We can learn a lot about God and leadership from the Bible. As my husband and I set out to plant another church, this is what my Love, my God, is wrapping my heart in:
The first king of Israel was intended to be the king God would use to establish the Jewish kingdom and be representative of the reign of Jesus Christ. However, the first king of Israel, Saul, failed to live by faith. Saul went through a short season where he was required to wait, and instead of waiting on God, Saul decided to step out from underneath God’s authority and do it his own way (I Samuel 13:13). The Messiah could have come through Saul’s lineage, if Saul had chosen the submission of faith. When God’s prophet, Samuel, showed up, he told Saul that he had lost the right to the kingdom and that God would chose a man who would live by faith, a life of dependency, a man who would be “after His heart (I Samuel 13:14).” When God chose David, I love how He describes His choice, “I have provided Myself a king (I Samuel 16:1).” God said of David, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will (Acts 13:22).”
A leader should be a person who lives surrendered to God in a relationship with Him. David depended on God when he had to fight a lion and a bear to defend his sheep. When he fought Goliath, David showed the world the power of God demonstrated through his weakness – no armor, no sword, no comparison in strength or stature. David wasn’t perfect, as we know from his abuse of authority with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. The consequence of David’s sin was great; however, the demonstration of the mercy of God was greater because David brought himself back under the Lord’s authority through repentance.
David did a lot of things right, and we see his heart to please God. He also failed more than once, but through his repentance we see his love for God and people. In I Chronicles 21 we see King David’s heart when he repented of numbering the people for the purpose of considering the strength of the nation rather than the strength of God. The angel of the Lord led David to a place of sacrifice. The owner of the oxen and threshing floor offered to give David what he needed to sacrifice, but David said, “No, but I will buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.” David wanted to give himself to God, and his offering was an extension of his heart. He didn’t just give out of obligation; he gave from his affection and love for God and for people.
The motivation behind King David’s dependency was a genuine and intimate love for God. He wrote songs out of his deep affection for God. He enjoyed the anointing of God that flowed when he worshipped. David pursued encounters with the presence of God.
We also see David’s heart when he prepared the materials for the house of God that his son Solomon would build. David gave of his own possessions for the house of God. I Chronicles 29:3 “Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God…” David loved God, he loved giving God a house, and he loved the people that would encounter God’s presence through the house.
In verse 5 David challenged the workers who would build the temple, “Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?” To consecrate means to set apart for a purpose. David didn’t ask who was willing to come take a job or who was willing to volunteer their time – he asked for those who were consecrated. He was looking for people who loved God like he did. He was looking for those who would submit themselves like he did.
After David had given his gold and silver, after David called for a team to serve with him and his son, then the leaders of Israel began to give liberally and willingly and generously. A leader needs to lead – lead in genuine love, lead with deep humility, lead in worship. Others will follow. Others who have a hunger for God’s presence will follow. Others who have a passion to give to the kingdom will follow.
Anyway, this is what is burning in me today. I see this heart in my husband. I feel this heart in me. It’s a desire that God places in leaders. As we step out to plant a church, I know it has a cost; and whatever it costs, I’m willing to give it – not just to start something, but to do whatever my Love leads me to do. The greatest cost is me, a price I feel is a pleasure to give. Anything else we give – time, money, resources… it’s all from a position of a surrendered heart. I wish words could describe this overwhelming, overflowing, abundant love that consumes the heart of someone who gives away their heart to the Lord. I’m so in love with Him. Those who love God know how I’m feeling. What a privilege to serve Him.
My life is not my own. To You I belong. I give myself, I give myself to You.