Valuable Lessons In Leadership Under Christ
Moses is arguably the greatest prophet in all scripture beside Christ. He understood leadership and power early in life, being raised in the house of the most powerful man in Egypt, Pharaoh. He is described in scripture as, “a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3) Yes Moses was born of God, called and chosen for the highest honor any human can have, to serve the living God and His holy people!
God entrusted Moses with many noble tasks. He empowered Moses to pen the first five books of the bible, perform His awesome miracles, and ultimately lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness embarking on a 40 year journey to the promised land. Despite all this God saw in him a flaw in his service and leadership written in the 20th Chapter of Numbers. As teachers of God’s word in pursuit of being effective leaders under Christ, we do well to examine this account with our own personal habits in view. Doing this will help us to avoid the mistakes and possible consequences Moses had to endure as a result of his actions.
Numbers 20 : 2–5 — And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people argued with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.
The Children of Israel in the days of Moses were much like many we come in contact with today. Complainers with hearts prone to doubt the power and ability of the Most High and the man He placed in their lives to lead them. The Israelites overreaction showed their confidence in Moses was weak. This seems unreasonable given the fact that they just had witnessed the powerful miracles of God. Despite this, God in His divine mercy and love arranged again to show even the disobedient of His people His awesome power.
Numbers 20 : 7, 8 — And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, take the rod, and gather though the assembly together, thou and Aaron thy brother and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock; so thou shalt give the congregation and their beast drink.
God extended his love and tender mercy to the doubter, even the complainer. This is a perfect picture of the people of God today. Many doubt falling into temptation, but still God desires salvation for these. His word says, “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” (Ezekiel 18 : 23)
Leaders under Christ do well to keep this in mind in ministry. It can be temping to write people off, but we must keep in mind that we all at one time walked in ignorance to the truth. When the child comes back to God we do well to find ways in which we may guild them closer to God, ministering and helping them along the way. A true leader must be an example and a mentor to those who need encouragement and a word at the right time. Let’s take a look at Moses response to the ignorance of the children of God.
Numbers 20 : 10, 11 — And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
The great prophet Moses failed God in this particular instance, and in failing God, he failed the people. He didn’t fail to do as God said, but we see that Moses allowed his feelings to distract him, placing his own ego in between the people’s worship experience and God which was a sin in the eyes of most high. In the pride of his flesh, he took a shot at the God’s people, even his own people, without authorization from the one who put him in his leadership role to begin with.
One of the laws of leadership is the law of sacrifice, and Moses did not sacrifice nor yield his personal vendetta for the sake of the people or God. Although God did not explicitly tell Moses to sanctify Him in the miracle, as the leader of the people of God he was expected to do so before them that they may again see what great love God has for them. As the scripture says, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48) What an opportunity Moses missed! We will now see the unfortunate consequence of his actions.
Number 20 : 12 — And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
We must recognize at all times that whatever responsibility, success, or privilege we attain, it is from God and for His glory and not that of our own. This is especially true for those leading and teaching a flock of God’s people. The worship and teaching experience should be full of grace, absent of personal pride or gain, and perfectly seasoned with the talents and gifts of the saints! May we resist pride in our roles in Christ lest we, as Moses, fall so very close to the finish line.