If we’re going to live an unshakable life, we have to follow the right people in our life. The Bible says,
“Remember your leaders who taught you the Word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.” Hebrews 13:7 NLT
A Christian leader should always set the example for others to follow.
Conversely, in a major news network report, one of the top sports figures, the kind of person that everybody thought was the ideal home grown boy, was married and at the same time, maintained relationships with multiple mistresses. The news media were talking about how this person’s conduct will affect all the people who looked to him as a role model. The reporter went on to suggest that people should focus on the person’s athletic skills and not his personal life, referring to his character. This is why it is important for parents to help their children find the right kind of role models.
Think of the future
We have to think about what the world will look like that our children and grandchildren will be living in. We need to be teaching the kingdom principle of following the right people. Don’t make heroes and idols out of anybody, including popular TV preachers, politicians, and sports figures. We can learn from the skills, abilities, and talents of such people, but when it comes to the example of character, the Bible tells us clearly that we are to look to spiritual leaders.
There is a very wise saying: “your gifts can take you very high but only your character will keep you there.” The Bible says,
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 NKJV
Paul lived an unshakeable life
In Philippians 4:9, the Apostle Paul said to his followers in Philippi,
“The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9 NKJV
In essence Paul was saying, “If you’ll listen to me and do what I do and follow my wisdom and instruction, and learn the principles that I have learned about the kingdom of God, the God of peace will be with you as well!”
Paul had the God of peace with him, didn’t he? The God of Shalom. The Hebrew word shalom means complete in well-being, soundness, wholeness. When the Hebrews would say “shalom,” they were saying “be made whole, be complete in number, be at rest.” The Apostle Paul went through a whole lot of shaking in his life, including jail time, being beaten, shipwrecked, and left for dead. But at the end of the day he said, “The God of peace has been with me.” Paul left this world having finished his course, living an unshakeable life all of us can follow.
The God of peace wants to manifest Himself to you, with you, and in you. But there are some things you’ve got to do; you’ve got to learn to live the principles of the kingdom of God from others who have followed Christ before you.
Elders in the church & parents
God’s Word tells us that the elders of the church were to be examples to the flock of God (1 Peter 5:3). It’s vitally important that we have active relationship with our local church leaders who are godly and are spiritually mature role models in our life. Like the Bible says “know them that labor among you” (1 Thessalonians 5:12). We need firsthand knowledge, seeing our leader when the chips are down and how they respond, how they walk in faith through their circumstances.
This type of example should be happening in our own homes as well. Parents should be the number one spiritual leaders in the household and elders should be the number one spiritual leaders in the church.
The maturing process
“This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.” (This refers to an elder as well.) “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:1-7 NKJV
It is not a wise practice to put people that are new to the faith into high levels of spiritual leadership because they have not had enough time to go through any maturing process. In their immaturity they could then be tempted to be puffed up with pride. When you have a process that you go through to become a spiritual leader, then you’re there because you qualified. On the other hand, when you give away titles and positions to people, then they may feel that there is something special about them since they didn’t have to go through the process, and this can result in a prideful spirit. True spiritual leadership seeks out any process that promotes growth in spiritual character and maturity. These leaders then become an example to God’s people. That kind of leadership, that kind of example, is what we need more than anything else in today’s world.
An exemplary life doesn’t happen overnight, it takes some chiseling, some hammering; it takes going through the wine press. It involves a lot for our life to come to the place where it’s an example to other people. But after a person goes through the maturing process then they will have credibility and people will want to follow their example.