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The Essence of Spiritual Leadership
The responsibility of Christian leaders is to find out what God is doing and then to move people into His agenda. We're not to use human wisdom to do divine work!

Dr. Henry Blackaby was the keynote speaker, and gave the following address at the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada's Presidents Day event for its affiliates, October 21, 2004. According to Dr. Blackaby, this was a "fresh word from God" specifically for this event.

Recently I was reading from Luke 1:5-13. I find out what God is doing in my life by what He surfaces in my Bible readings.

Sometimes God answers quickly; sometimes it takes years—but He always answers.

This is the story of Zechariah, who is well advanced in years. It says that he kept the Law and was blameless. The story describes him offering incense in the temple and it says that the people who were praying outside watched and waited to hear what God would say. As leaders you are being watched this way.

I was reading the story and I got to the angel Gabriel's words: "Do not be afraid, for your prayers have been answered." Zechariah and his wife had been praying for years for a child.

As I read this, it seemed like God was saying to me, your prayers have been answered!

I have prayed for the native people for 60 years and God said to me your prayers are answered. One week later, I received a call from the Native American Christian leadership asking me if I would guide them in spiritual renewal and awakening for Canada and the United States. I knew it was God. I will be doing this in March in the U.S. and in Canada in June. Sometimes God answers quickly; sometimes it takes years—but He always answers.

As a leader, when you open Scripture—you are face to face with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you not to miss what He has to say. The Spirit will tell you what the Father is about to do. This is your opportunity to encounter the almighty God and listen to what He is doing in this hour of life and let Him express Himself through you.

God has given each of us an assignment. We would never be where we are if it were not for God calling, molding and shaping us, like potter's clay.

Why then is the darkness so deep, when God has so many who are light? Is it a lack of spiritual statesmen? Is this generation responsible for the state of the nation? Has the salt lost its saltiness? Why is there darkness when there should be light? Why is the nation not turning back to God—why are we not light?

The problem is the light!

Look in Scripture—God's eternal purpose. Did God have a plan to turn the Roman Empire upside down? The only manual for ministry is the Bible. Has the strategy of God changed?

In John 17 we find the divine strategy of God. Jesus chose 12 business men who had boldness and courage. Are we involved in the lives of our business people? How do we practically live out our life in corporate life?

If our character is fully and totally committed to God, as business men and women we would have incredible boldness. To develop spiritual statesmen, we need to develop spiritual stamina.

"I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind," (1 Samuel 2:35).

What kind of leaders do we have to be for God to trust us to be leaders of them—to help these CEOs become spiritual statesmen?

If we take these truths—this is how it would look:

Live out your life under the rule of God

Paul said, you need to follow me as I follow Christ. You need to pattern your life after mine as I follow Christ. Can you say this?

You must be the incarnation of everything that you teach and preach—this is Incarnational Leadership—not a hypocritical preaching.

1 John 1 is about fellowship—a living example of what it means to have fellowship. We need to be the clear example of this—the fullest expression of God.

Too many Christian leaders can not tell the last time they heard from God. This is not just Evangelical head stuff. God's people must follow a radical Word from God and live it out. Not sermons, but a message that you have gained through a personal relationship with the Father. You must be a living example of what it means to have fellowship with the Father.

Would they say this of you—Our leader is constantly having fellowship with the Father and is filled with joy (see 1 John 1:3-4). You cannot be intimate with God and not have joy!

John the Baptist said "Prepare the way of the Lord." Prepare how God has established it that all flesh may see the salvation of God—not hear! This has always been an indictment of my own life.

Isaiah 35 calls it a "highway of holiness."

John says that all flesh will see the salvation of God, not hear but see.

The kingdom is the rule of God—God takes up residence in us!

In the story of the woman at the well, the town saw transformation. They saw a transformed life after she had been with Jesus. They saw God's salvation. There was no evangelist coming to the town, yet a renewal took place because they saw her transformed life.

