“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”
Psalm 139:5 NLT
If you believed only the seminar presenters or the authors of some books, you would assume that only a small handful of very savvy people are leaders. You’re either a ‘born leader’ or with enough training you can become a sufficient one.
As an eight year old, my older cousin and I found a small fire in the furnace room in the basement of their apartment building. The fire department was called and the two of us waited in the middle of Belle Plaine Avenue for their imminent arrival. Our job? Lead the firefighters around to the alley and the fire.
Sirens preceded the arrival and both Peter and I began to sprint around the block leading the first responders. It was a heady moment for me … until I looked behind me. Peter had run a shortcut between two of the row houses with firefighters following and I was left running by myself!
Years later I heard John Maxwell say, “If you think you are leading and nobody is following, you are just taking a walk!” Indeed.
There are specialized roles of leadership – in business, education and the church. I don’t diminish the value of any of those we follow into greater knowledge, business acumen or a growing relationship with God, but the reality is, all of us are leaders to some.
We lead our families toward Godliness and integrity or allow them to observe our nonchalance; neighbors watch and either desire to emulate or turn away in disinterest. Watchful eyes are on us continually. We are always sowing seeds, either investing in a good harvest or bad. Our ‘seed bags’ are leaking whether we want them to or not.
To be a good leader, we need to follow a great leader ourselves. We can take great assurance that the One who promises to lead us is perfect in every way. Every place He steps is safe ground. When He points we can move in that direction confidently.
He shows us the path to take. (Psalm 16:11) He guides us with his eye. (Psalm 32:8) He provides his Word to light dark paths. (Psalm 119:105) Not only does He precede us but is behind us as well allowing us to hear a voice behind us saying “This is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
As this world gets a bit more chaotic by the day … when life can turn south on us without warning … when doing life right is difficult and often mocked … we truly need to follow our Leader and then lead others drawing on the relationship we have with Him.