February 24, 2009

Lessons From The First "300": Godly Leadership Begins In Our Closest Relationships

After Gideon receives this amazing call from God & after Gideon begins to embrace this new identity of the "valiant warrior" that God has shown him, God asks Gideon to actually act. One of the huge problems in leadership, but especially in Christian leadership, is a lack of action. In Christian circles it's so easy to cloak our inactivity in spiritual sounding cliches. Rather than act on the call that God places on our lives, we pray for God to reveal His will. We know that God wants us to change A, B, or C, & we want to, but "want to" doesn't make any difference if there is no action.

So God stirs Gideon to action. Gideon is asked to step out & be the godly leader that the nation of Israel so desperately needs. However, Gideon isn't told to muster an army & prepare for battle against the Midianites. No, God has a mission that's much closer to home. In fact, God leads Gideon to deal with the real issue before he ever steps onto a battlefield. The real issue was the false worship & spiritual adultery that the people of Israel had fallen into. Gideon's mission is to destroy the altars of Baal & Asherah & to replace it with an altar to the one true God of Israel. Here's the point: notice who these altars belonged to. These altars belonged to Gideon's father.

We all know it's more difficult to lead at home than just about anywhere else. Those people know us, every little ugly detail, & that's scary. Yet that is the very place where God wants to cultivate us as His leaders. After all, if we can't lead there with integrity, we will never be able to take on the greater battles that God may have on our horizon.

As the story ends, the people are ready to kill Gideon, but his father comes to his defense. I so wish that there were more details here. I might be reading between the lines here, but it seems like Gideon's courageous move may have actually served as a wake up call to his father. Leading in our homes & in our closest friendships is not easy. In fact it will be messy & very uncomfortable, but that's the proving ground of our leadership. God will not bless our leadership in the larger arenas of life if we are not faithful to his call to leadership in the arenas of our families & closests friendships.

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