This morning, I began reading through the book of Acts. According to the introduction in my Bible (and I quote):
- Acts has been identified as the pivotal book of the New Testament
- Much emphasis is given to the Holy Spirit throughout this book
- The major part of the book of Acts is devoted to Paul and his mission
I will be reading Acts with a purpose, to see how the Holy Spirit and mission are dependent upon each other.
As I read through chapter one this morning, I noticed that Jesus’ last words before He was caught up in the clouds were, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 From the get-go, we see Jesus link the Holy Spirit and mission together. It is the Holy Spirit that gives ability, efficiency and might to do what we are called to do, be a witness for Christ.
Jesus instructed His followers to wait in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit. As they were waiting, Peter began the process of replacing the vacancy left by Judas when he betrayed Jesus. Peter knew it would be important to have a 12th man who had been with Jesus from the beginning and could testify to His death and (most importantly) His resurrection. They narrowed it down to two men and then they prayed. . .
Yet again, we see that leadership comes down to the condition of the heart. They didn’t ask God to show them who would be the most eloquent. They didn’t ask God to show them who was the smartest. No! They asked God to show them who He had chosen based on their heart:
God knows a heart that is fully His. God uses a heart that is fully His.
When choosing leaders, you are wise to pray like Peter prayed, “Lord, show me who You have chosen based on their heart”. If the heart is right, you and God can mold, teach and train someone to do just about anything! Don’t be like Samuel who got caught up in the outward appearance, ask God to give you a glimpse of the heart.
Once you ARE a leader, it is crucial to pay close attention to your heart. What is filling your thoughts? Are your passions and desires Godly? Is your appetite controlled by the Holy Spirit? What is the motive behind your purposes and endeavors, God’s glory or your own? A pure and healthy heart is essential to effective leadership.
Why not take a minute right now to pray this prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, thank You for this reminder that You choose based on the heart. Give me eyes to see the heart of a person rather than their outward appearance. Also, please help me to keep my heart pure. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight. May I serve and lead from a healthy heart today. In Jesus’ Name and for His Sake, Amen
Your Friend in Ministry,