Today I read the stories of Manasseh and Josiah, kings of Judah. Manasseh was the worst king Judah had. 2 Chronicles 33:9 says “So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom God destroyed before the children of Israel.” He eventually humbled himself before God and repented, but not before he had done irreparable damage to the spiritual life of the nation. Then when his grandson Josiah becomes king, things start to change. 2 Chronicles 34:33 sums his reign up as follows, ” Thus Josiah removed all the abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the Lord their God. All his days, they did not depart from following the Lord God of their fathers.”
Without getting into politics, leaders have a tremendous influence in the spiritual direction and health of a nation. (We don’t call them leaders for nothing.) While I may not be a national political leader, I have my own areas of influence. How am I doing? Is my attitude seducing my Sunday school kids to apathy? Am I luring my family to denigrate the holiness of God? OR Am I leading those around me to follow the Lord with my whole heart and soul? Is the reality of Jesus Christ alive in my life so vibrantly that others are challenged to live in devotion to the one true God?
How I lead says a lot about how I follow. How I follow determines how I lead. Josiah made a covenant in front of his nation to follow God, to obey His commands and to do all that His word instructs. He promised to do that with his whole heart and soul. In a way, I made a similar covenant when I was baptized. Of course, I didn’t articulate it just that way. (I was 7, not much articulating going on then, even for me.) Am I carrying through with that covenant as I lead in my ‘nation’?
Lord, let me lead only as I follow…