The Pathway To Triumph

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

Romans 8:14

The Holy Spirit is the greatest leader on planet earth. God's anointed and called leaders are the most powerful force on the planet. Leaders have the opportunity, if they are wise, to shape the course of history and generations for good and for God's glory. What if your consecration and courage as a leader could shape the course of history? What if God is dreaming of using you and your partnerships with other kingdom leaders for the expansion of His dominion? He is.

When you study leadership, it's not long before you discover that some of the greatest leaders have emerged from the midst of extraordinary challenge, adversity, struggle, pain and conflict. My friend, Bishop Joseph Garlington says, "Leaders are not born, they're just cornered." Maybe that's why I've always loved Captain America since I was a boy. The key element of every notable leader is their uncommon commitment, passion and burning heart to overcome. Their lion-hearts will find the path to triumph.

It is no secret that the world is in a mess and upside down right now. White is Black. Black is White. Right is wrong and wrong is right. Evil is good and good is called evil. You could say that the world is in a famine of real leaders. Has there ever been a time when the contradictions were so glaring?

If you are presently a leader, or perhaps you feel called to a new level of leadership in some fashion, I pray this chapter is empowering and life-giving to your spirit and soul. I pray that that there will be a spiritual impartation and deposit from the Holy Spirit into your heart to soar and triumph. Your life, calling and purpose are so very important to the Lord. He believes in you.

The conflicts and epic battles of this hour are unprecedented and inescapable. The battlefields for spiritual, moral, political, educational, and governmental landscapes are ours for the taking. Leaders understand that we are called and appointed to bring God's wisdom, anointing and solutions into the trouble of this dark world. The kingdom of God was always meant to shape culture, never to retreat from it.

Anointed and courageous leaders will hear what others do not hear. They see what others do not see. They will say what others do not want to say. They will go where others are afraid to go. A courageous leader will not give people what they want but provide them with what they truly need. How does this happen? Their best friend and partner is the Holy Spirit who keeps them from the snare and bondage of the fear of man.

The world is in dire need of anointed and courageous leaders to step onto the local, national and global scenes. The Church desperately needs uncompromising leaders that are bold as lions. The governments of the nations and global structures are reeling with uncertainty. The answer lies within God's leaders. We need leaders that will carry heaven's heart and authority, know the agenda of the Father and refuse to compromise for the things of this earth.

Agents Of Change

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place."

2 Corinthians 2:14

We are in a very special season of time. The winds of change are blowing across the earth. We can, and we must, discover the pathway into the future now. The Spirit of God will prepare the way, and He's calling many to follow Him into a new anointing and a new strategic place of courageous leadership.

This is an hour of transcendence, a time of limitless possibilities. Perhaps, no generation of leaders, at every level of society and across the globe, has had such an opportunity to solve our greatest problems and bring the nations the unshakeable kingdom of God. You can stand up and be counted as a leader who will shine. You can establish a pathway of faith — a highway of holiness — forming a path to a better world for all the generations that follow.

As I have studied reformation, I have learned that at its core, reformation means to align, reconstitute, level and balance. To reform is to repair and restore what has been broken and corrupted. Reformation is divine order and alignment with The King's purpose, design and original intension.

A picture of divine alignment is found in the greek word, katartizo. This means to adjust and put something back into its appropriate position. The word is used in Matthew 4:21 concerning the disciples mending nets. In 1 Corinthians 1:10, it's referred to as repairing schisms or relational breaks. In Galatians 6:1, this word is used in restoring broken lives. The word is also used to describe the restoration of a dislocated joint or broken bone. My friend Dutch Sheets says, "Katartizo is God's special work as the Holy Chiropractor."

God is grooming and anointing leaders who will carry a divine katartizo shift to restore and mend cities, states and nations back to their God-appointed purpose and destiny.

Now is the time to ask for the pure wisdom that comes down from above (see James 3:17). We cannot attempt to solve the world's issues with a secular mindset. Our leadership must come from the fresh breath of the life-giving Word and Spirit of God. True leaders lead from the heart of loving the truth and serving the truth by sacrificial love and honor.

I believe the global prayer movement that has been freshly energized by the Spirit of God in the last decade will see a release of emerging leaders born out of burning prayer communities of intercessors, watchmen, gate keepers and five fold ministries.

