Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Last week, we continued our series focusing on lessons from the life of Solomon on how to lead with success. Today, I want to move over to 1 Kings 3 to talk about some foundational truths or understandings of what leadership really is if we are going to be Godly leaders.
We concluded our conversation last week talking about living out God’s Word in leadership and how to battle against a natural byproduct of leadership and success which is pride.
– Pride and feeling as if we are above others, better than others, smarter than others will always lead us to feel as if we don’t have to abide by the rules.
“Good leaders want true, honest feedback. Bad leaders see alternate opinions or disagreements as personal attacks.” – Justin Kintzel
– This natural result is a surefire way to destroy our leadership and our future
– Result of applying God’s Word in leadership – we won’t abuse authority, keeps you sensitive to sin, and guarantees Godly heritage
Today, in 1 Kings 3 we are given a glimpse of a very private moment between God and Solomon that shaped Solomon’s leadership forever.
1Kings 3:5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” 6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 10 The speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
There are some foundational truths in the narrative that help us understand what really matters in life and leadership according to God’s Word. Here they are:
vs 5b …Ask! What shall I give you?
1. KNOW GOD – Know who God is and know God intimately
vs 6a And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You…
– David was a man after God’s own heart, this resulted in GREAT MERCY
– “mercy” = khah-sid – kindness, favor, blessing
– Knowing God intimately will transform your leadership potential in exponential ways
2. EMBRACE HIS PROMISES – never forget what God has done for you
vs. 6b …You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
– God fulfilled the promises spoken to David on the longevity of his leadership
– God can always be counted on to keep His promises
– It’s pretty important for everyone to be aware and familiar with these promises
1 Kings 2:4 that the LORD may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, “If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
3. EMBRACE YOUR OWN INABILITY – Have the proper perspective
vs 7 Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted.
– Solomon’s way of saying, “I don’t have a clue what I’m doing” and that’s okay!
– Recognizing your own inability is the first step to embracing God’s abilities
– 2 Cor 3:4-5 We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. 5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.
4. TRUST HIM – Trust that He will be all you need
vs 9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
– Your leadership potential is directly related to and completely dependent on God working in and through you
Model for Christian Leadership
– Christ-centered in all aspects of life (a voluntary servant of Christ)
– Committed to serve the needs of others before their own,
– Courageous to lead with power and love as an expression of serving,
– Consistently developing others into servant leaders, and
– Continually inviting feedback from those that they want to serve in order to grow towards the ultimate servant leader, Jesus Christ.