Hazards of Leadership
Lord, I ask for an unbounded affection for You, an immeasurable urge towards You, and a deep devotion to You.
Read LUKE 22:24-38
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“He who with his whole heart draws near unto God must of necessity be proved by temptation and trial” (Albert the Great, circa. 1200-80).
Today’s reading highlights two of the hazards confronting Christian leaders. The first is what Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler called the “will to power.” This strong desire to achieve the highest possible position in life is manifested in the dispute over which disciple would be considered the greatest leader (24-30). Jesus bluntly comments that seeking power is a pagan practice. Spiritual leadership, he says, expresses itself in humbly serving others, not in exercising control in the church (26-30).
If the first hazard is a propensity to adopt worldly lifestyle values, the second is vulnerability to Satanic attack (31). Satan’s assaults are seldom one-time strikes. Here he demands to have not only Judas, who, by this time had gone to betray Jesus (John 13:27), but all the apostles (31). Today, Christian leaders are still the focus of a fierce demonic offensive masterminded by the adversary of our souls. Thank God they—and we—have an advocate who prays that our faith might not fail (32). Jesus’ prayer does not seek to exempt Peter from the trial he will very shortly face; rather, he prays that Peter’s faith might persevere. Jesus parries Satan’s blows through prayer.
If you’re a leader, are you sufficiently aware of your high dependence on Jesus’ prayers for you (cf. Heb. 7:25)? We all have a responsibility to pray for those who lead the people of God. As we shall see tomorrow, Peter’s faith will wobble during Jesus’ trial, but it doesn’t fail. Peter will “turn back” (32), strengthened by his ordeal and better equipped to fortify others struggling under Satanic onslaught. Peter’s faith survives because when Satan attacks, Jesus prays. Jesus’ prayer overrules Satan’s strategy, so that it destroys the chaff (Peter’s self-confidence) and not the wheat.
Pray for a Christian leader from within your church or the wider Christian community. Send them a note of encouragement.
Lord, let Your healing light shine on me. Expose and heal any sin, failure or weakness and make me whole in You.
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