Thursday, April 14, 2011


The centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it."  Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel." (Matthew 8: 8-10)

...and his strength left him.  Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”  He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.  Judges 16:19-20

I find the above to be revealing passages as they relate to leadership.  The officer with the ailing servant understood that he could lead and command his troops not because he had some intrinsic power and authority, but because he was obedient to a higher authority.  If he were in rebellion against Rome, his soldiers and servants would be aiding and abetting the rebellion against the empire to obey the centurion.  The centurion noted that he perceived that Jesus was under a higher authority and as a result Jesus would have authority to "say the word and my servant will be healed."

When He heard the centurion's insight on His authority, Jesus remarked that He had not seen such faith in Israel!  The centurion expressed that faith by believing that Jesus could and would heal his servant, and by recognizing Jesus' power to heal came from Him being obedient to the authority of the Heavenly Father.

How does that fit here and now?  It would take quite a bit of space to exhaust all that it means, but here is an insight or two:  A Christian leader has no authority or power on his own -- we must be under the authority of God and His Word.  Disobedience results in shutting down the power of God in our lives and in our leadership.  A leader who refuses to follow God (in action and attitude) may not lose his office but will not have the spiritual power to effectively lead God's people.  

Samson's demise is an illustration of this principle in that he thought all was the same as in the past, but he did not know that the Holy Spirit's power in his life was absent.  What a tragic loss!  But it is an act of faith to walk obediently, faithfully, and humbly before God.  We must trust the Lord in all our dealings and in our leadership, depending upon His presence and His word, and relying not on our ingenuity but upon God's faithfulness.

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