Wednesday, 10 February 2016

A Leadership Vacuum

The first book in the Bible is the foundational book of the Bible. It is unique in all literature, science, relationship, leadership, management and philosophy. The Book of Genesis Is Probably the Most Important Book Ever Written. It is the revelation of God's will to man and a self-disclosure by God giving us information we could not gain from any other source. It begins with the book of Genesis, explaining in just a few chapters, how the human race was brought into existence by the personal activity of God who created the universe. It shows that the first man and woman were the objects of His love and special attention. They were created "in His image" (Genesis 1:26-27), and were given the privilege of regular communication with Him (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:8) One man and one woman were appointed, not only as the progenitors of our race, but also as God's stewards, His custodians and caretakers over the creation. They were created with the characteristics of mind, emotions, personality, and will. They were made creative, imaginative, inventive, artistic, capable of loving and being loved--and above all, able to lead.

Genesis 1 is a very simple narrative of the creation of the world; the heavens and the earth, the plants and animals, and finally man. If Genesis were removed from the Bible, the rest of the books would make no sense what-so-ever. Genesis is the book which explains the origins of virtually everything that matters about history or life. All we need to know about universe, revealed in the pages of Bible. In Genesis chapter one is a very simple narrative of the creation of the world; Simple, yet majestic in its beauty & profound in its depth. The account in Genesis 1-3 is the foundation for all theology. The first eleven chapters of Genesis serve as the foundation of all of earthly history. The last chapters of Genesis (12 - 50) deal with the beginnings of a "Chosen People" the nation of Israel, Blessing of All Nations. We cannot deny or ignore the significance of Israel in history. They are God-ordained, God-protected and God-blessed nation; and Israel is God’s measuring rod, God’s blueprint for what He is doing in the world. The Abrahamic Covenant was the promise of a special blessing for Abraham's descendants: a "chosen" people. But it is obviously not for their benefit alone, but that, through them, all people would be blessed.

The promised benefit to the whole human race was later revealed as the Messiah - - the Deliverer from the penalty of sin. That is, the promise to Abraham was really the promise of one unique seed, Messiah, in whom all the covenants would find their fulfillment (Galatians 3:16). The theological term "eternal covenant" refers to an agreement within the Godhead, made before the foundation of the world, out of which all the covenants with mankind would later flow. God chose the nation of Israel to be the people through whom Jesus Christ would be born—the Savior from sin and death (John 3:16). God first promised the Messiah after Adam and Eve’s fall into sin (Genesis chapter 3). God later confirmed that the Messiah would come from the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:1-3).
Jesus Christ is the ultimate reason why God chose Israel to be His special people. God did not need to have a chosen people, but He decided to do it that way. Jesus had to come from some nation of people, and God chose Israel. God’s desire for Israel was that they would go and teach others about Him. Israel was to be a nation of priests, prophets, and missionaries to the world. God’s intent was for Israel to be a distinct people, a nation who pointed others towards God and His promised provision of a Redeemer, Messiah, and Savior. For the most part, Israel failed in this task. However, God’s ultimate purpose for Israel—that of bringing the Messiah into the world—was fulfilled perfectly in the Person of Jesus Christ.

 In the creation accounts in Genesis, the creation of humanity is shown as the high point of God’s creation.  And the implication is the profound value of human life. Man is the crowning work of God’s creation that’s not a statement of arrogance, that’s a statement of reality. Bible says “For we are God's masterpiece.” (Ephesians 2:10) However there is a dangerous tendency in a corrupted culture that tends to demonize people who aren’t look like, or dress like, or civilized like, or behave like our own prospect. We have an inclination to discriminate and demoralize people in our culture. So we need to begin with the book of Genesis to see the truth. As image bearers of God, we reveal and unveil something about the character and nature of God. The image of God, tells us that all human, regardless of whether you like them or not and whether they like you or not, we all are created by God with sanctity and dignity. No matter theist or atheist…rich or poor… African or Asian… Black or white… High cast or No or women all human beings are created in the “image” and “likeness” of God and, therefore, uniquely distinct in existence. No other creature is like man; he is one of a kind. Only man has been “crowned with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5).

