Sunday, 03 April 2016 16:51

Leadership Thoughts and a Letter to President Zuma

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When Israel asked for a king it appears that God was disappointed. Certainly his prophet of the day, Samuel, expressed great distress at their request. It seems that God feels competent to run nations without an obvious human monarch. Nonetheless, God gave them a king and many afterward. When a king attuned his heart to God's the nation prospered and when the king went head strongly after his own agenda the nation suffered. Israel's first king, Saul, was head and shoulders above his peers in appearance but when called on to lead the nation he was found inadequate. The prestige and power that goes with leadership can be an intoxicating experience. It turns the most unlikely people into despots. This good-looking yet timid man was soon defying God and chasing away rivals by throwing spears at them. Despite the willingness with which he embraced the authority that went with his position, it appears that he was reluctant to embrace the responsibility with the same enthusiasm. Saul spent more time enjoying the position than caring for the nation.

Israel's first king, Saul, was head and shoulders above his peers in appearance but when called on to lead the nation he was found inadequate. The prestige and power that goes with leadership can be an intoxicating experience. It turns the most unlikely people into despots. This good-looking yet timid man was soon defying God and chasing away rivals by throwing spears at them. Despite the willingness with which he embraced the authority that went with his position, it appears that he was reluctant to embrace the responsibility with the same enthusiasm. Saul spent more time enjoying the position than caring for the nation.

I have noticed through my life that the greater the prestige of the position the greater the temptation to feel invincible, unaccountable and immune to consequence. And yet the Bible reveals the opposite. God held every leader responsible for their decisions even the secret ones (2 Samuel 12). God is watching leaders because the behaviour of the leader influences the state of the people and He cares about people!

Leadership is first a responsibility. It is not a means to line the pockets or to feel powerful. It is a place of service that few realise. We have people in power in various spheres and at different levels but it likely only a few are leading as God would have them do.

A Letter to President Zuma

Dear President Zuma

The day that you were conceived in your mother’s womb – God was there. He wove you together and marveled at the wonder of what He had created. He knew you would face many challenges but He placed in you the characteristics to face difficult times and overcome. He interwove in your heart, tenacity, courage, and compassion. You didn’t know it but He had a plan for you that far overshadowed your humble beginnings. As your Father, He communicated His dreams and hopes for you as threads in your aspirations and daydreams. He sent people to teach you and help you and He paved a way for you to succeed against great odds. He looked to a future where you would lead fearlessly and sacrificially; paving the way for great prosperity and blessing for your people. For He loves you…

And yet, there have been other voices that have called to you, they have promised privilege without responsibility and prosperity with impunity. How wrong those voices have been. For though they seem louder, more immediate and stronger they will not have the last say. It is not too late to change your allegiance. The voice of your Heavenly Father is still calling to you. To answer it now will be harder than anything you have ever done but it will turn you into a hero of the Kingdom and a hero of this nation. I am praying that you will hear again the small, still voice that guided you in your youth. I am praying that you will do the right thing at the expense of your own comfort and in so doing ensure a legacy for yourself and all South Africans.

There is another side to God’s love, however, and that is His love for this nation. He called you to lead one of His greatest treasures on this earth. A nation that has, and will, defy the odds and rise to great leadership amongst the countries of the world. A nation that is destined to reveal what it looks like when a people forsake their own agendas to follow those of the Kingdom. There is a grassroots righteousness rising that will wash away obstacles with the sheer force of the truth it carries. Things hidden will be revealed and every decision will be tested. Do not be deceived, God will have his way – may you be found in Him and not out of Him.

God bless you, President Zuma

By justice, a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down. Proverbs 29:4

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