What do you do when you and those you are leading encounter a time when basic needs are unmet? Whether we lead or follow others, complete dependence on the Lord is essential. In the last selection of this series on leadership, we discussed the assumptions that must be made when leading others in stressful times like these. This blog will deal with the actions which must be taken to effectively lead others during this situation. These actions include: passing responsibility on to God; reminding others of how God perceives a situation and how it’s up to Him to respond to it; and crying out to God for guidance.
Again, in Exodus 17, we see Moses in Rephidim, with the Israelites, at a time when they lacked water. Moses responded to their remarks against him saying, “Why chide ye with me?” He simply passed responsibility on to God. The Jews, at this time, were still young believers and didn’t fully understand that Moses wouldn’t be the source of water. Often, we place a false dependence on the person, in our lives, that strongly influences us for the Lord, instead of properly depending on God. Moses passed the buck! Remember, God had brought them there, not Moses. Effective leaders bring God into the equation and do not make excuses for following Him, nor the direction of His leading.
Why do we blame others? One never wants to be accused of chiding with God. However, we often pick out the human leader representing God and chide with him/her.
Next, Moses reminded the people of how God felt about the situation, as well as how God was responding to it. Immaturity often surfaces as one focuses attention on the placement of blame. The Jews were reminded that God was being tempted by their provocation. Moses said that God was becoming upset with their actions, as out of desperation they thought of stoning him. What provoked God was the fact that the Israelites neglected to rely on Him and come to Him first. Despite this, Moses cried out to God. God can lead others to meet our needs even if they are not privy to the specifics.
The last action in effectively leading others is to cry out to the Lord. In Exodus 17:4, “Moses cried unto the Lord saying, “What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.” He could have said, “Why didn’t you just let me continue to be a shepherd? Moses, however, was much more mature than that. He was a problem solver. He said, “Lord, what can I do? How can I help this situation?” In your life, when you see a problem, do you merely complain or are you one to find a solution. Moses was a mature Christian. He didn’t ask how or why, but what he could do to solve the problem. When he was put under pressure, he didn’t complain. He went to the Lord, and implemented God’s instruction. Moses had a clear responsibility to identify the need and act on it. It wasn’t enough to just pray, he had to demonstrate biblical faith.
It took a lot of faith to strike the rock with his staff at Horeb. We knew water would come out, but Moses didn’t. He had to exercise extreme faith. God told Moses to go before the people and take the elders of Israel. God understood that the older people would be a great influence on the youth. The Lord wanted people to witness the water spewing from the rock. Those that would witness this would be great spokesmen for God with respect to trusting and following Him. People in old Hebrew society had great respect for the elders. God wanted Moses to get these elders on board so they may get the “followship” of the other people. It’s important that the people with responsibility are eye witnesses to the miraculous hand of God. Even today, this is what hinders churches. The members fail to see the supernatural hand of God personally. As a result, they often lose the zeal and commitment needed to be effective in Christ.
As important as it is for me to see the hand of God providing, it’s of utmost importance for the young generation to be put to the test and experience supernatural provision for themselves. We will stagnate when we lose a generation of people committed to living by faith and seeing the hand of God in action.
Finally, we need faithful obedience, unto the Lord. To accomplish this effectively, we need to take action. We must pass responsibility on to God, remind others of God’s perception of a particular situation, and cry out for His guidance. Following this plan of action in your life, just as at the rock, you will see that great needs are met by faith.