March 17, 2022
The responsibility for a leader is heavy. A leader affects not only himself, but everyone in their down line. This is why God gives such strong instructions for those who serve others as leaders.
God knew that Israel would want a king once they entered the Promised Land. Before they crossed the Jordan, He gave instructions about the nature and the character of those who would lead them in Deuteronomy 17.
LEADERS SHOULD BE CHOSEN BY GOD
“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses. (Deut 17:14-15)
Leaders should not be chosen by mere popularity, but by prayer. Not by skill, but by spiritual discernment. God knows who can handle leadership. If you listen to Him carefully in the selection process, He will lift up those who He knows are ready. Always be wary of the leader who pushes himself into the position.
LEADERS MUST BE UNSELFISH
“Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself … nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.” (Deut 17:16-17)
There are two operative words that are found in both of these phrases: “for himself.” A great leader is concerned more about helping those who follow. He lives for their best interest. He longs to make them successful. He is not selfish. He refuses to see his position as merely an opportunity for gain, and particularly for material gain.
LEADERS MUST BE PURPOSEFULLY MORAL
He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away (Deut 17:17)
A leader does not have the luxury of carelessness in his affections. His leadership is dependent upon his relationship with God. Therefore, he must refuse all that would detract him from pure devotion to The-One-Who-Leads. He should not stoop to living for immorality and selfish pleasures or give his attention to lesser, distracting pursuits.
LEADERS MUST LISTEN AND OBEY GOD
“Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes. (Deut 17:18-19)
“Never pay attention to a man who fails to listen to God,” said A.W. Tozer. A great leader is simply a conduit for God to lead others with the kind of leadership that only a perfect God can give. The pathway for a leader is to listen consistently to what God says and then be careful to follow. This demands that he be a man of the Word of God and prayer. In this way, he literally lets God lead people through him.
LEADERS MUST BE HUMBLE
“It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel. (Deut 17:19-20)
Leadership carries inherent temptations. It’s easier for a leader who has some authority and is receiving praise to think it is his ability that has placed him in this position. But great leaders are self-aware. They know Who has lifted them there and they know why. They are humble, and this humility is marked by continual gratitude. A great leader gives God all the glory for what is done.
Father, give us wisdom as leaders to live under Your leadership. When we have opportunity to help chose leaders around us, help us to lift up those who carry your qualifications, not man’s. And in all leadership, may we give you all the glory.
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