The Spirit-Led Leader

Part four of a new series


Early in my ministry, I was discipling a new Christian who had come out of a fairly rough background. He had a dramatic conversion to Christ and was growing well and addressing a lot of the issues he had in his life.

One day, he came to me and said, “Bob, I need to sell my boat.” “Okay,” I responded, to which he responded with energy, “No, Bob, you don’t understand. I used to go out on that boat and get drunk and do all kinds of things that I’m now ashamed of. That boat is an idol to me.”

At his request, I prayed with him that God would sell his boat without any advertising or word-of-mouth. To my amazement, God did so within the next two weeks. I was stunned. I celebrated with him, but I was so theologically devastated that I had to cancel all the rest of my appointments that afternoon to process the experience.

I thought about it for a long time and I realized one important truth: I could have discipled that guy until Jesus comes back again and I would never have addressed the number one lordship issue in his life. I realized right then that I was not smart enough to be the Holy Spirit. The best I can do is to help people listen to what God is doing in their life and then to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to see God’s agenda become a reality.

That was a life-changing, paradigm-shifting moment for me: recognizing the role of the Spirit in our lives. It has profound implications for how we listen to God and others, how we trust God and others, and how we see our own role. The best leaders in ministry today don’t lead from a place of self, but by listening to the voice and direction of God.

The world sees as leaders those who are full of confidence in themselves, who ...

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