In Genesis 1:26 “God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness....'"  The Scripture tells us something about the great significance of the human race. Earlier at every other point God said, "Let there be (something)," and then it came into being and God pronounced it good. Without making any effort to plan or consider with himself what he should do, God determined that light and darkness should be, that land should be separated from water, that plants should grow on the land, and so on. But at this point, the apex of creation, the final and best thing he would do-and what he was aiming at all along-God said in counsel with himself, 'Let us make man in our image” (thoughtfully, reflectively do the great thing now). Let us make human beings." A second remark in verses 26 "' let them rule....'" The dominion God gives human beings, mentioned in these verses, is important. Everything else that exists should be under the care of human beings like us. We were placed in dominion over all the created things, but not to abuse them, ruin them or indulge our short-lived pleasures but to Govern, mange, rule, lead, and dominion over them. This has profound implications for the environment, for progress in technology, for the good governance. We don't find ourselves falling under the spell of created things and natural processes, reducing ourselves beneath them. We neither abuse them nor worship them, but serve them and care for them, bringing order as God's delegated authority over His creation.

God created man to rule over His creation. “Let them rule” (Genesis 1:26) is the consequence of what God said prior to that “Let Us make man in Our image.” God gave the right of dominion over all living things to man. The command to subdue it (Gen 1:28) implies that there was work involved, even in the perfect setting of the Garden, to bring the creation under man’s rightful dominion. This dominion involves a stewardship of the Earth and its resources under sovereignty Of God. An essential purpose of God for humanity is made clear in this verse: "Let them have dominion..." From the beginning, God intended human beings to be "Leaders" of his creation. The role given to us by our creator is to be good stewards of our world. Yet, there is another reason he created us. We learn in the second and third chapters of Genesis a most amazing truth: God created human beings so that He might have a unique relationship with his Creator and to one another. We were made in "his image” that we might be capable of Ruler-ship and relationship.      When God formed you, He placed in you all of the necessary gifting, callings and talents you would ever need to fulfill His plan and purpose for your life. He did not create you to disappear in life, halt, and fall short or to abort your Purpose.

Unfortunately, some people’s lives are filled with problem after problem and letdown after letdown. You name it and most likely they have been through it: failed relationships, failed marriages, failed health, failed government, failed leadership, depression, frustration, or confusion, chaos and corruption. God did not design us to be that way either. Pay close attention to God’s awesome blueprint for our life:  John 15:16 says “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], He may give it to you.”  The Lord God Almighty reveals why you were conceived and for what purpose He set you in place, “that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing fruit, and that your fruit may be lasting…” Jeremiah 29:11 God says “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Only God knows what the completed story will look like. You and I simply have to trust that He knows best and is in control. No one in Jesus’ day could have dreamed up the outcome you and I have experienced as a result of Christ’s death and resurrection. God alone knew what that completed story would look like.  The Bible is the most amazing book that has ever been written! Abraham Lincoln called it "the best gift God has given to man." Patrick Henry said, "It is worth all other books which were ever printed." Noted philosopher Immanuel Kant declared, "The Bible is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced." You can pick up any other book and read it, but this is the book that reads you. We value Scripture above every opinion of men, above human reason, above scientific inquiry, and above all other sources of knowledge because God has exalted his word above all. It liberates a person from the prison-house of his myths, class, race, customs, standards and even his own beliefs and traditions.

