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A Leader After God’s Heart

How educated are you? How much natural talent do you have? How patient are you? How persistent are you? Who do you know? Who is your family? What position do you have? By themselves these are not bad questions but none of these alone make a good leader or a good person for that matter. So, what does God look for? Said another way, what is important to God when He sees a leader? Leadership begins with a person’s heart. All of the education, talent and position in life do not make you a great leader.

In 1 Samuel 13 Saul had failed to be obedient to God’s word. Fear crept in and caused him to take on a role that he should not have, and it cost him dearly. Saul had gathered his troops to fight against Israel and he was instructed to wait for Samuel seven days. As day seven drew to a close Saul took on the priestly role and offered a sacrifice because the people were scared of the Philistine Army that had gathered. As he finishes this offering Samuel arrives and the conversation does not go well. The end result is that Saul loses the kingdom.

There are three things to note about what Samuel said about Saul’s replacement as king of Israel. 1 Samuel 13:14 First, God chooses His leaders. David did nothing to become king. God watches over our lives and prepares us for the roles He calls us to. There is nothing wrong with working hard and striving as long as you consistently come back to seek God’s guidance for your life. Ephesians 2:10 speaks of the good works that God has prepared for us to walk in. Second, God is concerned about the heart. Verse 14 says that “The Lord sought for Himself a man after His own heart.” This is one of the defining characteristics of David’s life. We see when Samuel goes to anoint the next king, he initially wanted to anoint David’s oldest brother saying, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” (1 Sam 16:6) God challenged Samuel to look beyond appearance and perceived talent to look to the heart. “But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7) Finally, God has an expectation of obedience. He expects us to follow Him, even in the smallest of details.

If you have a desire to lead, then you must have your interior life in order. The crucible of leadership will quickly reveal deficits in your character. Begin now laying your life before God and allowing Him to search you. Hear God as He reveals areas that need to be reformed, altered or cut out altogether. Remember God is looking at our hearts. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)


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