By Glenn Metts
Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, Carthage
Being a Christian leader is humbling, rewarding and challenging! Leaders should remember that we serve the Lord first and foremost. What a humbling and rewarding calling! Being a Christian leader is also challenging.
It comes with a lot of responsibility and it is not an easy road. As we serve God’s people, we must carefully obey the Lord and His Word. We cannot serve in our own strength. We must rely on the Lord each step of the way and always follow His direction in our lives and the ministry He has called us to. Complete obedience is the standard. Indeed, complete obedience is what God requires of His leaders.
In Numbers 20:1-13, we see some of the challenges Moses and Aaron faced in leading God’s people. As they arrived again at Kadesh, I imagine there could be little doubt that what happened there some 37 years earlier weighed heavy on Moses and Aaron.
This was where the people refused to go into the land God had promised them. Miriam died once they arrived and there was no water for the community. As the people gathered in opposition, Moses and Aaron went to the Tent of Meeting and fell face down before the Lord. The Lord gave specific instructions to Moses and told him to take Aaron’s staff, gather the assembly and speak to the rock. God promised water would begin to flow.
What happened next is very interesting and we learn some powerful lessons about the importance of complete obedience to God and His Word. Moses only partially obeyed what God had spoken to him. He took Aaron’s staff and gathered the assembly of God’s people, but rather than speak to the rock, he struck the rock twice.
He also said to the assembly, “must we bring you water out of this rock?” Rather than giving God the glory or acknowledging God’s holiness and power, Moses seemed to take credit himself. As a result, God did not allow Moses or Aaron to lead the people into the Promised Land. Here are some powerful lessons we need to learn.
Leaders are held to a higher standard. James 3:1 reminds us: “Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment, for we all stumble in many ways.”
God’s leaders today should be very aware of the challenges of leadership. We should nurture our own walk with the Lord daily and humbly seek His strength, wisdom and direction. Leadership comes with rewards, challenges and great responsibility.
Leaders must remember three important lessons:
(1) It’s not about me. We do what we do for God’s glory. I love what Psalm 115:1 says, “Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” God deserves our faithfulness and our complete obedience.
(2) Complete obedience is our standard. Henry Blackaby said, “If you know that God loves you, you should never question a directive from Him. It will always be right and best. When He gives you a directive, you are not just to observe it, discuss it, or debate it. You are to obey it.”
(3) Never make rash decisions out of frustration or anger. Take the time to quiet yourself, pray, and think things through as you seek wisdom from the Lord.
Obeying the Lord completely glorifies the Lord and we experience His power as we faithfully follow Him.