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God raises up leaders to accomplish His work here on earth. But what happens when that leader fails to follow the orders of his commander-in-chief?

@ ekostsov |

@ ekostsov |

The unpleasant truth? That leader will get shelved by God.

Just like God raises up leaders, He also replaces leaders.

Recently I have been chewing on this sobering concept. Not only has it sobered me, but it has driven me to ask God to shine His searchlight deep into my heart. I cannot think of anything more heartbreaking than finding myself shelved and unusable by God.

While I’m sure there are many sins that cause God to shelve a leader, whether temporarily or permanently, two stand out to mind.


Pride is one of the biggest threats to a leader’s ministry. It affects us all, from leaders of small groups to leaders of megachurches. Show me a leader who does not battle pride and I will show you an extremely uncommon individual.

God cannot use a heart that has grown too full of itself. There is no room for God in a heart filled with pride in one’s own achievements, abilities, or status. Pride causes a leader to share glory between himself and God. And God will not tolerate His glory being given to another.

One of the best examples of this was the life of Saul. Here was a man with exceptional abilities and talents. He had power, prestige, position, AND good looks. But Saul thought he knew what was best. His pride caused him to disobey God and ultimately led to God replacing him with David, a humble shepherd…a man after God’s own heart.


Leaders are naturally ambitious individuals, but what happens when ambition goes unchecked?

Greed sets in.

Just like pride, greed and the constant desire for wanting more can tear apart a leader’s effectiveness for God. He (or she) becomes so focused on achieving the next rung, making the next big bonus, scoring the next big advancement, that he misses out on God’s greatest gifts around him.

Greed is telling God that what He has given is not enough. Greed is a slap in the face of an all-sufficient Savior.

A perfect example in the Bible was Judas Iscariot. Judas literally had it all. He was one of the chosen 12 disciples and was the group’s treasurer. Whatever little money the group had, he controlled. But that wasn’t enough. Judas had to have more. His greed led him to betray his Master and cost him not only his position, but his very life.

But, once again, we get a glimpse into the character of a leader’s replacement. Greedy Judas was replaced by Matthias. What is telling about the character of Matthias is actually what little we know about him.

After his mention in the book of Acts, Matthias disappears from the Who’s Who lists. But he hardly disappeared from the service of his God.

Tradition holds that Matthias remained a servant till the very end. He was a silent servant, doing his deeds only to be seen of his Savior, content without power or praise.

So what road are you headed on? Are you headed the direction of Saul or Judas, destined to be replaced by a David or Matthias?

It’s not too late to make a course correction . . . and echo the words of David when he found pride creeping into his life: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Psalm 51:10-11

Stay humble. Stay content. Stay off the shelf.

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Aaress Lawless

Aaress enjoys helping small businesses and ministries, having budget travel adventures with friends, and blogging about life lessons on Instagram.

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