Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
"For those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends."–Wisdom 6:8
Leaders in God's kingdom have been entrusted with much, thus much will be required of them (see Lk 12:48). Those in power are mightily put to the test and scrutinized rigorously (Wis 6:6, 8; see also Jas 3:1). In addition to God's scrutiny, leaders are also opposed by the world, the flesh, and the devil (see 1 Jn 2:16). A natural question to ask is "Why would anyone become a leader in the Kingdom of God?"
Avoiding God's call to receive power is not an option. When those whom the Lord has gifted refuse His call to leadership, God's sheep are thrown to the wolves (see Jgs 9:6-15; Acts 20:29; Mt 10:16). Refusing to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit "out of fear" or laziness (Mt 25:25) draws a condemnation from the Lord far more stern than that scrutiny given a leader who sincerely tries to lead well (see Mt 25:24-30). We are commanded not to stifle the power and gifts of the Spirit God gives to His leaders (1 Thes 5:19), lest we hand over His people to the tyranny of Satan.
God plans to raise up many leaders to break open the path (Mi 2:13) and set the captives free (Is 61:1ff; Lk 4:18ff). God didn't pour out the Holy Spirit so we would remain fearfully locked in the upper room (Acts 2:1), but rather so that His leaders would use the gifts of the Spirit for the common good (1 Cor 12:7).
The decision to lead is made out of self-sacrificing love. Christ's love impels us to accept His call (2 Cor 5:14). Our hearts burn with love for the Lord and the people He places on our hearts (Lk 24:32). We grow weary of resisting His call; we cannot endure it if we don't respond to His call with our whole life (Jer 20:9). God is calling you. How will you respond to Him?
PRAYER: Lord, I trust in Your mercy and believe that You will give me all I need to lead. Reap a harvest of faith through me.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne