One of the things that is missing in a lot of areas is genuine, Spirit-filled leadership. Everyone wants their voice to be heard, and to tell people how to do things, but very few desire to actually get in and do the work. But before someone can start to lead, their personal life needs to in order. This is why Paul set as a requirement for church leadership that a person not be a new convert. It’s important that they be proven. Before we care about a person’s “leadership style” we need to know their character. This is what God was saying was lacking in Israel at the time of Malachi’s writing. The priesthood were in the position, but they had no character. God laid out some important truths for leaders in Malachi 2:6, “The Law of truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity.”
God was describing how He intended the priesthood to be. However, later in the chapter, God says they are none of these things. Before you think that this doesn’t apply to you as a Christian, because you are not in leadership; every believer in the New Testament is a priest and a missionary. The leadership qualifications in the New Testament are talking about “super-spiritual” people. A potential leader should already be showing these qualifications before they are considered for leadership. Maybe you are wondering, what does this mean for me today?
The most important thing that it means is that your life needs to reflect the truth that God has saved you. Character matters in our life. For a Christian, God essentially lays out four things that should be true of our life. First, the Word of God must live inside of us. This only happens as we are intentional about spending time in prayer and the study of God’s Word. Second, we must not only speak the truth of the Gospel, we must also live it. Third, we must desire justice. When God talks about “equity”, He is talking about not playing favorites. In Malachi’s day, the priests could essentially be bought. If the price was right, they would do what you wanted them to. They would treat some people differently for various reasons. This is something that James hits on very hard as being sinful in the book of James in the New Testament. Finally, we should desire that people would turn away from sin. We do this by sharing the truth of the Gospel, but also other truths about God’s Word. God’s Word is like a guardrail for our life. It keeps us from running our spiritual life off the cliff. However, when we take down those guardrails it has very real consequences. There are many areas in American life where guardrails are being taken down or moved. The result is being disastrous for the family and for our nation. As a Christian, we must stand on the Word of God without apology. No, not everyone will like it. But it’s not our Word, we are just to share it and live it. How are these four things in your life right now? Are there some things that God is trying to talk to you about? Some things that He would like to work on? God doesn’t need us, but He does desire to use us for His glory and the building up of His kingdom. However, before we are useful in the Master’s hands, the Master must work in our heart. Let God do His work and see what He does in you.
By His grace and for His glory,