Summary: Leadership, Submission, Support, Obedience
FOLLOWING JESUS INTO THE UNKNOWN 2018 - Leading the Way
February 18, 2018
Hebrews 13:17 (p. 845)
One of my favorite poems ever written is a take off of the famous Footprints poem…It goes like this:
Butt prints in the Sand
One night, I had a wondrous dream;
One set of footprints there was seen.
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.
But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, “What have we here?”
“Those prints are large and round and neat,
But, Lord, they are too big for feet.”
“My child,” He said in sombre tones.
“For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait.
You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk-of-faith you would not know.
So I got tired and fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt,
Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight, and one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the sand.”
The Key truth to being a follower of Jesus, a disciple, is that you’re following Him…He’s your leader.
Disciples are made…they are learners and they are doers. Jesus said “Come follow me,” and His disciples did…He stayed close enough that He could share life with His disciples, but He constantly pushed them forward…He showed them the way by example, and loved them back when they got off track. Jesus modeled what following God was like…He knew people aren’t changed by coercion or intimidation, but by example.
Jesus knew there was a huge difference between a “Boss” and a “Leader.”
Bosses tell you to “GO.” Leaders say “LET’S GO.”
Every Jew in Jerusalem lived under a boss. Rome and it’s authority occupied Judea. Roman law was absolute and then soldiers were there to enforce those laws…It’s the exact reason Jesus tells His disciples:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.” (Matthew 20:25)
Basically Jesus says, “The bosses of the world love to tell you what to do…and they love sitting behind their desks making you do it.”
But then He teaches His followers…“Not so with you. Instead whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”
Jesus said, “Great leaders must first become great servants.”
Jesus knew that leaders reproduce what they are…Jesus was a servant-leader. It was His model for disciple making when He walked the earth…and it’s still His model for His church.
Gardenside is filled with servant leaders…some of them have official titles and many of them don’t. But all of them understand good leaders are good servants and we reproduce what we are…and if you insist on leaving butt prints in the sand…they will not drag you.
The writer of Hebrews knew that leadership in the church is extremely rewarding, filled with the joy of seeing lives being changed, but it’s also extremely difficult if not supported and encouraged.
It’s why he says:
I. OBEDIENCE IS HOW WE HONOR THOSE WHO LEAD WELL
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.”
Obedience and submission don’t come naturally to our sinful and rebellious hearts. The rejection of authority does. The anarchy flag was raised in the Garden of Eden by our spiritual parents…and that nature inhabits every single human soul.