Psalm 37:23 “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm;”
Acts 1:24-25 “Then they prayed, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two You have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.’ ” Acts 1:20b “…May another take his place of leadership.”
Firm steps do not qualify anyone to be a godly leader. A willingness to go where God directs is often the precursor to spiritual leadership. And, then it is up to God to make the leader’s steps firm. Henry and Richard Blackaby indicate in their book SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP that “only when we understand leadership in light of God’s calling on our lives will we be equipped to lead effectively…God is not necessarily looking for leaders…He is looking for servants (Isaiah 59:16; Ezekiel 22:30).” In the apostolic ministry referred to in Acts I, Judas had the chance to be a servant-leader, but terribly missed the mark.
When all is said and done, leadership is simply influence. It can be out front or from behind. It can be subtle or outright, positive or negative, Kingdom-building or Kingdom-destroying. It can be a silent voice or an assertive call to arms. When the Israelites started to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem under Nehemiah’s leadership, the loudest voices heard were those naysaying officials who were mocking and ridiculing the workers. Despite their official positions, the mockers were overcome by the true voice of godly leadership that emerged when Nehemiah prayed and persevered despite their protests. In Nehemiah 2:20, Nehemiah proclaims, “The God of heaven will give us success…” and, in that surety, Nehemiah led as a dedicated servant working in the trenches to rebuild the wall with the Israelites. God delighted in Nehemiah’s ways and made his steps firm.
Godly leadership is anointed, authentic, transparent and servant-like. John, the writer of the book of Revelation, leads transparently when he writes about his momentary lapse in appearing to worship the angel prince Michael before this lead angel reminded him that they were both fellow servants worshipping the One True God, the only One worthy to be worshipped (Revelation 19:9-10). We know from scripture that the Lord delighted in John’s way and made his steps firm. We know John’s heart and we know he was chosen to write Revelation. Even his momentary confusion in Michael’s presence became a beacon of encouragement to those of us who, like John, would naturally be overwhelmed in the presence of this head angelic being. John leads us to the One Faithful and True God as the object of our authentic worship. God alone. God, the Leader of leaders.