Theresa Harvard Johnson

1 John 2:15-17 CJB says, “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If someone loves the world, then love for the Father is not in him; because all the things of the world - the desires of the old nature, the desires of the eyes, and the pretensions of life - are not from the Father but from the world. And the world is passing away, along with its desires. But whoever does God's will remains forever.”
In this passage, the term “world” is referring to the world system or the ways of Babylon - not people. The phrase “things of the world” is speaking specifically toward the objects and influences that are valued inside this world system. Things that become the idols of men. The Apostle John infers that the act of clinging to the world system is proof that a person is living out of or from their old nature, the sin nature of the flesh. He is admonishing believers to turn away from this pull and commit to our Father in Heaven.
When a person has truly been discipled by the Spirit of the Living God, then their desires – regardless of their calling or the administration of their ministries - will be for the single, most important task given to men in the earth: To be ministers of reconciliation as conveyed in 2 Corinthians 5 . Does this mean that we should not want the best that life has to offer? Of course not! But it does me that we should desire what is pleasing to the very heart of God above anything that this world system has to offer.
In this very moment, I would to encourage you to consider these two questions:
  • Am I ready to serve as a leader among the congregation of Jesus Christ?

  • Am I a Christ-like example of leadership as defined in scripture at this stage in my journey?
These questions are really important to this discussion. Why? Because a leader has followers. People are watching a leader's life from the inside out. We are admonished throughout scripture to live lives worthy of our calling; and to leave no room for accusations. Our motives matter (2 Corinthians 13:15 ). Despite what we have been taught, leadership is not about getting things and living large materialistically. It is about influencing others to turn to the Lord by the power released to us through Christ. A Godly leader's life must be modeled after the pattern of Christ. Leadership, in its simplest context in the Kingdom, is about living in the mind of Christ and walking out the dimensions of obedience that rest there. Christ’s leadership style was simple, and He described it this way: “Yes, indeed! I tell you that the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; whatever the Father does, the Son does too.”
One of the greatest lies surrounding the congregation of Christ in this hour is that we can mentor, lead or teach others simply because we have the visible calling, gifts and skill to do it. Having these attributes, even at a high level, do not - on their own merit - make a capable leader.
Take another look at the question presented above then consider this: If the desires and lusts of the flesh cannot be resisted and purged; and a person is continuously falling prey to their sin nature then they are NOT READY for leadership. The God kind of leadership calls for spiritual maturity and the ability to consistently resist the temptations of the world system.
Another lie surrounding our congregations today is the belief that we can be socially relaxed in our leadership responsibilities. So much so that blatant moral failure can be overlooked as the failings of human nature alone. Thus, we blame everything on “being human.” People of God, true leadership declares that we have matured into a place of hating what God hates and loving what he loves. We seek to lead supernatural lives! This means that we seek the kind of maturity that will call our sin nature into accountability. It indicates that we stand in a place in which temptation is overthrown by Holy Spirit within us. It means that God has become the priority in our lives – so much so that everything else pales in comparison. It means that if a moral failure occurs that we are willing to commit to the full process of repentance, and if necessary restoration. When leaders are made, this is what their hearts reflect.
Compromise is not an option.
Hebrews 5:7-8 CJB says, “During Yeshua's life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions, crying aloud and shedding tears, to the One who had the power to deliver him from death; and he was heard because of his godliness. Even though he was the Son, he learned obedience through his sufferings.”
All believers are charged with spreading the good news, but not everyone is divinely called and divinely sent into the Father’s congregation to lead. And those who are must make absolutely sure that they uphold the weight of that call according to the qualifications and administration set forth by our Father. Why should we take leadership seriously? There are many, many reasons I could list here. One of the most critical, however, is so that we do not make the grave mistake of raising sons of hell (Matthew 23:15 CJB) and getting the blood of others on our hands. Don’t believe the lies of Christian reality-shows in this hour that are presenting a corrupt discipleship plan and a false picture of Christ before the world.
Don’t fall prey to a corrupt form of love for the world. Many people have lost their way in this hour, and their efforts cater toward the “old nature” instead of the new man. This stand, people of God, is not about judgment – but discernment, hope in knowing that God is greater than anything offered in this earth. 

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