"Those from among you shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In."  Isaiah 58:12

"And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations."  Isaiah 61:4

Leaders are God's keys to the future. They will unlock the answers and solutions for societal transformation. Don't be so quick to gloss over the scriptures above. Anointed leaders will arise in this hour from among us. They have been uniquely trained and forged by the Spirit of God to rebuild, raise up, repair and restore the foundations.

Reformers are the restorers who reconstitute, level and set into alignment that which has been torn apart and desolated. They have been set apart and consecrated. They have refused to be conformed to the spirit of the age and God has anointed them with heavenly wisdom, innovation, creativity and authority to bring the increase of His government.

Down through history, God has raised up and positioned reformational leaders as the times demanded for the healing of breaches and broken places, to bring nations back into alignment with His heart. God has always worked through these consecrated vessels as they are His agents of change for human history.

The Spirit of God seeks men and women who are willing to stand up valiantly against the forces of darkness invading our society. Deep in the reformer's spirit is the standard that they cannot accept the status quo, business as usual and things as they are. They refuse to let the trends of the world around them shape and define them. They are non-conformists, and they refuse to play the games of their lukewarm generation. Reformers are not afraid to be the passionate and different ones. They have chosen the holy burnings of heaven's agenda.

The Holy Spirit & Leadership

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."  

Romans 8:14
The greatest collaboration for releasing power and mobilizing leaders that can change the world is found in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Kingdom leaders are set apart and established in His grace and calling. They are those who are directed and led by the Spirit of God.

In the book of Acts, Luke begins with, "Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he said good-bye to the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven." Notice that Jesus was guided by the Holy Spirit to select His leaders. All throughout the Book of Acts, we see this continued pattern. The presence of the Holy Spirit identified leaders that were chosen to serve and care for widows (Acts 6:3-6). The Holy Spirit identified and set apart Saul and Barnabas as two leaders commissioned to preach the Gospel in Salamis (Acts 13:2-5). The Holy Spirit chose and appointed leaders to shepherd the church. Acts 20:28 says, "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood."

The Holy Spirit empowers leaders with supernatural boldness. In Acts chapter four, the text reveals that Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke to the leaders. Peter and John were empowered by the Spirit with courage and boldness to speak unapologetic truth to the influential leaders of their day. In Acts 4:13, we see that these leaders were baffled and perplexed. "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." This same profound boldness shined through Stephen in Acts chapter six. "These men began to argue with Stephen, but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke."

The Holy Spirit will always compel leaders to leave their comfort zones far behind to break into new territories. The Apostle Paul was profoundly used by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel and he too wasn't aloud to remain in a place of comfort. Acts 20:22-24 says, "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."

The Holy Spirit's presence and influence in our day-to-day leadership must be activated through our sensitivity to His leadership and our courage to obey His voice. Without Him, we could attempt doing leadership solely out of our own wisdom and strength, which will amount to nothing. We must remember, it is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that destroys the yoke of bondage (Isaiah 10:27). He is our true source of power. God's purposes and desires become a reality in the earth when leaders make their partnership with the Holy Spirit.

All spiritual leadership and true visionaries draw from this secret — they abide in the One who is the Leader — The Lion King. It is not just a cliché, it's a profound truth, that the greatest spiritual leaders are the greatest followers of Jesus.

Revelation is the Key to Leadership

"Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful."
1 Corinthians 4:1&2

Leaders are those who treasure what is sacred and they honor what is holy. Paul says that they steward the mysteries of the kingdom. They carry the revelation of the kingdom that liberates the earth and expands heaven's culture. It is required of all leaders to walk humbly as we represent The Lord, bearing the mystery of a God who far surpasses any human capacity to fully define Him. Leaders are ones that are found faithful. Paul wrote his spiritual son, Timothy, and instructed him to make sure that he entrusted the gospel to faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2).

Our revelation of Jesus determines our authority, leadership function, capacity and ability to impart the life-giving presence of God to all we serve and love. The very nature of a leader is that they are carriers of a divine vision and burden of the Lord in their spirit. Kingdom leaders carry the culture and values of The Lord. Transformational leaders will carry generational vision, burden and fire for future sons and daughters.

Generational Blessing & Legacy

This is taken from my first book: "Unstoppable & Unquenchable Fire"

In this present move of God we are beginning to see the signs of generational impartation and the promise of kingdom legacy being expanded far and wide. Legacy is powerful; it's an endowment, a gift and commission — released with the hopeful expectation of increase from generation unto generation. Paul instructs his spiritual son Timothy, "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:2).

