our own strength like the sons of Sceva.
Deuteronomy 28:13 says that we are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. Our ability to maintain this leadership position occurs when we consistently obey the voice of God. Obedience is doable when we have a continuous relationship with Christ.
The Second Attack: The evil spirit overcame them.
When we are out of position and caught off balance spiritually, doubt can creep in. Doubt challenges our judgment, confidence and vision as a leader. The enemy steps in to overcome us by killing our faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)." Without faith, God cannot accomplish in and through us what He wants. Without faith, we can begin to question if God hears us when we pray.
When the enemy kills our faith, unbelief and doubt has access to our mind, body and spirit. Our place of authority now has diminished to a place of pity ("Poor me"). Without a continuous relationship with Christ, our soul pursues isolation instead of the One our spirit longs for. Once there, the enemy releases an all out attack to destroy us.
The Third Attack: The evil spirit prevailed against them.
The enemy prevails against us because:
1. We're out of position (No longer sitting in heavenly places spiritually)
2. Our faith is replaced by unbelief and doubt. We question our leadership and who Christ says we are in Him.
3. We surrender our spirit to the temptations, the trials and the circumstances in our lives.
When we lose our faith, we lose hope. Colossians 1:27 states, "Christ in me is the hope of glory."
Hebrews 11:1 says, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen."
The unseen is the spiritual element. As a result of being leaped on, overcome and allowing the enemy to destroy our faith in Christ, we surrender our spirit. Once our spirit is surrendered, we have seemingly, no other recourse but to flee.
We flee naked - stripped of covering, authority and position (spiritually)...and wounded - bleeding, hurt and in some cases, in a state of self-denial ("I came thinking I could overcome the enemy based upon who I am, my family line, who I know, what I've watched others do...").
In God's eyes we did it apart from Him. We moved without His authority. When we have a continuous relationship with Christ, staying seated in Him spiritually is easier. He never says to stand and face the enemy in our own strength.
"Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world," as I maintain my position and keep a continuous relationship with Christ.
Confessing Jesus as Savior is not enough to battle spiritual warfare today! There are many naked and wounded leaders in the Body of Christ who know Jesus as Savior. The power to successfully defeat the enemy comes from maintaining a continuous relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit operating in our lives.
Leaders must have a continuous relationship with Christ so that the enemy will not steal our position, kill our faith and destroy our spirit to the point we flee naked and wounded.
Here are practical ways to build and maintain a continuous relationship in Christ:
1. Daily communication in prayer
2. Daily reading and meditation on the Word of God
3. Regular fellowship with others believers (worship service, small group, etc.)
4. Accountability to those who cover you spiritually (pastor, ministry
5. Meet regularly with a prayer partner
6. Keep a journal of things God is saying to you during your private moments together
7. Spend time in praise and worship in God's presence
8. Listen to biblically based teaching (CDs, tapes, radio and television)
9. Read biblically based literature (books, magazines, newspapers, etc.)
Whether you are a seasoned leader or an aspiring leader, you play an important role in the lives of others. We need you! Pursue a continuous relationship with Christ to avoid becoming a casualty of the enemy.
Except from the "Are You A Leader: Raise Your Hand If You're Sure" E-course.