Reliable Leadership

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, will take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything they depend on: every bit of bread and every drop of water, all their heroes and soldiers, judges and prophets, fortune-tellers and elders, army officers and high officials, advisers, skilled craftsmen, and astrologers.

Isaiah 3:1-3

In the passage immediately prior to this one, Isaiah urged the Israelites not to put too much trust in human beings (Is. 2:22). By relying on unreliable people too much, rather than on the Lord and those faithful to him, Israel got itself into a mess of immorality, injustice, and rebellion against God. Therefore God was about to judge his people. Part of this judgment involved removing from them all the things they relied on rather than the Lord himself, including multiple levels and facets of leadership.

Was it wrong for Israel to have leaders or to follow them? No. God had in fact given prophets, kings, and others to his people. But they had been unfaithful in many ways. For one thing, they had followed the leadership of “fortune-tellers” and “astrologers,” pagans who should not have been given authority in Israel. But even more troublesome was the unfaithfulness of Israel’s anointed leaders. Because they rejected the Lord and his ways, because they trusted in their own insights rather than divine wisdom, these leaders had not been reliable. In fact, they led the people away from God.

Faithful and fruitful leadership begins with following God’s own leadership. When we submit to him, when we seek his ways and strive to honor him in all we do, then our leadership will be blessed. It can be hard to lead in godly ways when we’re in institutions or relationships that pull us away from the Lord. Yet our primary calling as kingdom leaders is to follow the King of kings.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Consider your leadership: at work or in your family, in your community service or at church. Does your leadership begin with humbling yourself before the Lord? Do you seek him and his ways in all you do? How might your leadership be more faithful, even today?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, as I read this passage, I’m reminded that you have raised me up as a leader for your purposes. My leadership, if it is going to be effective, begins with my submission to you. So today I offer you my work, my writing, my relationships, my family, and my church involvement. May my leadership be steeped in your wisdom, always guided by your Spirit. When I’m lured away from you by self-interest or cultural trends, help me to remain tethered to you and your truth. May your kingdom be my vision. And may you always be my Lord, my King, my passion. Amen.