Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My strategy is God.

I love the account of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20,and particularly the example of his leadership in a time of war. I always take comfort in reading that at the point of discovering he was about to come under attack, he was 'alarmed' (20:3). It reminds me that it's probably normal and perhaps even OK to be scared. It also tells me that he loved his people and took full responsibility for their well being.

What I find most important however is the fact that he didn't allow his 'alarmedness' to overpower his ability to make good decisions. And his first good decision was not to call his men to war. It wasn't to double the amount of training & preparation. It wasn't to ensure that their weapons were in good fighting condition or that they would eat more carbs and protein in order to build their strength. In fact quite the opposite...he proclaimed a fast for all Judah and resolved to enquire of the Lord. You'd think that with two and a half armies on their way he'd at least allow his soldiers to continue to eat in order to build and maintain peak physical condition. Perhaps Jehoshaphat understood that the Lords power is made perfect in our weakness? (2 Corinthians 12:9).

What I also love is that as he makes the decision to seek the Lord, all of Judah comes with him. 'All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD' (20:13). What a great example for all generations. Leadership is not about having the answer or the strategy. Leadership is about having the courage to seek God first. 'For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you' (20:12)

Leadership is about calling the attention of all generations to the Glory of God regardless of circumstance. 'Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD' (20:18). Leaders lead in worship before they lead in anything else.

Leaders lead in faith. 'Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld' (20:20).

Leaders teach their people how to praise even before victory is seen in the natural. 'Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever' (20:21), (This is what they were singing as they were walking in to battle).

Leaders take no glory or themselves.
'Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lutes and trumpets'.(20:27,28)

The fruit of Godly leadership is peace.
'The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

So perhaps his first decision was to call his people to war. His strategy was God.


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