Joseph Prince - The Most Effective Leaders Prioritize This
This excerpt is from: Leadership Keys (NCC Leadership Conference)
Be a feeding center, be a feeding church, Be a feeding ministry. Feed, feed! Don't worry about leadership. Don't worry about the ten things to do, the hundred things to do administratively and all that. Your first priority, leaders, your first priority, pastors, is to sit at His feet and listen. And receive. Let Him serve you the bread. And the Bible says, Jesus says: "If any man thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink". And drink. Drink, not draw. Many a times we go to Him to draw a sermon for others. We go to Him to draw something for others. You can draw water for other people and not drink it. You can draw and you still are dying of thirst. Amen. No, He said: "Come to Me and drink". To drink is a very personal thing. Drink is for your personal consumption. Drink is for yourself. Drink is for you. You don't think about others. You just drink. Come to Him and drink. And drink and drink and drink. Then out of your belly shall flow rivers!
Now, rivers of living water, they are for others. They are for others. Drink. "Lim". Lawrence Lim. Keep on drinking. Lim is Chinese for "drink". In Hokkien. In Chinese: "he". Remember? "He". Keep on drinking and out of your belly will flow rivers! Rivers are for others! Living water. Not just water. Living water. People will be refreshed around your presence. They'll be refreshed. That's how you feed. Pastors, prioritize this. Leaders, prioritize this. David, back to David again. When David, you saw that he was anointed with a horn of oil. When the first king of Israel was anointed, he was anointed with a vial of oil. And the oil comes on the head. So vial in the book of Revelation is a picture of the wrath of God. The angels poured the vial of the wrath of God. So David was anointed with the ram's horn, the death of the male ram, Jesus Christ. Amen. And then you find that the people followed Saul trembling.
The people that came to David, actually they were the 3D army, right? In distress, in debt, and discontented. But they became the mighty men. They became giant killers like him. But there's something else I want to leave you with and you need to see this. When David was out there, he brought bread. He's a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, another wonderful picture of our Jesus. The father sent him with bread, cheese, provisions for his brothers. His brothers are warriors! David is a shepherd boy. This is what the brother said. Watch this! This is an attitude I don't want you to have. God has entrusted you, all of you with the flock, but you look at New Creation Church, you look at other churches, and you get discontented with your people. Don't do that. People are people. They are all precious to God. Okay?
If you're not going to steward the people under you, why would God trust you with more? And God is always on the lookout for someone who loves the flock, to entrust them. He will recommend to people in dreams, in putting desires in their heart to go to your place. But if He knows you're not feeding, you don't have the food. You have this attitude. What attitude? The brother's attitude. Look at this attitude. I know none of you have it. I'm just saying, okay? "Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here?’ And with whom have you left those few sheep’". Few sheep. Really? Number one. We're not told these were few. It was most likely not a few. Jesse was quite well off. He was the great, great grandson of a rich man, Boaz, who married Ruth. Nowhere does it say a few sheep. But the attitude. "You're just, you're not a soldier!" but out of that spite came this: "...and a few sheep".
That's how a non-shepherd spirit is like. "It’s just a flock". Don't have that. What did David say about the flock? Drop down. When he was in front of King Saul, this is what David said. David said to Saul the king: "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep". They are my father's sheep. Don’t look at people and say: "They are just the same people giving me the same problems". No, they are the Father's sheep. And God is entrusting you with them. Amen. To give you the oversight. Yeah. Come on. Praise the Lord. Give Him praise. Hallelujah. And you see that in David's attitude. Just one lamb being taken by a lion. Did he just say: "Well, you know what? Ah, just one lamb anyway, just one, you know? I got many others". Was he willing to let that one go? No, he went after the lamb, man. He got hold of the beard, the mane of the lion and killed the lion. And after that was the bear. Right?
So let me just ask you before we go, what's deep down in your heart, you don't have to put up your hands. Alright? But what is your attitude towards your flock, your work, your ministry, do you say like: "Oh, this little work, these little sheep, these few sheep". Or is it like: "My Father's sheep. And I'm so privileged that I am given this honor". Amen. "To oversee them, to feed them". Amen. I know that there are challenges. I know. Like when I shared yesterday, sometimes strange things happen to you before you preach. But don't let it rob you of the spirit. The whole thing is to stop you from feeding the flock.
Once again, by a show of hands, how many of you find there are challenges sometimes? Funny things happen, or you have a quarrel with the missus. Or things happen that normally you don't do, right? It happens just before. Any of you? Like I told you, sometimes, in the middle of the night, you get up and your heart is beating real fast. You're thinking you have a heart attack or what? I know some of you went through that before, alright? Or you’re about to preach and in the middle of the night, you wake up, you don't even know why. You go back to sleep and you're supposed to sleep because you need the energy. You need the rest. But you're awake. You're wide awake. Who woke you up? Attack. Amen.
So I know. But that ought to tell you that the devil is so afraid of your feeding ministry, of feeding the people that are coming. He knows who is coming. If he can smite the shepherd, what's gonna happen? The sheep will scatter. By the way, that is said of our Lord Jesus. When they came to arrest Him, it is written: "Smite the shepherd and the sheep will scatter". Hey listen. Our sheep does not have to scatter because He was smitten. That was written about Him. He was smitten. Amen. So always think: "Lord, You took this smiting". Amen. Our warfare is to rest. But once you recognize it, at least you know. But as long as you don't see it. You’ll be wondering: "What's happening"? Definitely, it is not God. God wants you to rest. But realize it's a warfare.
And listen carefully. That ought to be a compliment to you. Because the devil does not kick a dead horse. Amen. So just thank God. And now you know why you quarrel right? Ladies, if you're a wife, understand your man. Alright? In other words, no heavy conversation when weekend is approaching. Wendy and I have an agreement. We don't talk about heavy stuff. When it gets too heavy, okay? Peace. Timeout. Amen. I'm serious. I'm serious. The same? Yeah. Oh she said it in the luncheon yesterday? What else did she say? Okay, anyway. Good things. Okay. Praise God. Nah, it’s okay. I know my wife. But you know, we are in a spiritual warfare. It is a warfare. It is a spiritual warfare. That’s all the devil can do. Distract you.
Amen. By the way, just to let you know: "Smite the shepherd and the sheep will scatter". That is in the context of Zechariah. "Arise, O sword," God is talking. "Arise, O sword". Alright? "And smite my shepherd". Do you know this is the last occurrence of sword in the Bible? The first occurrence is a sword that cuts every way through the entrance of the garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve were driven out. Alright? There was an angel. A cherubim there with a sword that cuts every way. So the sword speaks of judgment. And finally. The last mention. That is the first mention of sword. What was the last mention of sword? And I'll close with this. This is truly the last one. The last mention is in Zechariah. "Awake, O sword". God is talking. "And smite My Shepherd". And who is the Shepherd? His Son. The sword was sheaved in the heart of His Son at the cross. Amen. So the way is open to us. God bless you. Amen. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.