Remember it is not your battle.
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS
REV. JAY HANSON
Sometimes the challenges in ministry seem insurmountable. It feels like everyone is against us and there simply isn’t enough time or energy to handle everything that has to get done. So what are we to do when we honestly don’t know what to do?
Let’s learn from Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, when he was confronted with a huge problem in 2 Chronicles 20.
The Moabites, the Ammonites and the Meunites all rallied together to wage war against Jehoshaphat. The odds weren’t good and everyone was scared. Jehoshaphat had made some mistakes as ing, but in this situation, he got it right.
- He listened to “some people” who came to tell him that there was a problem. Too often once a person reaches a certain level of leadership, they are no longer on the front lines and are removed from the action. They must rely on information received from people in the field. A leader’s responsibility is to make the tough calls, but the leader often isn’t equipped with the information they need to make good choices. A wise leader listens to the people on the front lines and gathers the facts.
- Jehoshaphat recognized the reality. Because of their position, leaders can fail to recognize the realty of emerging problems, even when the people in the field know they are HUGE. A wise leader seeks out the facts and is able to recognize problems before they get bigger.
- He called the people to seek God and pray. Jehoshaphat didn’t seek God alone. He called all the people to come “together to seek help from the Lord”. Wise leaders gather their people and together, seek God’s wisdom and counsel.
- He prayed before the people and reminded them of God’s historic faithfulness. Remembering what God has done in the past puts the problem in proper perspective – to see the current challenge in light of the God’s eternal, all-powerful nature. This doesn’t minimize the problem, but does elevate our faith in God to solve the problem. Turning our eyes toward Him shows that “we do not know what to do” but “our eyes are on You.”
- Jehoshaphat was open to hearing God speak through someone else. In this case, God spoke through Jahaziel, who revealed God’s message: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” God didn’t minimize the problem – He recognized that Jehoshaphat’s reality was a “vast army” – but He reminded them that they are His people and this is His battle. The people’s role was simply to “take up your positions, stand firm, and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.” Wise leaders are not intimidated when God uses others to reveal His will. In fact, they welcome and encourage it.
- Jehoshaphat led the people in worshiping God. We often think of worshipping God after He fulfills His promises, but what about worshipping Him in the middle of the problem? The timing of our worship can be an expression of our faith in Him.
- He empowered the people by giving clear directions. He explained what they were to do and what it would produce. He said they were to have faith in God and faith in the message of the prophets. Clear directions empower people and help them move forward.
- He organized the people for the mission. An important part of effective leadership is strategically implementing the plan. A decent plan implemented well is better than a great plan implemented poorly. Great leaders work with those on the front lines to help them see how their role fits into the larger vision.
As Jehoshaphat and his people began to worship, the attacking armies broke out in war against each other. In fact, by the time the men of Judah showed up to take their positions, all the other teams were dead. The men of Judah simply showed up to collect the plunder!
The problems we face today may not be quite as tangible, but they are just as real. However, the God we worship is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We are His people, so the battles before us are not ours, but God’s. Even though we may be staring into the face of a HUGE problem, we must remember that our God is bigger still! “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”
Don’t keep living with the stress and pressures of HUGE problems. Be bold and prayerfully choose one problem to tackle with His help today. When you begin to feel overwhelmed and afraid, remember “the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
Looking for more leadership materials for your church? Click on the Resources tab at www.thechapelbrunswick.com and click on Program Resources, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Jay Hanson, Lead Pastor, and Anne Bosarge, Director of Discipleship, serve at The Chapel in Brunswick. They love sharing about the ways God is moving in their church. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for more information.