There are those who are in training right now to become mighty spiritual fathers and mothers. Faithful sons and daughters become faithful fathers and mothers. Your allegiance must be fully unto The Lord, but your faithfulness to Him is also revealed in how you choose to serve and honor those He has brought into your life as fathers.

One of the greatest privileges that we have is in choosing whom we will follow, so choose wisely. Follow wisdom and character. Follow those who live in true humility and love. Do not be caught up or mesmorized in a leader's gifts and charisma. Watch their lives to see their consistent integrity. No leader is perfect or infallible. Look for the marks of a true father who will invest and speak truth into your life — the beautiful truth and the ugly truth. We need people in our lives who will do more than just comfort us in a crisis or compliment our strengths and gifts. We need fathers who will commit themselves to challenging us to grow and to change. This is necessary.

We need fathers who will lovingly rebuke us in the healthiest way. The beautiful words of affirmation and empowerment are needed. So too, are the words of correction (hard sayings) and discipline.

Fathers and Sons Mothers and Daughters

You cannot be apostolic if you don't have a heart for sons and daughters. It's no secret that fathers today are abandoning their wives, children and responsibilities. It's a tragedy. Sadly, it's a picture of the spiritual condition of our world, as we see these same patterns of abandonment taking place in ministry. Presently, around 1500+ pastors quit the ministry each month. This is so alarming. Without a doubt, ministry is tough. After more than 23 years of full-time ministry, I understand the challenges and the enormous load of responsibility that comes with leadership and becoming a spiritual father.

Fathers and mothers bring rich perspective, wise counsel and protection to one's relationship with God. Their training, instruction, wisdom, covering, accountability and transparent lives are to be treasured. Having spiritual fathers and mothers help protect and safeguard the path and vision for your lives. They empower your God-given destiny and dream, regardless of weather it's to be a minister, a baseball coach, an actor, an artist, a senator, or an entrepreneur.

Spiritual fathers provide a safe and nurturing environment to grow and also help us to identify spiritual gifts. Spiritual maturity is vital in all of our lives, and spiritual fathers will put an appropriate demand on us to grow from adolescence into adulthood. "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1 Corinthians 13:11). For many, they remain stuck in a perpetual place of immaturity, because they lack the nurture and sound admonition of seasoned fathers and mothers. Spiritual fathers model a standard of excellence and call forth that spirit of excellence in their sons and daughters.

Teachers instruct, but fathers love and build up. Teachers instruct but fathers impart. I am deeply grateful to the amazing fathers and mothers that the Lord has brought throughout my life, to help shape and develop me. I'm additionally thankful that they didn't ignore my mistakes but gracefully corrected me and pointed me forward. While so many leaders in our generation are waf ing and wavering in a cesspool of social trends and compromise, I'm thankful for the fathers and leaders in my life who have kept burning faith, maintained integrity and remained faithful on the ancient path — the tried and true road. (see Jeremiah 6:16)

You need spiritual fathers and mothers in your life. It is imperative that you pray and seek to establish relationships (real kingdom connections) that will enhance and lift your spiritual trajectory and maturity. The passion of The Spirit is the return of apostolic fathers towards sons and daughters and sons and daughters toward fathers (see Malachi 4:6). Malachi's prophetic word is a beautiful picture of the generations from the youngest, to the most seasoned, working together to advance the kingdom of God.

To father the fire and perpetuate the kingdom's legacy, we must raise spiritual sons and daughters that have learned the secret of a saturated lifestyle in His Presence. Our aim must be to bring them to a place of character, where as mature sons and daughters, they carry the government of God. Only mature sons and daughters, who are discipled by godly fathers and mothers, will be able to rule with nobility in the high places of cultural influence.

We must create an atmosphere where it's the norm to linger before the Lord in prayer, and gaze upon His wonder and glory. You must father sons and daughters through example, so their rst and greatest ministry is unto the Lord. It's not people rst. It's Father first. Lead them to cultivate a sacred lifestyle of encounter in the riches of the Word and with The Holy Spirit, through prayer, worship and fasting. Empower them to be courageous and brave, living as a nonconformist to the spirit of the age (see Romans 12:2).

Invest time, revelation and life experiences into their development. Our greatest legacy is not what we leave for people, but what we leave within them. Invest. Live an uncompromising and consecrated life before them. Let our testimony be a standard, witnessing God's empowerment and grace to a surrendered life.

