As I have been doing an in-depth study of the Old Testament the last couple of years in my personal study time, I have been amazed at the wide-range of effectiveness of God’s leaders as they led His people. In every circumstance, the spiritual direction of God’s people was inherently driven by the spiritual direction of Israel’s leader. This is certainly the case with King David. While there is something unique about David’s purpose in God’s redemptive plan, his service to the LORD does provide us some great lessons when it comes to spiritual leadership. After God’s call and sovereign anointing, Psalm 78:72 lends us insight into what David’s part was in his success as a leader of God’s people. It says… “David shepherded Israel with integrity of heart, and with skillful hands, he led them.” David was without question one of the fiercest warriors of his day. However, it was only when this skill as a warrior was combined with his surrendered heart to God that David repeatedly brought victory and prominence to Israel. This was David’s edge as a leader. Interestingly, when David’s heart was trusting God’s purposes, the impact of his skill was exponentially greater. Conversely, when David’s heart was not pure toward God, the impact of his skill was erased and all of Israel faced the consequences of David’s disobedience.
As I examine what it takes to be a good spiritual leader of other people, I believe that after God’s call and enabling, I am responsible first for keeping my heart purely focused on the Father as I continue to conform to the image of Christ. Then, I must be a good steward of God’s call by continuously developing my skills and abilities as a leader. I want to invite you to share in this challenge with me as one of God’s leaders in His church. Our task is tremendously weighty as we are the messengers of reconciliation to a world that is far from God. And like Paul, we know that our message of Christ is the fragrance of life to the living, and the odor of death to the dying (2 Cor. 2). Jesus Christ is the only hope for broken people, and by His mysterious grace, He has called us to join Him in that redemptive work.