The Heart of a King turns on the light on the heart. In Ephesians 1:18, 19 the Apostle Paul prayed this prayer for the believers in the city of Ephesus; ‘I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.”
The Apostolic heart of Paul yearned for the church to know the hope, the riches and the power for all who believe. Paul was speaking to those who already understood and believed at some level. They were in the church. They were converts to Christianity. But as a leader he prayed that the ‘eyes of their heart may be enlightened’ so they would know!! He knew something they did not. The New Living Translation uses the words ‘flooded with light’. Paul wanted their hearts flooded with the light of Jesus just as his had been.
These believers knew and understood at a limited level, enough for eternal life but insufficient for abundant life; enough to be ruled in the kingdom of God, but insufficient to rule on behalf of the Kingdom of God. Their hearts were not flooded with the light and truth of Jesus.
In my library I have a lamp that casts light into my reading space. The lamp has a 3-way bulb allowing 3 levels of lighting; 50 watts, 100watt, and 150 watt. I increase or decrease the light by the flick of a switch. In the darkness of my library the 50 watt level is enough to read large print, view photos, and get a general understanding of colors and hues. But if I want to read the fine print, search the detail of a photo, or more deeply understand the richness of colors and hues I must flick the switch to 100 or 150 watts to flood my study area.
So it is with life; if I desire a deeper, richer level of understanding and living I am compelled to flick the switch to 150 watts. I make that choice. I flick the switch revealing the richness and detail on the pages before me.
So it is with those called to lead in business, government and ministry. When we allow our hearts to be flooded with the truth of Jesus Christ, we come into a place of truly knowing the Father and His riches. From this enlightened position we lead and influence people with the heart of a true king; a heart not only ruled by the kingdom, but positioned to rule on behalf of the Kingdom of God.
I challenge you, as a leader, to flick the switch to 150 watts of Jesus’ light today. Let him flood you with truth and bring forth a destiny birthed to rule with the heart of a king.
In Luke 6:43-45 Jesus communicated a key leadership concept; that what comes from our hearts is our fruit. In verse 44 he said ‘Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers.’ Every leader in business, ministry, or government is recognized by what they produce; not what they sell, but what they produce…that which comes forth from their heart to those they lead.
The people they lead and influence want good fruit, something nourishing and sustaining for the trials of life. Even if they get a large paycheck from that business or ministry, that paycheck is only a small dimension of what they desire from their leaders. They desire life-giving nourishment from the heart of the leader. They desire leadership that builds and strengthens; sustaining fruit that remains in spite of ups and downs in the organization.
In our sphere of influence we are known for what grows and flows from our hearts. Is it juicy grapes and succulent figs of the vine and the tree, or the thorns and prickles of the bush and briers? As we come into agreement with storing good things of the Kingdom in our hearts we produce grapes and figs. We will be recognized by that fruit and known as fig trees and grapevines to those we lead.
Some leaders sell one thing but produce another. I’ve observed ministry leaders sell the ‘good news’ of grace through faith in Jesus from the pulpit of leadership. Those same leaders produce the bad news of condemnation and control behind the closed doors of leadership. They sell one thing and produce another thing. Initially such leaders may be recognized for what they sell but every tree eventually produces fruit that reveals its true identity.
I am glad and thankful that as we embrace the grace of God to store up goodness and grace in our hearts, that is what we produce. As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in America lets be thankful that as we grow in grace the people we lead will pick figs and grapes from our leadership.
The heart of man is the pivot point of power in our lives. Scripture reveals that the heart has the power to believe (Rom.10:9), to understand (Eph.1:18), to open (2 Cor. 6:11-13), to love (1 Pet. 1:22), to condemn (1 Jn.3:20), to ponder (Luke 2:19), to forgive (Matt.18:35), to decide (2 Cor. 9:7), and to feel emotion(Acts.2:46; 2 Cor. 2:4; Eph. 6:5). There are more powers of the heart, but those listed are particularly critical to abundant life in Christ.
