Friday, July 27, 2007

Above All Else

I am reading the book "Spiritual Leadership" by J. Oswald Sanders. I've read it before and let me tell you, I wish I wasn't reading it right now. To say it is challenging is an understatement. The chapter I just finished is titled "Above All Else" as in, above all else a leader must be Spirit-filled and Spirit-led. This begs the question, what does it mean to be Spirit-filled and Spirit-led? Sanders' answer:

"To be filled with the Spirit means simply that the Christian voluntarily surrenders life and will to the Spirit. Through faith, the believer's personality is filled, mastered, and controlled by the Spirit...To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by the Spirit. The Christian leader's mind, emotions, will, and physical strength all become available for the Spirit to guide and use."

I read those words and quietly say "amen," as in "I agree." However, I am also painfully aware that I move in and out of this level of surrender. To live in a state of surrender is counter to everything I am; and yet I know that it is an inescapable destiny if I'm ever to fully become the man of God that He so desperately wants me to be. It's a constant battle. As a pastor friend of mine puts it; "God wants us to offer our lives to Him on the altar. Our problem is that we crawl off the altar, and constantly have to put ourselves back on it."

To be sure, it's hard, it's a battle, and it isn't always fun or easy; but it is God's will for us - total surrender.

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