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  • Writer's picturePastor Peggy

Servant Leadership

The Activity of the Holy Spirit: Part 4—Servant Leadership

 Numbers 27:15-23

Our OT Scripture today shows the Lord calling Moses to commission his replacement—Joshua. The Word tells us that the Spirit of God was in him. Up until this time Joshua had been learning under the tutelage of Moses.


In the OT, possession of the Spirit was for the purpose of carrying out the specific tasks to which a person had been appointed by the Lord…and I firmly believe that it remains that way today as the Lord does not change. We are to follow God’s commands. In light of that, what tasks would be important in the aspects of leadership? Moses had been leading Israel up to this point and soon it would be Joshua’s turn.


Leadership is not a cakewalk! There are many various levels of learning and walking out God’s calling. Let’s first take a look at the life of Joshua and how the Spirit of God helped form him to this point in his life.


We understand from Exodus 17 that Joshua was the leader of Moses’ army and he was also Moses’ servant. Interesting contrast—not only was Joshua leading but  he was also serving Moses at the time.


Part of leadership is not only leading by example but it’s also important to be humble in that areas to where you serve someone over you!


Another aspect of Joshua is when he and Caleb and a number of other men were chosen to go in to Canaan to spy out the land (Numbers13). It is here that we see Joshua as a man of faith in the midst of others who did not respond in that way. In the instructions of Moses to the 10 spies they were to check everything out—but he had two powerful words that he sent them out with—“Be courageous.”


The scouts discovered plenteous food but the report was mixed as you know. They brought back some of the bounty of the land and a honest report—but Caleb said “let’s go” but the others (not Joshua) stood back in fear and said, no way! We are like grasshoppers in our own sight and we imagine we seemed the same to them.


Joshua, Caleb, Moses and Aaron all said “if they Lord is pleased with us, He will bring us into the land. Don’t rebel, don’t be afraid, the Lord is with us.”


Leadership often needs to take a stand even when others cannot. Spiritual leadership demands faith—even if the present circumstances seem difficult. It is also a matter of what example the leader shows through their conversation, their confession, and their actions.


Fast forward now to Moses is gone and Joshua’s commission is in full view. Joshua chapter 1—God is addressing Joshua who is now the main leader of Israel. I want to share 4 short messages that we can glean from this time:


1.     A leader must learn to hear God’s voice and respond accordingly. There are many voices today screaming one message or another but the spiritual leader must have their ears and heart tuned to the Spirit of God. Discernment is critical. Remember what Jesus said—my sheep hear my voice. 

2.     “I am with you just as I was with Moses…I will not leave you or abandon you.”

a.      A leader walks in the assurance of God’s continual presence. What does is allows the leader to stay sensitive to the work of the Spirit not only in their own life but also in the avenue in which they are serving and with those they are leading.

3.     3x’s—be strong, be very strong and courageous. The underlying message of this can be stated well in Psalm 121—my help comes from the Lord, the Makes of Heaven and Earth.

a.      Psalm 28:7—The Lord is my strength.

b.     The Apostle Paul reinterates this in Philippians 4:13—I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

c.      2 Peter 1:3—His divine power have given us everything we need.

d. A leader understands the importance of recognizing ones weaknesses and working on their strengths with the Lord's help.

4.     Stay focused—the Lord said to Joshua, “do not turn to the right or left from the Word of instruction—and you will have success.”

Don’t be afraid or discouraged!

Ephesians 4:11f tells us that God gave some to apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers—to do what??

1.     Equip the saints for the work of the ministry

2.     To build up the body of Christ

3.     To promote unity in the faith.

In light of this I see myself—I am called to not only be a pastor but also teacher. Pastors are to provide oversight, comfort, and guidance as the church’s shepherd. Teacher brings the responsibility of teaching God’s Word of truth and instruction.

As a called leader, I don’t take these things lightly. I need to be strong and have courage to lead and make decisions.

I need to stay focused and not easily swayed by current events or circumstances.

I need to be a leader with strong faith that is walked out daily in my words and actions.

I need to be in the Word of the Lord—reading, studying, and keeping myself instructed and current.

I need to keep my spiritual ear tuned in to God’s voice through the Spirit.

I need to have vision for the future of how God is leading and take steps to walk it out and encourage others to also do so.

Just this past week I had an individual that wanted to come to Shell Knob, have lunch with me, who has felt the call of God into fulltime ministry. They are responding to  God’s call and entering into a doctoral journey to get the education they need for ordination. We visited for close to 2 hours and I was asked many questions about ministry and leadership…then I asked a question—what do you need from me. The answer was to be a mentor and walk with them through it all. I had to smile as this next week is the one year anniversary of the going home to heaven of my precious spiritual mentor of 45 years—and she told be the last time I saw her and she laid her hands on me that she was passing her mantle on to me…wow! It’s coming to pass now…

Spirit led leadership has responsibilities—and if you are called to lead in any capacity—take heed to the Lord’s voice and call and instructions and walk humbly before Him.

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