This is the fourth and last post in this series on ‘The Leadership Dilemma of Our Days’. The first three need to be read for context’s sake. They are, ‘The Leadership Dilemma’, ‘David vs. Saul’, and ‘Absalom: The Son of Rebellion’.
Much has been written on the person of Jezebel, the wicked wife of King Ahab. She was a heathen king’s daughter whom Ahab had married and then allowed her to use her position beside him to instigate heathen worship and idolatry. She is one of the most wicked of all characters in the OT and one mentioned in the Book of Revelation as one needing to be removed from her presumed authority.
There is a temptation to chase a rabbit here. As the Lord continues to reveal His kingdom culture it is apparent he intends to release both genders into ministry. As Paul says there is no longer male nor female as we are all now one before Him. The only reason I mention this is because there are some who want to say all women in leadership are Jezebel’s. Likewise genuine team ministry between a husband and wife leading a church body is becoming more and more prevalent. Again, the accusation against the wives is they are Jezebel’s and the husbands are Ahab’s because they are a part of what may be a very strong leadership head.
Need I remind you of Aquila and Pricilla, a powerful husband/wife ministry team in the book of Acts? Be extremely careful whom you deem a Jezebel in this context. To call something evil that God has ordained as good and acceptable is a dangerous thing.
How do I discern a Jezebel spirit?
The truth is, Absalom and Jezebel have many of the same traits. The difference is Absalom desires to wear the crown and Jezebel simply wants to be the power behind the crown. Where Absalom needs to be seen as the supreme potentate, Jezebel is content getting her will done through the authority of another.
Rather than go through a list of Jezebel traits, those of domination, manipulation, witchcraft, and the rage she has against the anointing of God, let us examine how the Jezebel spirit operates in a church and toward its’ supposed leadership.
First, Jezebel is a spirit without gender. This spirit is just as capable of working through a man as it is a woman. Any person or any group of people may come under the influence of a Jezebel spirit. In their minds, they are the supreme leaders.
Second, many leaders and church pastors in particular, may find themselves trying to function under the pressure of an intense Jezebel spirit. This is a wicked spirit of opposition that occurs when a leader chooses not to succumb to her wishes. Just as many true shepherds of God were killed by Jezebel in the OT, many are defeated and ruined because of a Jezebel spirit today.
Jezebel hides in the powers that be in a church. It may be a supposed leading church ‘momma’ who rules the roost. It may be in the man who has decided he is God’s appointed to keep the leader in line. It may be in a supposed lead family or families who have decided it’s their church and not the Lord’s. It may be in an elder or deacon board that has always been in charge and considers the pastor a hireling who is just passing through or disposable when they can no longer manipulate him.
These are all Jezebel incarnate. They all give lip service to the leader but behind the scenes threaten him or her to do as they wish or they will dispose of them and get someone who will. I remember vividly an old church momma in the first church I pastored. I was bringing change, new people were coming in, and the powers that be were losing their power. She was one of them. I remember her telling me, “I was here before you came, I will be here when you leave, and you will be leaving soon.” She was right. The pressure of dealing with her, those like her, and being forced to function under a doctrinal scheme that changed in my covering, resulted in my having to leave. Jezebel unchecked is a powerful influence opposing godly leaders.
Defeating the Jezebel spirit takes a powerful anointing. It took both the anointing of Elijah (prophet) and Jehu (king/apostle) to bring her down. It took a people willing to discern the Jezebel spirit at work in their midst and then backing their leaders to remove her from any type of control in the kingdom.
I am convinced this is the prevailing spirit in many churches in these last days. This spirit is the primary reason for church fights, splits, and the loss of some really good church leaders. It is the reason many young pastors choose to leave the traditional church. They have seen the fights and deemed them not worth it. Others stay because they know no other way and end up being another in a long line of puppets on a string. It’s a sad cycle many feel that they have no choice in. Eat bread and water in a cave or do Jezebel’s bidding and eat in the king’s palace? Sell out or suffer?
Closing thoughts: The Kingdom entity called the Church will survive in these last days contrary to the naysayers. Jesus said I will build my church and the gates of hell will not be able to stand against it. Jesus will use instruments like you and I to build this church and in doing so He will raise up strong leaders among us to carry the banner. Leaders like Elijah who will call fire down from heaven so the people will know whose god is God. Leaders like Jehu who will expose Jezebel and face her down in her own house.
The question is will the people of God be discerning? Will they allow the well-publicized failures of a few leaders keep them from rightly following sincere godly leaders? Will they let the experience of an abusive leader keep them from following another good leader in a vision meant to release kingdom expansion?
Know this, the devil is raising up powerful leaders in these last days who are uniting people under their evil influence to oppose God and His people. If the people of God refuse to unite and move as one man under anointed leaders that God is raising up, how in the world do we think we can stand?
I will end as I began. There is a leadership dilemma in our midst. If you are looking for the perfect leader before you are willing to be led you will always be on your own and accomplishing little to nothing in the kingdom. There is but one perfect Shepherd and that is the Lord Jesus. It is He who has chosen in grace the imperfect to defeat the evil one. How humiliating that must be to the devil!