“Then the angel of Adonai came and sat under the terebinth that was at Ophrah, that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress—in order to hide it from the Midianites. Then the angel of Adonai appeared to him and said to him, “Adonai is with you, O mighty man of valor.”” (Judges 6″11-12, TLV)
I started to right this article before I set out for the gym but deciding on the topic was more difficult than I expected. I tossed my original idea for a topic and was going with a different idea. I though about which definition of leadership to use and how to apply it to the Believer in Yeshua (Jesus). My thoughts drifted as I was writing this blog in my mind when I left for the gym, throughout my workout session, and on my way home. When I arrived home and checked the mailbox, I pulled out a postcard from a Christian organization with the heading I initially tossed out—”Who is a Leader?”
The front of the postcard read, “Who is a Leader? You are—The one who turns to God for wisdom and direction in leading others.” God confirmed my first thoughts and directed me to write as I originally intended. I found their answer to the question fascinating and original. While the intent of the post card was to promote interest and what the organization was advertising, I found that much truth in the response, especially for believers in Yeshua.
Academic institutions continue to teach and wrestle with whether leaders are born, or made. I will not discuss that here, except to say that our Creator has the power to knit us together with traits and characteristics while we are still in the womb or after we have grown old. He decides your leadership potential and inherent traits.
Gideon was not acting like a “mighty man of valor” but that is what God knew him to be. He seemed astounded that the angel of the Lord even addressed him as such, but read further and you will find that Gideon was indeed a mighty man of valor, as the Lord said. How did this transformation take place?—Gideon encountered the living God! The greatest leaders in Scripture are those who turned to God for wisdom and direction in leading others. The greatest leadership failures happened when those in leadership did not seek God’s wisdom and direction; Some of these leaders fell in both categories. Time and again, Scripture tells us of the kings of Israel who prospered when they looked to God and how they failed when they turned away from Him.
Are you a leader? Do you turn to God for wisdom and direction in leading others? If you have any form of influence over another person, you are in a position of leadership. Leadership is not limited to your place of work or your societal stature. To whom do you turn for wisdom and direction and whose counsel do you seek the most? Seeking advice from others is a good thing, even recommended. Scripture tells us, “Without guidance people fall, with many counselors there isdeliverance” (Proverbs 11:14). But seek wise counsel and let the Word of God be your guide. “The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7).
For a partial list of great biblical leaders, consider the words of the writer to the Hebrews. “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain. Through faith he was commended as righteous when God approved of his gifts. And through faith he still speaks, although he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken so as not to see death, and he was not found because God took him. For before he was taken, he was commended as pleasing to God. Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. By faith Noah, when warned about events not yet seen, in holy fear prepared an ark for the safety of his household. Through faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he was to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he migrated to the land of promise as if it were foreign, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob—fellow heirs of the same promise. For he was waiting for the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive when she was barren and past the age, since she considered the Onewho had made the promise to be faithful. So from one—and him as good as dead—were fathered offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and as uncountable as the sand on the seashore” (Hebrews 11:4-12).
Who is a leader—the one whose faith in God is his guide!