There are things the Lord wants to reveal to you concerning His plans for your life. The only way He can do so is through the path of the Written Word. There are no substitutes. In Proverbs 6:22, reveals three things that happen as you bind the Word of God upon our heart; (a) the Word will lead you and guide you, (b) the Word will protect you while you sleep, and (c) the Word will talk to you when you awake from your sleep. The Bible is the fountain by which character is formed, mind is refined& intellect is sharpened, as a result, one can stand against all storms of life. It pulsates with life and power. It cuts, burns, crushes, and wields mountain-moving power. His Word has a life of its own. It is the voice of God to you. You cannot refuse it, deny it, distort it, or dilute it. You can only bow before it. Hence we must guard ourselves against lowering the standard of God’s Word to our level of understanding or political correctness. And we must guard ourselves against raising the standards of human philosophy and traditions above the standard of His Word. The Bible is not meant to be paraded past the judgment bar of human mind. Colossians 2:8 Paul said “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”

God owns everything that exists and we are merely stewards or managers of our Father’s property. he is the maker, owner, proprietor, possessor, source and sustainer of them all: But the earth has he given to the children of men; to Adam and his posterity, to dwell in it, to till it, and enjoy the fruits of it; yet so as not to leave it entirely to the care of men, Psalm 115:16 says “The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind.”The one question we all should be regularly asking is, “How vigilantly, efficiently and submissively am I managing what God has entrusted to me?” One clear mark of trustworthy stewards is that he is continually seeking advice from the Master to ensure that His will remains at the center of how His resources are being managed. So let us consider to understand the leadership in the Biblical perspective God is a God of leadership and a perfect example. Bible says “With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand. (Psalm 78:72)

The original purpose for mankind, defined and established by God in Genesis 1, was to "rule (have dominion) over all the earth." Since the word "dominion" in this case means to reign and rule, the Creator wired all humans with the capacity and natural ability to lead. God created people to reflect His image, to rule over creation, and to reproduce godly offspring. We can conclude that human beings are wired for leadership. The greatest evidence of what a product can do or is capable of its determined by the demands made on it by the one who made it. Therefore, God's requirement that we dominate is evidence that the ability to lead is inherent in every human spirit.

Bible says “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). The most important source of leadership is vision. Nothing noble or noteworthy on earth was ever done without vision. Vision consists of foresight, insight and oversight that come from God’s sight. A vision from God creates a mission from heaven. Therefore Visionary leadership never ends; only leaders end. Visionary Leadership determines the mentality, the destiny, the attitude, and the commitment of the followers. Visionary Leadership can create action where there was hesitation; courage where there was cowardice; optimism where there was cynicism, and strength where there was weakness. A Visionary leader can create a spirit of hope where there was despair. You can only lead people to the degree of the future that you have gone yourself. The act of Visionary leadership is taking people from where they are to where they have never been before.

In every follower there is an undiscovered leader waiting to be released on demand. Despite the latent ability that lies beneath the surface of our nonchalant attitudes, there are very few individuals who realize this power that they possess. There are fewer still that have responded effectively to the call of releasing that leader hidden in the follower. As a result, our nations, societies, and communities are suffering from an astounding leadership vacuum. We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a personal vision, of which there is no substitute. The world is all doors, all odds. Therefore the most powerful reality on earth is vision.  Visionary leaders are the builders of a new dawn, working with imagination, insight, faith and boldness. Visionary leadership is based on a balanced expression of the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical dimensions. It requires clear vision, mission, core values, empowering relationships, and innovative action. When one or more of these dimensions are missing, leadership cannot manifest a vision.

A visionary leader believes that nothing is without a solution and that there is not just one way to resolve problems. They never surrender to limitations and are not afraid of problems. You will never do anything great unless you are willing to face challenges. People who are afraid of problems never accomplish success. Visionary Leaders are willing to try anything once. People, who do not venture, never have an adventure. God is a God of adventure. He told Abraham that He would take him to a place that he did not know. Visionary Leaders engage the unknown with vision, faith and courage. You have to be a visionary and courageous to be innovative.

In the recent past, many governments have changed. It is not that the new governments are better. The change came simply because citizens were tired of what they had. It is quite sad when your choice is between mediocre and worse. An old man once said when the citizens of his constituency were voting for a leader, “Well, there is the devil you know, and the devil you do not know. Sometimes it is best to go with the devil you know because you can predict his movements.” I am not sure about that advice, but having to resort to this perspective says that nations around the world need help.The world are in desperate need of good leaders. Our communities need positive role models, our government needs righteous leaders, our children need fathers and our world needs direction. Where are the leaders? Who are they? Who is willing to accept the challenge, to face it head on with integrity, character and a commitment to execute righteous judgment for a better world?

