This post is a continuation of my last post about staying strong as a leader. If you haven’t read it yet, it would be great if you can read it first before you read this one. Here’s the link: Staying Strong.
This is the first thing a leader must have, favor.
“…be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite.”
What does favor mean?
Favor, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is a friendly regard shown toward another especially by a superior. And I get the feeling we all want favor. One way or the other, everyone wants to be regarded. So, some people tend to perform to attain it. They do their best using their own physical, mental, and “I-don’t-know-what-tal” strength. This creates a mindset which says, “I get favored when I perform well and this is because of my own doing.” (Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying doing an excellent job is bad. But when favor is based ultimately on performance, something’s not right.) Good thing our God does not look at us as how we look at others. It says in His Word, “…The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b)
A Man Favored
I remember a story from one of my friends, Miguel. He got saved when he was a kid. He grew up in a Christian home. But in a turn of events, his mom passed away while he was young. Financial crisis hit the family. Eventually, his reactions to the events were to become a drunkard and go into relationships with women, one after the other. As time went by, he felt empty. He could not find something or someone that could fill him. One day, a friend of his told him that he should look at the bigger picture. Because he focused too much on the things that hurt him in the past, he lost sight of the bigger picture, the reality of things, which was God doing great things and amazing plans in and through his life. After that realization, he came running back to God, knowing that only through Him he could live life to the full. And that God has freed him from all his wrong doings in the past. Miguel is currently leading a small group, passionately making disciples, and enjoying his relationship with God and others.
That’s what a leader is, chosen. He or she is chosen not by his works but by God’s grace. God changes the person no matter how dirty he or she is and empowers him or her to do a great job in leading.
“The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.”"
That’s what God does. He tells you, “You are not to go back that way again.” No more slavery. No more being trapped in mistakes that were done in the past. Jesus has overcome death, paying the price for you and I. Your identity is in Christ and Him alone. Favored not by our own works but by His grace.
To all leaders: God finds favor in you because of what Jesus has done. You are capable to lead because God gives you the ability to do so. And He empowers you with the wisdom and strength needed. Nothing can withstand you.