April 21, 2020
It's a simple sentence, but profoundly telling. It was the reason a young shepherd named David became the greatest King Israel ever knew. It was why God would entrust such responsibility into his hands. And, it's the necessary essential of all great leaders.
And David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. (2 Samuel 5:12)
UNDERSTANDING THE SOURCE
David realized something that most never grasp: God had exalted him to leadership. It was not man and it certainly was not by his own skill or resources. Perhaps he saw this because of his humble beginnings as the youngest son of a shepherd. He never dreamed he would command such authority.
Or maybe it was because of the way it had all occurred. The jealousy of Saul that had driven the loyal David from his side. The relentless hunting of the innocent servant in the wilderness. The supernatural intervention of God to bring about this strange twist of events that now placed this young warrior on the throne.
But regardless of what contributed to his rise, David was quick to let everyone know that there was one Hand behind it all. His Psalms are a constant indication that David understood the "earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." He knew that God puts down one and exalts another.
Good leaders recognize this and humbly proclaim what God and others have done to bring about their success. This is not false humility, but that which springs from an authentic belief. It is also not a self-deprecating belief—thinking less of the abilities God has given. David was the one who said that he was "fearfully and wonderfully made and my soul knows it well" (Psalm 139).
UNDERSTANDING THE PURPOSE
But there was more. David knew WHY God had exalted him. Many leaders think it is all about them and all for them. "I earned this, now I'm going to enjoy the fruits of my labor." But not David. "And David realized that God had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel." David knew God had an agenda in which he was to play a part: to bless His people, to keep the promises He had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to exalt Himself.
Great leaders realize they are servants in a larger plan. They know they have been lifted up by the power of God and placed where they are for the purposes of God. They are constantly checking with God through His Word and His Spirit to make sure they are aligning themselves with God's purposes. They don't lead and then say, "God, please bless this great idea I've had." They live like their Master who proclaimed, "I do nothing of my own initiative. What I see my Father doing that's what I do."
Continually remembering the Source and purpose of success keeps a leader in the right posture for usefulness. Such men will not steal God’s glory or hurt His people.
Father, You are the sovereign leader. Help me remember my place. Overwhelm me with gratitude for the privilege of serving You and others—for being a part in Your great plan. And help me to never forget Your purposes.
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September 22, 2020
It is said of Martin Luther that he dreamed he was transported to heaven and there noticed thousands of boxes with his name on them. When he asked the angel what they were, the angel replied, “These are answers to prayers that have never been asked.”
God has much more for us. He reminds us that “we have not because we ask not” (James 4:2).