When Weakness = Strength

IMGP6935I read a great blog article today titled “Learning to Be a Weak Leader” (Click HERE to see article).  It was a strange title, but the article was “spot on” at reminding me of one of the greatest truths in Biblical Leadership….it’s not about me, it’s about Him.

Or, more succinctly, “Christian leaders lead best when they, in their weakness, rely on the power of God to guide others.

The blog article expands on this idea in three key points (along with compelling scripture references to help illustrate each point):

  1. God sometimes takes leaders into impossible situations to remind us that He alone is our warrior.
  2. God sometimes leaves us in spiritual battles to keep us weak. 
  3. God seeks giant-slaying shepherd boys more than census-taking mighty kings. (1 Samuel 17 versus 1 Chronicles 21)

Another example might be King Asa of Judah who got it right at the start of his reign, and then tried to do things his own way. The bitter end to the story was his unwillingness to repent of his hardheartedness when Hanani came with the reminder that “…the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” The king had Hanai imprisoned and later died.  We need to become more wholeheartedly committed to Him by recognizing who is really in control and who just imagines they’re in control.

2013 fall camporee orienteering mapRecently, I’ve undergone some testing at work and it was a great growth experience for me to rest in God’s care when circumstances around me unexpectedly exploded and were completely beyond my ability to control.  It is a humbling experience to realize how little we really control our own life and situation, but a great experience to shed those false assumptions of imagined control and realize how much God really loves us and cares for us.

Consider Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all timesHis praise shall continually be in my mouth.”[emphasis  added]  Its easy to praise Him when things are good, but there’s real benefit to learning to praise Him when things seem to be spinning out of control.

The blog article summed up with these statements:

  • The equation is a simple one, really. If we want to be great, we must serve (Mark 10:43). If we want to be first, we must be last (Mark 9:35). If we want to live, we must die (John 12:24-25).
  • The problem is that few of us lean toward serving, being last, and dying—and that’s precisely the point. Only in God’s grace can we be—and must we be—weak leaders.

I heartily concur with the author — it is very easy to get sucked into the world’s way of thinking and behaving — living as though we’re able to control our situation on our own merits and abilities.  Its a subtle and gradual transition that can be very hard to recognize, but the occasional free fall reminds us of who is really in control, whose purposes and plans we were designed to fulfill and that it’s by God’s grace that we can become effective, “weak leaders”.

bridgebuilder

Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:9 – The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
Psalm 1:1-3 – How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LordAnd in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
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