Session 2: I’ve noticed some common symptoms when a church leader has an unclear mindset. Let me share with you a few of the main ones I’ve noticed, and maybe we can all watch out for them.
1. The first thing that happens when we can’t see clearly is this: It creates an unhealthy fear within us.
Fear is a very real thing. It is a strong instrument of the enemy against us all. If you’ve ever found yourself under the spell of fearing something, you know fear can be very difficult to overcome. It is also impossible to ignore. Yet, in the midst of these realities, we have the Word to sustain us:
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
If and when we find ourselves confronted with fear, we have to understand God did not give us that spirit of fear. We can overcome it by the love of God that dwells in us and works through us. Fear may well be a battlefield where the battle is hard. However, it is ultimately a place of victory when that spirit of fear retreats in the face of the power of God, greater than the worst fear has to offer.
1 Corinthians 2:3-5
“3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
This is reality: Our flesh is weak. Fear is present. We will never overcome in by the wisdom of men. It is through the power of God and His perfect love.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear…”
Perfect love is the antidote to fear. Where do we find perfect love? Its only source is in Jesus Christ. “Perfect love casteth out fear . . .” is His promise to us. Our love toward Him may not be perfect; His love toward us always is. When we turn ourselves to Him in the midst of our fear, the power of His perfect love can literally cast out that fear.
2. The second thing that happens when we can’t see clearly is this: A destructive mindset starts showing up.
We find ourselves in a spiral downward. Relationships are damaged. Credibility can be lost. The impact of our leadership lessens; our leadership ability comes into question.
Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”
What, then, is the antidote to a destructive mindset?
1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Bring our selves into subjection? What exactly does that mean?
We all have to submit ourselves to something or someone. Submission can also be to a church, our Pastors, the mentor/leaders in our lives. Submission may even be to close friends and family members. We have to submit ourselves to key people in our lives, those people we love and trust. We allow them to speak into our lives. Their voices bring clarity to us when we’re in a fog of fear and destruction. We must learn to ask for those relational nutrients as we submit ourselves to others. And, of course, ultimately, we must submit ourselves to God.
3. The third thing that happens when we can’t see clearly: Relationships are damaged.
Many times, Satan’s tactics lead to relational hurt. It’s amazing how quickly and easily unforgiveness can begin to develop in us. Unforgiveness leads to damage to even our most key relationships.
Matthew 6:14-15 “14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive YOUR trespasses.”
There’s nothing Satan would desire more than to figure out how to create some sort of hurt an bring unforgiveness into your heart and life. He knows eventually hurt and unforgiveness will lead to a division between you and God.
According to Ephesians 4:32, the antidote to unforgiveness is a tender heart… a humility that can only come from God “32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”
Now, I realize many other things can happen when Satan begins to blind the minds of church leaders. These three seem to be the ones I routinely see, that seem most prevalent. They are also, potentially, the most destructive effects.
Give some thought to these two questions and take the appropriate courageous actions:
Am I seeing any of these three things in my life?
And if so, what can I do differently to get a different result?
Copyright © 2021 Ryan Franklin. All rights reserved.