God must be represented by those who are not bound by time. A spiritual father and mother are a timeless people who understand that their sacrifices, obedience, honor, joy, and life contributions are going to impart into a generation that perhaps isn't even born yet. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end." We must understand that the eternity which has been set in our hearts, will not be completely unfolded and revealed in our lifetime, but will find its fullness in generational legacy.

Dear Leaders, I want to encourage you to make a personal commitment to serve, build and foster relationships that will perpetuate the kingdom of God. Make it your aim to live and plan skillfully to invest and empower young men and women. We need each other, and we need mature and courageous leaders for the hour ahead of us. We are dependent upon one another.

Together we can overcome the independent, orphan spirit that has plagued the Body of Christ for far too long. Remember, there are those who are in training right now to become mighty spiritual fathers and mothers. Faithful sons and daughters become faithful fathers and mothers.

(In my book, "Unstoppable & Unquenchable Fire" I explore in great detail the power of generational blessing and shepherds after God's own heart — See Chapter four — Generations: Fathering The Fire.)

Kingdom Leaders

"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love."
1 Corinthians 16: 13&14

A kingdom leader will exemplify and inspire a spirit of loyalty and honor. They live a life and set an example that others desire to follow. They will live a lifestyle of integrity and build a legacy of nobility. A real leader is not just a cheerleader for mere principles; it is their life that speaks and shines giving witness to the reality of the Lordship of Christ within.

Leaders have the ability to raise the bar and set the pace for those around them. Their hunger for God is contagious. Their passion for the Spirit will inspire and cause others to run for the prize. Their consecration and faithfulness will challenge shallowness and lukewarm hearts. Their compassion and care brings out the best in all that have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Leaders run with a heavenly vision in their obedience to the Spirit of God. They create vision for others, they articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and help others learn to run with fire. That's why Jesus was the most epic leader to walk planet earth. He was unstoppable and unquenchable.

Leaders behave wisely. From time to time, you will have a mouth full of blood from biting down on your own tongue. Leaders keep their mouths shut even when they want to react or respond. There will be times when Wisdom says; "remain silent." Sometimes you lead by what you don't say, and your integrity will just have to bleed.

Leaders will create and establish an environment for developing a culture of lovers, worshipers, intercessors and dreamers. They give wings for others to soar higher and dream grander and go farther. Our goal should be to create a culture that brings forth lions and lionesses that are powerful and prophetic — not professionals. Leaders know that they have the ability and responsibility of raising mature sons and daughters. Their faith and transcendence can destroy the limitations and mindsets that have stifled generations.

Dear leader and dear friend, the pathway to triumph is found in a bold and courageous heart that will not tolerate compromise on any level. God is calling us to live holy, live wisely and live worthy of our calling. Our lions and lionesses are watching, and they need real leaders.

Whatever the Master says, do it. God is calling us to never retreat in the face of opposition and the present dangers of this age. The battles are fierce. It is time to live bold, think bold and be bold.

Wherever He Leads — Follow

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye."
Psalm 32:8

One of my all-time favorite movies is "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson. Gibson's character, Benjamin Martin, is a family man that finds his world turned upside down in the midst of the Revolutionary War. The battle makes its way to his South Carolina doorstep reigning down bullets, cannons, bloodshed, fire and death — even on his own children.

Benjamin Martin and his oldest son, Gabriel, take up the cause to fight against the overwhelming British army. Their assignment is to find the right kind of courageous men and build a rebel militia to join the American troops.

There's a scene when a small village pastor leaves his pulpit and congregation behind to go and fight. During the Revolutionary War, there were many pastors and leaders that left their pulpits and congregation to join under George Washington's leadership; they were called the Black Robe Regiment. These patriot preachers engaged themselves fully to secure America's victory.

As the pastor prepares to leave with the rebel militia, he's stopped by his congregation as he's about to walk into the woods with the patriot soldiers. They ask, "Reverend, where are you going?" He turns to them soberly, removing his hat and says, "Sometimes a shepherd must stay and guard his flock, and at other times he must go and fight off the wolves."

I hear the roar of The Lion. He's saying, "Follow Me." Dear leader, whoever you are reading this book; wherever Jesus may lead you, I implore you — follow Him. Follow The Lion. It will be dangerous and glorious. Just follow Him. He is our Reward. The future belongs to the lion-hearts. The future belongs to the Righteous.

BLOG Taken from Chapter 8 BOLD AS LIONS — Brian Gibbs
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