Are you inspiring anyone, showing the way to another, a positive influence among those with whom you live? History is filled with stories of people who rose to lead, men and women who courageously stepped to the front of the line and said, “Follow me!”
What would these United States be today without the leadership of Lincoln who, by stubborn will, insisted on the survival of the Union of the states?
How might Europe look today without a Churchill to lead Britain in her stand against the Nazis? Who can forget his gravelly voice rallying the English people to ‘blood, sweat, and tears?’
On the opposite side, there was the mesmerizing leadership of Adolf Hitler who inspired Germany to go to war and plunged the world into chaos and bloodshed!
Martin Luther King gathered black Americans to peaceful protest and sparked the Civil Rights movement in our nation.
Reading in the little book in the Old Testament called Judges, you find one little story after another of leaders who inspired the people to serve God. When leaders failed, the people fell, too. Here is an excerpt: ” The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. They forgot about the Lord their God, and they served the images of Baal and the Asherah poles. Then the Lord burned with anger against Israel, … when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Othniel… The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he became Israel’s judge. He went to war … and the Lord gave Othniel victory.” (Judges 3:7-10, NLT) … “But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin.” (Judges 3:15, NLT) … “After Ehud, Shamgar son of Anath rescued Israel. He once killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad.” (Judges 3:31, NLT) The next chapter tells the story of Deborah and Jael, two women who led Israel to victory!
And so it goes, down through history. Proverbs states the principle – “When good people run things, everyone is glad, but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans.” (Proverbs 29:2, The Message)
Few of us will lead nations or stir thousands, but all of us can inspire someone and lead the way to Jesus! Mom, perhaps you feel unimportant, a servant to your family. No one can influence those children like you. Susanna Wesley gave the world a spiritual revival by raising Charles and John in a household of faith. Those two men brought thousands to Christ and arguably changed the course of history. One person can inspire a workplace or tear it apart with demoralization. Ministries thrive when godly people give themselves to anonymous service for the sake of the kingdom of God.
You may read these words and assume they are written for someone else; your Pastor, your small group leader – somebody with authority or a position in an organization. “I’m no leader,” you insist. In one sense you could be right. Perhaps you are not gifted to coordinate or given the privilege of holding an office, but everyone can influence others. The Word of God says that we all are gifted children of God, enabled by the Spirit to fulfill the calling of God. “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6, NLT) Are you using and developing the gift of the Spirit to lead – in your family, among your friends, in your place of employment, in your neighborhood, at your church? God calls generals and He calls corporals. Both are indispensable to the effectiveness of His army.
Here is a word from the Word. Be an inspiring leader. “Pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” (Philippians 3:17-21, NLT)
Lead the way!
May you be able to say, like Paul, “Follow me as I follow Christ!”