February 10, 2010

Two Ways God Grows Leaders-Part 2

Early on in David's life, it's evident that he was growing in his faith & as a leader that God could use, & it all stems from his obedience. Whether he was tending his father's flocks, playing some tunes for the king, or delivering lunch to his brothers on the battlefield, David was obedient to serve God & others. However, David's radical obedience led to the other thing that sparked growth in the future king.

2. Opposition

David knew that God had appointed him to be king over Israel. The only problem was that Saul was still on the throne, & Saul felt threatened. Unfortunately, leaders who feel their position is threatened don't always create the healthiest environments. Saul set out to kill David, & David had to literally run for his life. He fell in with a group of men who would become some of his most loyal followers, but they weren't exactly the most honorable or noble bunch of guys. In fact, this band became more or less outlaws living out in the wilderness, hiding out in caves. Along the way, David grew as a leader & as a man of God. He had to learn how to lead a different group of guys. These weren't soldiers in the classic sense; they could abandon David at any time. However, they were loyal, faithful followers of the future king.

David's continued growth in the face of opposition is evident in two instances where David could have easily eliminated his opponent. In I Samuel 24 & I Samuel 26, David had two opportunities to kill Saul & end this life on the run. His men even saw these opportunities as God ordained opportunities, yet David's obedience to God trumped his desire to be rid of the opposition. David chose to honor God & the king. As a result, God honored David, & eventually took care of Saul without David having to raise his sword.

Obeidience to God will bring you into opposition with others. And that opposition has the potential to compromise your obedience. If your goal is to simply defeat the opposition, you will abandon obedience. However, if your goal is to navigate opposition in a way that is in line with the laws & principles of God, then you can stay on an obedient path, & in time, the opposition will fade.

Do you try to avoid oppostion? If you're being obedient to God, it's impossible. When you encounter opposition, what's your goal? Are you simply trying to win, or are you trying to leverage that opposition as an opportunity to grow as a disciple of Christ & as a leader of others?

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