DEVOTION:THERE IS SOMETHING TERRIBLE ABOUT POWER!
You have probably heard or know of leaders who have gone or are going to extreme measures to make sure they remain in power. Some of these leaders who are hungry for power and will hold on to it will do so at the expense of other people’s lives by eliminating their opposition or potential rivals. I believe King Herod was a man hungry for power and was willing to do anything to keep his rivals away.
Yesterday we learned that King Herod had an encounter with the Magi who were looking for the newborn King of Jews. When King Herod learned about this new King, he was very anxious. He pretended that he also would like to go and worship him.
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him. Matthew 2:7-8
But after they had seen and worshipped King Jesus, the Magi were warned at night not to go back to King Herod.
And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. Matthew 2:12
After waiting for some time, the King figured out the Magi had not kept their promise to come back to him and he was not amused at all. Since he could not tell which child was to be the King of Jews, King Herod was willing to destroy thousands of babies in an effort to kill baby Jesus, King of Jews.
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Matthew 2:16
Matthew says, this evil act was foretold through the prophet Jeremiah.
Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more. Mathew 2:17-18
- While the most outrageous actions are done by political dictators, this same power hungry attitude has been, and is, found in the church of Christ. I have witnessed nasty fights over positions in the church because one party did not accept to step down from a position to the newly elected leader. Some of these have caused church splits and allot of pain for believers.
- Some of these fights are seen not just in top positions in the church, but also in different departments. You have probably heard it said that, “It is easier to appoint someone to a position in the church, but it is very hard to take away that position from them.”
- I believe there is a misunderstanding of power and service. These kinds of leaders see their position in church as a position of power instead of service. This means they are in there for themselves and not for the church. And if they are asked to leave this position for someone else, they say the leadership is not fair to them. Yet the real issue is they do not want to leave this position of power. The truth is effective leaders are servant leaders who are there to serve but not to be served or gain anything for themselves.
- What is your view of positions in the church? Do you view it as a position of power or of service? All believers are servants of the Lord and there is no one who is more superior before the Lord. Because of this, we are all serving God by serving others in the Church or in any other way we are involved in the lives of other believers. Here are some questions to help you examine your soul:
- How long have you been serving in your position in the church? Is this because you desire to be there or because you have been asked by the leadership over and over again to remain?
- Are you fruitful in your position? In other words, are you making any difference? To state it differently, is the ministry growing or dying out? Some people have completely destroyed a ministry and continue to blame others for the problems in their departments. If what you are involved in has not been growing, then this might be a sign you need to let someone else come into that position, then you can pick something else to do.
- Are you protective of your position? You might say, No! Here is a test for you. Have you trained an able assistant that when you are away the ministry does not suffer? Most people who are hungry for power would not want to train anyone else for fear they would be better and take over their position.
- Are you excited to see the ministry in the hands of others flourish? Do you rejoice with them for their success?
- If we are all serving God, then there shouldn’t be any fights about positions.
- We should all remember that our rewards in heaven will be based on our faithfulness and not what kind of positions we held or serve in.
Let us not be like King Herod
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi,
He was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys
In Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old
And under, in accordance with the time
He had learned from the Magi.
THERE IS SOMETHING TERRIBLE ABOUT POWER!
By Pastor Shadrack Ruto