Leadership Temptations

1/4/2005 4:49 AM

S: “But Jesus answered him, saying, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by
bread alone, but by every word of God”‘” Luke 4:4 “And Jesus answered and
said to him, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship
the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.”‘” Luke 4:8 “And Jesus
answered and said to him, ‘It has been said, “You shall not tempt the LORD
your God.”‘” Luke 4:12

O: The temptations of Jesus. They are in a different order in Matthew, but
that is likely a trivial thing to talk about. But they are complete

John Maxwell says about this:
Jesus faced three major temptations during his 40 days in the desert. The
enemy approached Him and tried to entice Him through the following
1. Legitimate needs (v.3): He tried to get Jesus to act apart from God
in order to meet His legitimate needs.
2. Spiritual Gifting (vv. 6, 7): He tried to urge Jesus to use His
giftedness for self profit or to draw a crowd.
3. Personal Worship (vv. 9, 10): He tried to convince Jesus to get
ahead by linking up with a power other than God.
Jesus teaches every leader that the first person you lead is you. We earn
the right to lead others when they see us lead well in our own lives.

Obviously the temptations of Jesus were big enough to record. We’re so
overcome with appetite that we can’t understand why he didn’t make the
stones into bread – it’s a little thing.. We’re so overcome with
insecurity, that we may have jumped at the opportunity to have the world at
our fingertips. We’re so overcome with a desire for thrills that we’re
ready to jump of cliffs and ready to jump wherever the thrill might take us.

Jesus didn’t do that. He didn’t think of himself first. Even after being
weakened by 40 days of fasting, he thought first and foremost of others.
Perhaps, I’ve just seen for the first time that this was a preparation for
Gethsemane and the Cross. In other words, he pushed himself to the limit at
the beginning of his ministry because he knew he was going to be pushed to
the limit at the end. In order to see if he had the stamina, he
artificially induced the limit through fasting and the wilderness. It was a
huge test for him – was he going to rely on God or was he going to rely on

To me, that’s what I’ve always said about fasting. Fasting creates an
artificially induced rock bottom. But it kind of is like lifting weights.
When you’ve been to the bottom, you know you go deeper next time. In other
words, no pain, no gain.

When I lifted 200lbs I knew I could do 210. When I lifted 210, I knew 225
was within my reach. Perhaps as Jesus went through this rock-bottom
experience, he became more sure that he was leaning properly on God and that
God would carry him through the darkness that was to come. It was a
training ground for the end.

A: I think John Maxwell is right. If we can’t lead ourselves, we can’t lead
anyone. The first person a leader leads is himself. I used to be so
undisciplined. I used to be so different. I used to run at everything that
came around to have a good time. I used to chase anything that tasted good,
felt good, or treated me and my appetites.

But over the years, God has led me to become a man of discipline – and I
still have a long ways to go! But he’s led me to say no to some unhealthy
appetites of life. He’s led me to become disciplined in my devotional time.
He’s now leading me to become disciplined in my afternoon devotions.

But with each step of leading myself deeper, I know that he’s opened up
another stage of leading others as well. And it’s interesting that Russ and
Gail have both been dealing with me on the basic same issue – that I need to
let go of more things – sacrifice always precedes success.

I know that this is a part of leading myself, Lord. Learn to manage myself
and as I do, I will be called to manage others. Learn to lead myself and I
will be called to lead others. Learn to discipline myself and I will be
called to lead others in their discipline.

P: Lord, I know that you are leading me. I know that I’ve changed a lot
over the years. I don’t ever want to stop that growth. I don’t ever want
to become stagnant in my growth. I pray Lord, for the Holy Spirit to fill
me. I pray you will continue to move me down the path of discipline, for as
my personal core values says – The pursuit of discipline will get me where I
want to go.

In each step of my pursuit of discipline, you have brought me a greater
life. When I said no to being at everything the church did – people hated
that and got mad and me. But it happened because I needed to discipline my
life – and after that, the church grew. Now I’m being called to discipline
my life with a greater degree of discipline in what I do and what I don’t
do. I believe, Lord, you are preparing the church for a greater degree of

Lord, I submit my life to you. I submit my desires to you. I submit my
whole being to you. I don’t want to hold anything back. I pray for a heart
like you. I ask you into my heart to fill me, forgive me, and make me like

I love you, Lord. I will follow you.