Effective Leadership

(1 Samuel 23:1-5 ESV) 1 Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the LORD said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the LORD again. And the LORD answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

When we think of leaders, we usually think of someone who is “high up” in an organization. The President of the United States is often referred to as the “leader of the free world!” Steve Jobs led Apple to become one of the most prosperous companies in the world today.

But, what about leadership closer to home. Who steps up to the plate when a crisis needs to be averted? While it is true that David was a well known and highly respected king, this passage of scripture provides insight as to how anyone can provide leadership in difficult situations. Notice…

  • David listened. “Now THEY told David…” Usually, problems come to leadership through the voices closest to the chaos. As a pastor, I often discover problems that need my attention when a member provides information I’m unaware of. For you, it may be your spouse, or a child; maybe a co-worker who takes the time to share vital information that needs to be addressed.
  • David prayed. “Therefore David inquired of the Lord…” This was a BIG problem with national consequences. David knew he needed wisdom from God to effectively  defeat the enemy. But, what about your challenges? As bad as it seems, your problems usually don’t carry national consequences. Even still, prayer should always be the starting point.
  • David listened some more. “But, David’s men said…” It would be easy to criticize these men. But, before we do that let’s consider the fact that their lives were on the line. Their families could be negatively impacted if David was wrong. They wanted to be sure that David was actually hearing the Lord properly before agreeing to engage in warfare that could possibly end in death.
  • David prayed some more. “David inquired of the Lord AGAIN…” David was wise to pray again. When a personal decision determines the welfare of a corporate body, the leader must be certain about the will of God. The New Testament confirms the need to ask, seek, and knock when it comes to prayer. Leaders unwilling to pray are unworthy to be followed!
  • David led. “So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah…” David received the credit for leading a team that was ill-prepared to face the giants in their lives. He led them on two battlefields… their personal fears… and their powerful enemies.

John Michael Montgomery made famous as song that says,

Life’s a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don’t worry about what you don’t know
Life’s a dance you learn as you go

PRAYER: Father, thank you for giving us the ability to lead with divine wisdom. May we overcome the giants of fear that would try to hold us back from victory. Give us the courage to face our challenges with faith and courage. Amen.

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