Journal Heb 13 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith…Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you…” Heb 13:7 and 17.
Observation: Being a leader is a heady and serious thing. Being a follower is no less serious. Oh, God: Where is your Voice?
Analysis: Holy ambition should be sobering. Wanna be leaders have to consider three things:
- Leaders are watched and evaluated. All the time.
- Whatever leaders exhibit, imitation is soon to follow.
- There is accountability for leaders from the Throne.
That should make prospective leaders shake in their boots. Whether official, vocational leadership in the form of a Pastor or staff or non-vocational such as Elder or Deacon, all fall under this category. It is a holy and fearful thing to be responsible for men’s souls.
What about us followers? There is a holy responsibility here as well. Three things:
- Leaders are to be remembered and considered. Are they speaking the Word of God (not just reciting scripture—not the same thing at all)?
- Am I looking to imitate their faith? Can I recognize it methodically? How am I looking to implement such imitation?
- If I am, how do I exhibit implementation so that the Leader can recognize success with Joy and not cause groaning?
How about something closer to home? Husbands and wives? Check out Eph 4 and 5 to start. Husbands do not get left off the “responsibility before God” list. Am I conducting myself in a trustworthy manner to be imitated? Wives, are you seeing something in your husband to submit to holy imitation of? Remember, according to the Scriptures, husbands are going to present you to the Throne and the outcomes will be judged. (Eph 5:22-33)
What if there are issues between the “imitatee” and the “imitator?” The answer is always the same: merciful inquiries. Ask questions, specific and pertinent. Separate “worldly reasoning” from the Word of God, but “gut feelings?” Sometimes gut feelings lead into good things to discuss.
I suppose the following is important: Pursuing the things that lead to godliness is the key for both the leaders and the ones being led (including husbands and wives—wives, you are in a pickle if you are not looking for your husband to be godly so you can imitate him and husbands, you cannot abdicate what God has appointed for you to be).
- So then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding (Ro 14:19)
- Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. (1 Cor 14:1)
- But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. (1 Tim 6:11)
- So, flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Tim 2:22)
- …let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 1 Pet 3:11)
Prayer: Father, everywhere I turn in your Word I see “pursue righteousness, pursue godliness.”
Confirm and accelerate that in my heart, O Lord. Please.