Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23).
READ: Luke 9:23-24
One area that leaders must overcome in ministry is fear. Another area is that of needs. Moreover, something that is a challenge to many leaders is self. God expects every spiritual leader to be His disciple, but many are not. The major problem ‘un-discipled’ spiritual leaders have is self. A leader is under the control of his or her superiors. Leaders who have not subordinate self interests will find it difficult to comply with the heavenly mandate. True spiritual leaders must be dead to self. They must be broken. Personal interest must not be underlining motive for their actions and decisions. For this reason, Jesus says they must deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Him (Luke 9:23-24). No leader can follow the Lord wholeheartedly without first dealing with flesh. The flesh will want to stop you from undergoing the school of suffering which you need to pass through. It will give you several suggestions and manipulate you to accept ungodly alternatives. This is why you must die to self. You must die to your fleshly desires.
You need to intercede for your leaders because there is a perpetual conflict between the flesh and the Holy Spirit. One leader who struggled with his flesh for so long was Paul. His flesh stood in his way in so many instances. He kept on struggling, and many times in defeat, until by the Spirit he adopted the recipe of dying daily to his selfish and fleshly desires. If self is not taken care of, the leader will not be able to submit to God on crucial matters. God wants leaders to give up everything—including their lives—for His Kingdom. Where self exists, God’s will shall be a rarity. ‘Self’ runs a parallel government with that of Holy Spirit. It is not possible to be under self-government and at the same time under the government of the Holy Spirit. One must give way for the other. Under self-government, the flesh is king, sin is rife, and holiness rare. If you pray effectively for your leaders to overcome the problem of self and the flesh, it will be easy for them to completely yield to God and to please Him. Are you under self-government? If your answer is ‘Yes’, then dethrone self and enthrone the Holy Spirit today!
Lord, help all our leaders subdue self and the flesh; let them be under the total control of the Holy Spirit.
Bible in One year: Num. 18-20