"For the LORD humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had made Judah act sinfully and had been very unfaithful to the LORD." — 2 Chronicles 28:19, ESV
The Lord humbled a whole nation because of the evil leadership of the king. A whole nation experienced punishment because of the lack of Godly leadership by Ahaz.
And this humbled and scared me.
I am called to lead the ministry that God has entrusted to him. Those whom God brings into the ministry have been entrusted to me to help lead them along as they pursue Christ. Some come in knowing Christ and some come in completely against Christ. However, no matter where each person is in their journey of following Christ, I am called to help them further on in that pursuit.
The weight of that responsibility really hit me this morning as I read this passage (2 Chronicles 27:1-28:21). Two kings. Two different directions in their leadership. Jotham did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and then accomplished things that were beneficial for the people of Israel (even though the people still followed corrupt practices [27:2]). Ahaz, Jotham's son, did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He even made metal images for the Baals, and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel (28:2-3).
The response of God to the leadership of Ahaz was this: "THEREFORE the LORD his God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria,..." (28:5). And all of the people were affected by it.
So it made me stop and reflect on my call as a leader. I'm humbled. I'm overwhelmed so often. The thought of having influence does scare me, but the call to lead is obvious and one that I have accepted. I want to be a leader who thinks through the fact that every decision that I make has an affect on others. I want to lead in such a way that I am a blessing first and foremost to Jesus, and then a blessing to those that I lead.
These verses from Titus stand out as strong reminders of the high calling of leading others as stewards of God's flock:
For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (1:7-9, ESV)
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. (2:1, ESV)
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. (2:7-8, ESV)
I wrote these words in my journal after reading and thinking through this: "But leaders, who never humbly think of their high calling and responsibility, may be the worst and most careless 'leaders' around."
The call of leadership hit me this morning. My reaction to it: fear and humility. And I'm thankful that my reaction was such. But, I will lead as I follow Christ. I will take God's counsel that he gave to Joshua, apply it, step up to the call, and lead as I am lead.
Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:6,7; ESV)