Our quality of life depends on the quality of our leaders. And since no one else seems to be volunteering, it’s up to each one of us. If you’ve ever had dreams of leadership, now is the time. God needs you. Now you must proceed to unearth the leader hidden within you. Someone rightly said “Trapped within every follower is a hidden leader”. For example God created seeds to produce trees and plants, and therefore seeds naturally posses the inherent abilities and capacities to perform this purpose. Fish were created to swim, and thus their ability and capacity to swim is inherent in their design and instincts. Birds, on the other hand, were created for the purpose of air travel and naturally come with the inherent design and ability to fulfill that purpose. God created man with a purpose “Let them rule ("have dominions") over all the earth. Purpose is the reason for the creation of something. In essence, it is the reason why a thing exists. Bible says “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy” (1 Cor. 4:1-2).

Everyone deplores the apparent lack of leadership around the world. Whenever there is a problem in society, the last one in charge gets all the blame. This perspective is not right either because leadership requires not only accountability, but you have to accept the responsibility.  Greed, timidity, and lack of vision are rampant among the common crop of pseudo-leaders that presently exist. Where are the genuine leaders? Where are the individuals who would be willing to take responsibility for the present situation and the conditions in the world right now? Where are the individuals who will be willing to accept the challenge to execute righteous judgment for a better world? From America to Australia and from Canada to the Caribbean, the world is in desperate need of genuine, true leaders. Our communities need positive role models. Children need fathers, and our world needs direction. Where are the leaders?

This is not the first time that an obvious vacuum of quality, effective leadership has prevailed in the world. That is good because if it had happened before and the problem was solved, we could look back in history and solve it again. A quick glance at the historical record shows that during the period when moral, social, economical, political, and spiritual chaos gripped the world, the greatest leaders in history surfaced.  
Unfortunately, even when we think that we have found good leaders, it is also possible for them to disqualify themselves as leaders. Hence, the cause of the leadership vacuum is evident. Our world needs strong, trustworthy leaders who will lead responsibly.

At the most basic level, a leader is someone who leads other. We don't think of leadership as some set of indefinable, intangible character qualities that some people are born with and others are not. We think of leadership as the performance of behaviors. The character and skill of performing these behaviors can be learned develop and refine by anybody. Consider some of the world's recent great leaders. Nelson Mandela. Mother Theresa. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates They all used their leadership talents--diverse as they may be--to make lives better in some way such as achieving freedom, improving living conditions in low-income communities, making advanced technology available to all of us, creating a global foundation that propels the idea that all lives have equal value. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience.

People want to be guided by leaders they respect and who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, they must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a strong vision of the future. Good leadership is honorable character and selfless service to the society. Leadership is the collective action of everyone you influence. Your behavior – your actions and your words – determine how you influence. So the Leadership is inspiring others to pursue a vision within the parameters set, to the extent that it becomes a shared effort, a shared vision, and a shared success. Bible says “God wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God. “(Micah 6:8) Hence Leadership is an act -a decision to take a stand, or step, in order to promote justice, inspire or motivate others to move with you, And influencing them by your character, humility, and example. Leadership is a process of common influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a common goal.

The world at many points in its history has produced some jewels which have shined brighter than many in their generation and whose visions, beliefs, ideologies and lessons have been guiding mankind ever since. However Jesus was the only leader in history who did everything right—not only in saving the world but also in his daily life. Jesus was the greatest leader and the most influential person ever. He Said “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant”. (Matthew 20:26) Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do. The visible signs of artful leadership are expressed, ultimately, in its practice of servant attitude. You can only lead people to the degree of the future that you have gone yourself. The act of leadership is taking people from where they are to where they have never been before. . People, who do not venture, never have an adventure. God is a God of adventure. He told Abraham that He would take him to a place that he did not know. Leaders engage the unknown with faith and vision. You have to be visionary to be innovative. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.