Ensuring Victory as Spiritual Leaders

Being totally transparent, my work at Prison Fellowship International (PFI) often seems like a battle. It is hard, and every time I think I’ve figured it out, something new and unexpected comes along.

Recently, I felt convicted that as your CEO, I need to think with a more eternal mindset. Exodus 17:8–15 tells the story of the epic battle (spiritual and physical) when the Amalekites attacked the Israelites in the desert. As long as Moses held up his hands during the battle (supported by Aaron and Hur when he grew tired), the Israelites were winning. If Moses lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.

As demonstrated by Moses, there are three principles necessary for our own victory as spiritual leaders:

Demonstrate total dependence on God. Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” My prayer is that we as spiritual leaders in this organisation would keep our trust in God for the victory—not in our abilities, strategies, charisma, programmes, or ideas. The victory comes from God, not from ourselves.

Participate in prevailing prayer. Moses prayed on top of that mountain with outstretched arms for 12-14 hours.

Prayer was more central to the Israelite’s triumph than any fighting or military skill. Because the battle is spiritual, not just physical, our victory will be won on our knees. We must have a spirit of prayer and intercession for this ministry—prayer that is constant, immovable, and steadfast. And we must believe in its power as demonstrated time and time again in God’s Word.

Give all the glory to God. Only He gets the credit. A.W. Tozer wrote, “God is jealous of His glory and He will not give His glory to another. He will not even share His glory with another.” We cannot let pride take root in this ministry, pushing us to reach for the praise. All praise belongs to the One who gave Himself for the prisoner, the ex-prisoner, the child of a prisoner—for each and every one of us.

As I look at both the thrilling and challenging aspects of this ministry, I believe these three things will sustain us.

Will you rise to the challenge of adapting these principles as a spiritual leader, and help me keep this wonderful ministry focused?

Article originally published July 7, 2015, in Prison Fellowship International’s PFI Roundtable.

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