From The Heart

Publish date: 10/09/2006

The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work).  1 Timothy 3:1 AMP

If anyone wants to participate in building God’s kingdom – that is a good thing. However, there are some qualities you need to have, and some requirements that need to be met, that qualify you for leadership, for the good and benefit of all concerned.

Now a bishop (superintendent, overseer) must give no grounds for accusation but must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, circumspect and temperate and self-controlled; [he must be] sensible and well behaved and dignified and lead an orderly (disciplined) life; [he must be] hospitable [showing love for and being a friend to the believers, especially strangers or foreigners, and be] a capable and qualified teacher.  1 Timothy 3:2

A person, who wants to be a leader, must lead the way by setting a good example and giving no grounds for accusation. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says that we must abstain from all appearance of evil. You must abstain from evil and the appearance of evil. Those who want to be in leadership must conduct themselves in such a way that they are above reproach; that no one could have a valid reason to accuse them of anything at all because they avoid even the appearance of evil. Those who want to be in leadership must obey God’s word and truly live a godly life, not just pretend to do it. God does not expect us to be perfect – He knows we are dust – but He does expect us to be righteous – to walk in the righteousness for which His Son paid so high a price!

Leaders must be faithful to their spouse and take care of their marriage. They must unconditionally love their spouse; they must protect them; and, at the same time, speak the truth in love to them. Husbands and wives should protect each other – not covering sin, but preventing it if possible, and if it’s not possible - working together to repent, forgive and restore.

Those who want to be in leadership must bring their flesh under subjection to the word of God and the Holy Spirit. They must be courteous. They must not be selfish, but they must walk the love walk and they must be generous and hospitable, not being a respecter of persons. They must also have an anointing to preach or teach and to minister to others. This is not something that you can just decide to do, but it is a gift only God can give.  

Not given to wine, not combative but gentle and considerate, not quarrelsome but forbearing and peaceable, and not a lover of money [insatiable for wealth and ready to obtain it by questionable means].  1 Timothy 3:3

Those who want to be in leadership must not yield their bodies to temptations of the flesh. When your body is addicted to a substance, whether it is alcohol, drugs, or nicotine, those things control you and your mind. They impel you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and should be yielded to Him alone. The devil uses addictions to control you and destroy you and your loved ones, but God will only bless you as you yield your body to Him. Proverbs 31:4-5 AMP says, “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to desire strong drink, 5 Lest they drink and forget the law and what it decrees, and pervert the justice due any of the afflicted.”

The Holy Spirit is your helper to free you of any controls that the devil tries to put on you. 2 Corinthians 3:17 AMP says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).”

Those who want to be in leadership must not be quarrelsome, because that is a sign of someone who is spiritually immature. A spiritually mature person walks in the love of God and is at peace with others. Those who want to be in leadership must definitely not be greedy or covetous! Covetousness has a corrupting influence – it makes money and selfish ambition more important than people and than God’s will and His word. Luke 16:11 AMP says, “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the [case of] unrighteous mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions), who will entrust to you the true riches?” God knows that if you are not faithful with money, you won’t be faithful with the anointing of God, or the presence of God, or the Gifts and callings of the Holy Spirit - so be faithful with money! Be a cheerful, generous giver yourself!

(To be continued)