Fruitful Leaders is the featured new book in this quarter's IVP Leadership Club brochure.
Here is an excerpt from the chapter on leaders who love the Holy Spirit and the Bible:
Here are two convictions about the Bible and leadership:
• The Bible is the pre-eminent way through which the Holy Spirit speaks to us. It is impossible to be gifted by the Holy Spirit to be a spiritual leader without a deep and growing desire to be a Bible-centred, Bibleteaching, Bible-applying leader. To say, ‘I love God but don’t have much desire for God’s Word’ is as ridiculous as saying, ‘I love my wife but I’m not interested in what she says.’
• The critical thing in leading and growing biblical disciples is to help them know what the Bible says and to live it out. To say, ‘I love God’s Word but don’t put it into practice’ is as ridiculous as saying, ‘I love it when my wife talks to me but I’m not interested in doing anything she asks.’
The goal of leading people into the Scriptures is so that God will reveal himself and his truth, setting hearts on fire, and make people alive to himself and eager to do what he says. Listen to how the psalmist describes his experience of what God’s Word is meant to do to us:
• I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands (Psalm 119:131).
• I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil (v. 162).
• I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight. Let me live that I may praise you (v. 174).
• I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love (v. 47).
• My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times (v. 20).
• The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold (v. 72).
• How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth (v. 103).
You get the idea! This man is meeting God in his Word, exposing his heart to God, and God to his heart, and abandoning himself in worship. He hides God’s Word in his heart so that he will adore God and follow him in joyful obedience:
Your statutes are my heritage for ever; they are the joy of my heart. (Psalm 119:111)
It is impossible to have a heart that is happy in God without enjoying the Bible, impossible to have sustaining delight in the Lord and to lead others in it without delighting in the Scriptures. But it is also impossible to continue enjoying him if we don’t follow what he says. Jesus regularly told the Pharisees that their minute knowledge of the Scriptures was worthless because they didn’t live it out.