REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on June 11, 2015, is provided by Phillip Chen who is associate pastor at Kairos Christian Church in San Diego. Phil is a graduate of University of California, San Diego (BS) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Making Difficult Decisions”
1 Kings 3:7-12 (ESV)
And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.
As I was watching the movie Selma, I was struck by what a difficult position Martin Luther King Jr. must have been in as he pioneered the Civil Rights Movement. In the movie, many important decisions needed to be made, including the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. In one scene during a peaceful march, he kneels down and prays, then makes a decision to turn back, despite pressure to move forward. What a difficult decision to make!
Solomon recognized the difficulty of governing a multitude of people and leading them to follow the ways of the Lord. He rightly asks God for supernatural wisdom in leading the people of God, understanding the complexity behind leadership. He understands his limitations and appeals to God for greater wisdom and discernment. He does this because he sees how precious these people are and understands that they are entrusted into his stewardship, which causes him to take his reign over Israel seriously rather than nonchalantly.
There are two things that we can glean from this passage. First, we must understand the gravity of decisions that our leaders must make, therefore, we should constantly pray for God to give them wisdom in discerning what is right and wrong. We must trust that the leaders that God appoints over us desire our good and must answer to God for what was entrusted to them in a position of leadership. In that, we need to continually pray for God to give them an understanding mind to lead His people.
Secondly, we must also see whom God has entrusted into our hands and ask God for wisdom and understanding for ourselves in leading them to Him. We need to see the people whom God has placed in our lives as precious in His sight and desire to see them enter a maturing relationship with Jesus. Understand that in your lifetime, there will be those you answer to and those that answer to you. We are constantly in a cycle of being led and leading others, so let us submit to those leading us and faithfully care for those we are leading.
Prayer: Father, we pray for our leaders who need so much wisdom in leading us. Help us to trust in them as they lead and watch over us, and give them the wisdom to do what is pleasing to You. We also pray that You would reveal to us those that You have placed in our lives for us to influence. May we see each and every person You place in our lives as a precious one that You desire to love and may we be faithful in leading them in Your ways as well. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 3
Lunch Break Study
Read Hebrews 13:17-18 (ESV): Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Question to Consider
- Why does the author encourage us to obey and submit to our leaders?
- How can we bless our leaders?
- How can we pray for our leaders?
- Those who are leading us are accountable for us. When they stand before Jesus, they will have to answer for the way they cared for us and led us, and so we should not grieve them by trying to question their every move (assuming they are faithfully following God).
- When we submit to them and trust that they really care about our well-being, we can see their joy in leading rather than groaning because of the opposition of those that they are leading. A leader cannot lead well if those they are leading constantly oppose them.
- We not only pray for wisdom for our leaders, but that they have a clear conscience in their leadership. Leaders are not superhuman and are prone to sin as well, so we should pray all the more that they hear God clearly and have the character to obey God and lead His people.
Do you pray for your leaders? Do you take the people you are leading seriously? Begin to get in the habit of praying for God to release a spirit of wisdom over your leaders as well as asking God for wisdom so that you might be faithful in leading others in the ways of the Lord.