The Call of a Leader
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.
~Isaiah 6:1, 8
The first eight verses of Isaiah 6 illustrate how God calls many leaders. When Isaiah receives a vision from God, the Lord lays out a need for someone to speak for Him. God has a message and is looking for a messenger. God issued a general call, for anyone, and Isaiah took it personally. He did so because of three factors that make up a divine call to lead:
1. Opportunity: We see a specific place where we can make a difference. This has to do with timing.
2. Ability: We recognize that we have the God-given gifts to do something about the need. This has to do with competence.
3. Desire: We want to step out and address the need; our hunger pushes us. This has to do with our passion.
Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” 1 Samuel 15:24
Saul never won the inward battles. On the outside he was tall, good-looking, and well built; however, on the inside he was a small man. When faced with a challenge he panicked. He lacked the courage necessary to lead the people of Israel.
Some lessons about courage we learn from Saul are that:
1. Courage and cowardice are both contagious: When Saul fled, so did his men.
2. Without courage, it doesn’t matter how good your intentions are: Saul had good intentions when he presented burnt offerings to the Lord. But he let his fear that people would desert him control his actions.
3. Without courage, we’re slaves of our own insecurity and possessiveness: Saul was captive to his fears of being replaced by David.
4. A leader without courage will never let go of the familiar: Saul employed a medium to ask counsel of Samuel’s spirit.
5. Lack of courage will eventually sabotage a leader: Saul’s lack of courage cost him everything.