In the first part of this blog series, we explored the first of five battles we fight as leaders. Today, we'll look at two more.
The Five Kings We Battle in Our Lives as Leaders - King #2
The King of Temptation
Leaders today are facing an increase in temptation.
As blessing increases, so does temptation. As weariness increases, so does temptation. Today's leaders are some of the most blessed and most weary people out there.
We've all felt temptation. Some of us have followed through on it. And if you do, you get the voice of condemnation in your ear. That voice doesn't come from God. You know what your thought life is like when the enemy condemns you, asks you who you think you are.
If you've been there, you're not alone.
Temptation is something that we all face. Fortunately, there's a right way to deal with it.
That's probably not news to you. If you face temptation, you fight it, right?
The best way to overcome temptation is to fall in love with Jesus all over again.
It's so much easier to fulfil the commands of God by falling in love with Him rather than simply trying to white knuckle your way through. Temptation (and your reaction to it) reveals so much more about the condition of your relationship with God than it does your self control.
Here's how John puts it:
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." (1 John 5:3)
When you're in love with God, following His commandments doesn't feel like a burden. Neither does resisting temptation.
Think about it: when you're in love with your spouse, you don't have to struggle to be faithful to them. You only struggle when you're not focusing on loving them.
There are two ways to communicate Biblical truth: are you trying to follow the rules, or are you doing it out of love? How you interpret this verse can help you find out:
"If you love me, keep my commands." (John 14:15)
If you read this verse with a focus on the law, you'll interpret it like this: "If you love me, you will prove your love by doing what I command." But that's not what the verse says. It says "If you love me, you'll do what I command."
The easiest way to resist temptation, the easiest way to do what God commands, is to simply be in love with Him. Your self control isn't what keeps you from temptation. Instead, it's the way you feel about God.
The Five Kings We Battle in Our Lives as Leaders - King #3
The King of Discouragement
This is the one where the enemy tries to take all of the courage out of you.
Some of us feel it when we drive home from church on a Sunday. You find yourself wrapped up in thoughts about what didn't happen. It doesn't matter which amazing things God brought to pass - you're too wrapped up in what He didn't do.
So what do you do about it?
Accept that you're not the one to change it.
It's nearly impossible to encourage yourself. Instead, you have to have the right people around you to lift you up. Two are better than one.
One of the best defenses against the king of discouragement you can have is a group of people who know what's going on inside of you. If you're the only one who knows your secrets, you're in trouble. Someone has to know when you're struggling, where you're facing difficulties, and what's hard for you. And then they need to be there to lift you up.
And here's the thing: when you have the right friends, God will never allow the both of you to be discouraged at the same time. When you're feeling down, they'll be able to pull you up. And vice versa.
If you go to God with the problems you face, God will cleanse your heart. He is faithful and will forgive us of our sins. It takes care of what you did, but it doesn't take care of the fact that you might do it again. You go to God for forgiveness, but you go to God's people for healing.
If you're facing a battle with the king of discouragement, other people are your greatest defense. Surround yourself with people who know what you're thinking, who understand your pains, and who can lift you back up to where you need to be.