Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “David”

The Impact of a Godly Leader

“The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;
    his word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke,
    the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,
    when he rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of morning at sunrise
    on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
    that brings grass from the earth.’   2 Samuel 23:2-4

David here describes the impact of a leader who walks with God and leads in light of this reality.  Note that he testifies that it was the Spirit of the Lord who spoke through him (v. 2), thus this summary regarding the impact of godly leadership is one for our attention.

David mentions two characteristics of this type of godly leadership.  This leader ‘rules over people in righteousness.’  That is, they do what is right in the eyes of the Lord, for He alone, expressing Himself through His Word, is the true standard for which we can determine what is right or wrong.  David’s leadership became the standard for righteousness.  Note the number of passages that compare the leaders who followed David and their leadership with David and his leadership.  For example, regarding King Josiah it says, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.  In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David.”    2 Chronicles 34:2-3

The second characteristic of godly leadership is that they ‘rule in the fear of God.’  Now what does that look like?  It would seem that one who walks and leads in the fear of God is one who has a proper perspective on life and leadership.  They understand that they have arrived at a position of influence not due to their own effort as much as it is God who has provided this opportunity for them to lead.

They too know that any leadership ability they have comes from Him, their Maker.  He places leaders, He also removes them, and we all will be asked to give an account of our leadership to Him who gave it to us (see Hebrews 13:17).  Speaking about David’s life, Paul says, “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep…”    Acts 13:36

The impact of this leader is similar to the impact of sunshine and bright light upon well-watered, nutritious earth – it brings forth growth.  This fruitfulness is seen by all and God’s hand is recognized as being upon this leader.

David was not a perfect leader, yet God used Him to lead others and become a standard for which other leaders were measured.  That inspires and motivates me to strive to be the best I can be, for His glory.

How about you?

Becoming a Wise Leader – #2

Some time ago I did a study on the great, bold prayers of the bible.  Two prayers stood out to me.  The first request was Solomon’s prayer for wisdom ( 1 Kings 3:1-15).  As Solomon began his reign as king, he soon realized that the demands upon him were beyond his ability.  When God spoke to him in a dream, he was given permission to ask for anything (3:5).  How would you like to have that permission given you from God Himself?  What would you have asked for?  Now Solomon was already a wise young man (see David, his father’s comment in 1 Kings 2:9), but he knew enough to realize that wisdom was the secret to life and success for him as a leader, and so he asked for a wise and discerning heart (3:6-12).  Note that God was “pleased that Solomon asked for this” (3:10), and granted his request and in addition granted him much more as a result of his wisdom (3:12-14).  What a wise young man!

The second prayer request that impressed me was that of Moses in Exodus 33:12-23.  Moses too was in a position of leadership and was stretched beyond his ability, looking for some help in how to make wise decisions.  Note that Moses asked for the ability to understand the ways of God (33:13) in order to continue to find favor with God.  This request also pleased God (33:17) and it was granted to Him.  David comments on this in Psalm 103:7, where he contrasts Moses who knew the ways of God with Israel who knew the deeds of God.  Moses understood why God acted the way He did, but Israel only knew the acts of God.  They did not understand His ways.

As a result of this study, I began to pray and ask God to grant me the same things that these men asked for—that He would grant me wisdom and that I would understand His ways.  I can do this knowing that God does not show favoritism and therefore, will grant me the same as what others asked and knowing that He will be pleased by my asking for these things.  I do so want to please Him with my life, and here’s a simple way to move towards that goal.

Wisdom is the key to a life that is pleasing to God.  We must pursue it and we begin by asking for it.  That request begins the process of the pursuit of wisdom for life’s decisions.  Often, this request arises from our sense of inadequacy on how to handle our current situation (like Solomon and Moses).  But, we don’t have to be a leader of a nation to need wisdom.  We all need it to fulfill our God-given roles; whether it is as an organizational leader or a husband, wife, father, mother, grandfather, or grandmother, in addition to the other demands of life that constantly press upon us, that we may live a life pleasing to Him.

Wisdom is not a product of age or experience.  There are many older people who are very unwise.  One can obtain wisdom at a young age.  Solomon was young when he asked for wisdom and was given it, even while young.  Rather, wisdom is something to be pursued and sought after.  It is a life-long pursuit.  It is my desire to continue to grow in God’s wisdom and knowledge and understanding of the ways of God.  I pray that for myself and for other leaders that I know and mentor.  May it be your pursuit as well!

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