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Not too long ago a friend of mine made a remark that she was no leader, she was only an influencer. My immediate response was – ALL influencers are leaders! I think we get stuck in a worldly mindset of what a leader is. The Word of God is our foundation for all things pertaining to life and with leadership this is no exception. Jesus was the greatest leader that ever walked this planet – why do I say that? Not just because He is the Son of God, but because His influence has changed the world. Just do yourself a favour and read what life was like in this world before He came and modelled a new standard of leadership. His fragrance changed the world!

In Matthew is a story of a bit of strife and discontent that came into the discipleship team. Two of the disciples really took the future ruling of their new King in His Kingdom quite seriously and started talking to their mother about who was going to sit next to Him once He rules. At that stage they probably still erroneously believed that He would take on a Kingship on this earth in their time. So, when their mother asked Him if her two sons could be seated in the most important places next to Him, it was a relevant question for a future place establishment. Both were leaders and quite powerful men (called Sons of Thunder in (Mar 3 v 17NKJV)). The other disciples were obviously a bit upset at this request and Jesus took this opportunity to firmly address the new way that leadership and ruling would look like.

This is what He said:

Matt 20v25-28(NKJV)

But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.

Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.

And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

By these words Jesus changed the whole picture of leadership. The definition of Leadership changed into a place of gentle influence and service. This was and still today is, a very foreign concept. Most thoughts around leadership are on leading or lording over someone. Like Jesus said that they ‘lord it over them’. Another translation is to ‘exercise dominion’(KJV). This is usually the leadership understanding, whoever leads is the one who has the authority to dominate. Jesus rocked that world by bringing in a new way – a much better way. Leadership was turned upside down and suddenly the humblest of all, the servant became the leader.

We all carry a fragrance, we all influence.

2Cor 2v14-15(NKJV)

2Co 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

2Co 2:15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

We are diffusers – we influence wherever we go. A few months ago, I walked into a house and the house smelled amazing! I am quite smell-sensitive and the smell that was in that house was so nice, I asked the lady who lives there what was smelling like that. She replied that it was a specific diffuser that she bought and kept in her home. I liked the smell so much that I drove very far to the shop to buy a similar diffuser for my house. I just decided that the smell was so sweet, I needed my house to smell like that!

Similarly, we ‘smell’ people around us and we want their ‘smell’. Don’t we sometimes smell another lady’s perfume and ask what she is wearing so that we can also try and get it? The moment Jesus became Lord of our lives, that moment we started carrying a fragrance. That fragrance is our influence in a place and on people. I would rather smell like Jesus than any other smell in this world! For some the smell might not be pleasant, but Jesus is the One we want to be like, no matter what others think.

We might not feel like leaders, we might not even act like leaders, but we are leaders. We lead others with our fragrance to the Leader of all- Jesus. This world and people that follow the enemy of Christ also emanates a smell – a smell that leads them, and others, into darkness.

By nature, I thought that I am not a leader, I don’t like to dominate or confront. Since I became a Jesus-follower, following Him was and is the most important thing in my life. I want to be an obedient disciple and be led to wherever He wants to lead me. This inevitably puts me in a place of influence wherever I go. I don’t have the strongest voice, or the most charismatic personality, but I have seen that I carry an authority with me- an authority that He gave me. The authority to carry HIM everywhere. Because His Spirit lives in me, He is really with me wherever I go.

As I keep surrendering to Him, I am bringing His fragrance and His Spirit everywhere I go. I am carrying the greatest Leader of all time in me, taking Him with me.

Be encouraged today that you are a leader, you carry a fragrance, just make sure that the fragrance you carry is sweet and makes others want that fragrance too. The sweetest fragrance remains Jesus – therefore remain in Him and you will influence, and lead, wherever you go.

Yours In Leadership


Women of Reverence welcomes Liesl Mare our regular contributor and our theme is LEADERSHIP.

Liesl is a wife to Siegfried and mother to four children. Together with her husband, they are Lead Pastors at Die Akker Kerk and serve withing the NCMI Global Apostolic and Prophetic Team. She is a Bible Teacher and Speaker. Liesl is available for speaking bookings for ladies and or church events.

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