Looking back to where you’re leaving, it’s a hard thing to watch your old world fade into the horizon, watching your old life sink into time. You see, it’s a double-edged sword. It cuts on one side when you think of the good times you had, and it cuts on the other side as you realise that there will have to be a rebuilding.
However, when a castle is under seige, a good leader knows when to help their people escape. From the refugees perspective, their homes are reduced to rubble, and the only thing they can do is wait to rebuild somewhere else. From the armies perspective, the fight is do or die, to save the castle, and to give the refugees time to escape. From a foolish leaders perspective, he fights for pride, he fights that his name isn’t tarnished as a leader who failed. From the wise leaders perspective, he understands that the battle will have casualties, but those refugees will mean that the kingdom continues, even if the castle falls.
You see, when you have invested your life, blood, sweat and tears into a place, watching it fall is like losing a member of the family. When you are dragging your entire family through the muck, through the thorns and thistles, your thoughts are more focused on getting your family to safety. It isn’t so much about what feels good for you, but what you know is the only way out of seeing your family harmed.
This perspective resides in the church as well. Pulling away from what one sees as a dangerous situation, watching the enemy surround the walls and launch their assault, propels you to make a decision. Whether it be leaving the world in the rearview as you March towards holiness, or a church in the rearview as you head towards a holy calling, the journey begins with heartache and despair. Watching your world burn is never easy… But knowing your family and yourself will be saved from the attack is priceless. Some may be furious that you have left your home to be ravaged, but you know in your heart that you have done all you can do to try and save it. At some point it registered in your brain that you would die, or worse, your family would die. I am speaking metaphorically of course, with the condition of ones spirit.
The army adheres to the direct order of its leader. Whether it agrees or disagrees, personal thoughts are pushed aside for the honour of their leader. One in the army is not taught to have independent thought, but rather to execute commands and instinctively respond to an attack. Much of the armies success, or failure, resides in the decisions that are passed down the line. An army has a mindset of do or die.
You see, spiritually an army under the direction of its leader can either be successful in its fight against the enemy, or it can end up killing everyone within the castle walls. Under a good leader, an army knows when to push forward in battle, and when to pull back for a rest. Under a foolish leader, an army can be consumed by rage, attacking whatever it can get it’s hands on, until it’s energy is spent.
You may have seen this in the church, when you hear of great revival and healings, signs and wonders, it is typically under the direction of a leader who knows how to be lead (by the Holy Spirit). You also may see the destruction an army can cause when under a leader who is leading by the flesh. This army forces members out of the church, or for ones that leave, they are cut off as if poisoned. It’s the kind of army that doesn’t use wisdom in its reactions, only brute force. It’s also the kind of army that would rather follow a soldier than a leader.
The army is on the forefront of the battle. The key here is to be spirit-lead, reacting by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, rather than a man’s desire. A strong army can resist the attack of pride and lusts of the flesh. This resilient army is smart, educated in the battle plans, and ready to execute them during a spiritual battle. This army wants to see it’s cities people live, prosper, and represent their kingdom (not just castle) as an inspiration.
The Foolish Leaders Perspective
The foolish leader believes what he is doing is right. He also believes his authority being ordained to him, enables him to be a final authority. This results typically in pride and in arrogance. It also typically ends up with paranoia, and being stand-offish. The foolish leader only trusts himself as a decision maker. He doesn’t let the generals or military leaders make tactical decisions, he only allows them to give input. He argues when his authority is challenged, and feels betrayed in the same.
A foolish leaders mindset is set on his castle, whatever it takes so that the building stands. His mind is ripped by trying to control every aspect of the castle. He is not focused on the well being of those within the castle walls, but rather those outside of them. In a pastoral leadership role, your focus has to have two aspects. For those inside the church, you are a shepherd, guiding them, providing nourishment and opportunity to become what God has called them to be. You also must have the mindset that those outside of the church need that same treatment.
A Wise Leaders Perspective
A wise leader realizes that those within his walls are the greatest asset to the spiritual battle with those outside of the walls. This leader understands that his army must be equipped to handle battle, and his townsfolk must be protected. This leader understands that there is a time to encourage his army to push forward, and a time to pull back. A weary army is no good to the kingdom.
He is not a selfish leader, and understands the joy in promoting others. It should be a time of celebration, not pride. He safeguards his townsman and makes their journey into refuge easier, not more difficult. He understands there is a time when someone must flee for their safety. He understands that they must survive, wherever they go, for the kingdom’s sake. A wise leader learns from mistakes, and admits that he was in the wrong. From these moments, he grows and flourishes. He does not tear down, he presses on.
After the battle, win or lose, he does his best to see his army and townsfolk united. Whether it be in the castle walls, or spread throughout a kingdom. He understands his anointing is God-breathed, and will only be used as long as he keeps that connection with the source.
Beauty From Destruction
No matter what season you are in, or position that you find yourself in this post, understand that YHVH is a God who is just, and full of love. He does not want to see his children struggle, but we must understand that the process of purging is not lightly done. In the words of Jason Gray “the blade of love cuts both ways”. It isn’t a process anyone wants to go through, but it is a necessary one. I would rather he destroyed and rebuilt a million times over than risk not making heaven my home.
What makes us better? What holds us back from becoming the leaders that God calls us to be. If it is pride, learn the lost art of humility. If it is sin, let His cleansing blood wash over them as you fight your way to the foot of the cross. Don’t just be inwardly focused, remember our comission. Exchange your castle for His kingdom.