Why is Canada not responding to Christ?

Do they see in us God's great salvation? Do they see the mercy of God, His grace, His forgiveness? Do they see the visibility of God's salvation in my life?

Perhaps they don't see the transformation in us!

There should be visible evidence in us. We need to be the incarnation of God's great salvation.

Does God's salvation provide healing for marriage? Is the greatness of God sufficient for this? He gave us a ministry of reconciliation, therefore be an incarnation of reconciliation! [Blackaby said here that in all his churches there has not been one divorce. He seemed to be pointing to the power of God to do the impossible.]

Has the Cross lost its power in Canada? No.

Then our lives needs to be the demonstration of the power of the Cross in Canada!

In Ephesians chapter one it speaks of resurrection power. Has resurrection power been lost in our day in Canada? No.

Are we the incarnation—the demonstration of resurrection power in Canada?

Where is the evidence?

If people watch your life as a leader, do they see t the demonstration of resurrection power? It has to do with God! Are God's people not available for God's available resurrection power?

Don't look at the circumstances—look at the power of God!

Lead them to experience the total power of the living Christ so that they can experience God. Don't look at the circumstances—look at the power of God!

Look at the track record of God—has His resurrection power affected China, Vietnam?

I asked someone from China, "Tell me how you learned about the goodness of God." He said God told him in prison—now it has led to thousands of house churches. My heart asks: Why isn't it happening to us?

Culture becomes a problem to leaders but not to God

Listen to me, and I will tell you—God is trying to get us to believe Him!

To become this incarnation, our lives must show the truth of every word of the Bible. Spiritual leadership is moving people into God's agenda. Look for what God is doing!

I have four questions for you:

Has the Cross lost its power? If not what is the evidence in your life?

Has Christ's resurrection power been diminished? If not, what is the evidence in your life?

Has the Father stopped listening to the prayers of His Son? In Romans chapter eight it speaks of the Christ's assignment—Christ is ever making intercession for us. Do you think the Father listens? None of us can act without the enabling of God. No human wisdom can do this—you must have the wisdom of God. You need the presence and the power of God. There is no power that can stop the power of God against the enemy.

Has Pentecost lost its power? Does your life demonstrate it? Never be content to be without the presence and the power of God!

Never manipulate or initiate [what God has promised to do]. Wait till God does it. Don't use human wisdom to do divine work! Have faith—confident expectation that God will do what He says He will do. The same God who did this for me waits to do it for you:

Editor's Comment: At this point Blackaby shared an anecdote. He had been praying for President Bush and God spoke to him clearly about the President's need for a book he had written on spiritual leadership. Blackaby waited until God initiated the opportunity. He did not manipulate.

Several weeks later he was asked to stay longer at an event where he was to speak. When he asked why, he was told that George Bush Sr. was speaking at a prayer event the next day. Remembering what God had laid on his heart, he asked, "Might I get a chance to speak to him?" By divine coincidence, he was told that he would be seated next to George Bush Sr. at the banquet. God then gave Blackaby the boldness to tell Mr. Bush Sr. what God had said. Bush called an aid and asked him to put two of Blackaby's books on the plane so he could take one to his son with whom he was having breakfast the next day.

2 Peter 1 says we are partakers of the divine nature. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says we are sanctified. In 2 Corinthians 1:20 it says every promise God has ever given has its "YES" in Christ. When are you going to believe it?

Does this apply to Canada?

We need to be the incarnation of the promises of God!

You are leaders by God's divine plan. The potential for revival is in this room. Do not go from relationship [with God] to religion!

Henry Blackaby is co-author of Experiencing God and a volume on God's pattern for revival titled Fresh Encounter. His most recent work isHoliness. He is a popular conference speaker with a deep longing for biblical revival. His website is:

Gail Reid is the director of communications with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC). To become an affiliate [ ] with the EFC, visit the EFC's website,




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