Topping this list is the power to decide; to decide what to do with all the other powers and continual flow of information coming to the heart. What a big job for the heart!!! Today I will focus on deciding what to do with the power to feel emotion.
New Testament scriptural references to the heart’s ability to feel emotion include feeling distressed, anguished, encouraged, refreshed, hopeful, troubled, glad, loved, grateful, boastful and many more. For every emotion listed there is an opposite emotion for the heart to experience. We are designed by God the Father to have emotions. They represent a response to internal and external stimuli of life. However, we are not designed to be ruled by all of them or to rule through all of them.
Emotions have a role in heart decisions, but no more of a role than our thoughts, our knowledge, and the role of the Holy Spirit through our born-again spirit. The untrained human heart only has ability to process emotions in the context of self, i.e. self protection, self promotion, personal vision, personal comfort, biological family, etc. The trained heart can be transformed to process emotions in a broader context.
For example, this week a staff sergeant in the US Army Rangers received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism, the first living recipient of this honor since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (the other recent recipients were all killed during their heroic act). This young man acted from a heart that was concerned with more than self. He ran into a hail of gunfire during an ambush by Taliban fighters, rescuing 2 wounded comrades being hit three times by bullets in the process. He risked everything for two men in his unit. This was not a well-thought-out, strategic action but an instantaneous response from a heart infused with the belief that the men in his unit were more important than his personal safety. What emotions must he have initially felt when ambushed in that Afghan valley….fear, anxiety, trepidation, timidity, love, anger, boldness? He may have felt some or all of those but he acted from a heart trained to decide based upon the greater good, the bigger picture, the safety of those he led at the risk of personal safety. In an instant his heart processed every emotion accepting those emotions infused as good, righteous, and worthy of a leader. He rejected fear, anxiety, timidity and trepidation and accepted love, anger, and boldness as the pivot point of power. This 25 year old man has the heart of a king, the heart of a leader transformed for the greater good, the bigger picture, and the lives of those he leads.
This young man’s heart decision is but a small example of what Christian leaders can be if we have the Heart of a King; a heart trained to process emotions for the greater good of the Kingdom of God and of those we lead. We may not receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, but we will receive the Crown of Glory. Praise God!
Luke 8:15 says ‘but the seed on good soil stands for those with a good and noble heart, who hear the Word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.’ The Gospel of Mark brings added dimension to the idea of producing a crop saying that the seed on good soil will ‘produce a crop….thirty, sixty, or even one hundred times what was sown.’(Mark 4:20) The idea Jesus brings forth is that of harvesting a big crop as a result of what comes from the heart.
What is overflowing from your heart to bring a harvest in your surroundings? Gal. 5:22, 23 speaks of kingdom fruit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are things that come from the heart; however, their exact opposites can also come from the heart. The degree to which kingdom fruit saturates your spiritual and emotional surroundings is the degree to which you are operating and choosing the heart of a king. The degree to which these things overflow from you is the degree to which you bring kingdom influence to the spiritual and emotional climate among the people you lead. The degree to which you influence these people for the Kingdom is the initial crop, the 10, 20, or 30 fold harvest, i.e. your direct influence upon them. The harvest is increased to 40, 50, 60 fold and beyond as they in turn bring kingdom influence to people in their sphere of relationships.
You may say ‘what about authority, power, healing, prophecy, spiritual gifts, etc.’? You can manifest spiritual gifts yet bear little fruit in your life or ministry. Why? Because you demonstrate impatience with people you lead, are unfaithful in the little things of leadership, don’t walk in love, or lack self-control in your speech or actions! People see the heart of a wounded warrior, the self-promoting prophet, an unfaithful compromiser, or a prideful pastor. But…they do not see the heart of a king.So what do you do? Yield your heart, not just your mind, to the work of grace.
- Actively release from your heart those things inconsistent with the Kingdom of God i.e. not identified in Gal. 5:22, 23.
- Recognize and agree with your responsibility to CHOOSE the heart of a king.
- ommit your heart to the gospel of the Kingdom of God, not just to personal abundance