Leadership Lessons from Judges, pt4
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Today we will continue our look at leadership lessons from the book of Judges.
Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan; only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war, those who had not experienced it formerly).
God left a remnant of the enemy in the land because there was a generation who had not learned how to do warfare. God’s redemptive purpose was to teach them to do war.
I remember being a young minister and wanting to have victory in certain things so that the people I loved and led wouldn’t have to fight that battle. The Lord corrected me and said, “It’s not so they won’t have to fight the battle; it’s so you can teach them how to do battle. It’s so you can teach them how to fight, because they are going to have their own wars and battles.”
2 Timothy 2:2-4
The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
God is about making his sons and daughters soldiers.
The key to discipleship, the key to leadership is uncovering the warrior in people. That’s the fun part! Yes, you can go through getting their life together, balancing checkbooks, breaking addictions, staying free, and hearing from God. But those are all things that lead to an end. What is that end? That they might defeat the enemy. That they might humiliate the enemy. That the enemy may run from them when he sees them coming. We have discipled great character into people but very little warfare.
God is not just looking for men and women who will respond to war when it knocks on their door. God is looking for people who will seek out the enemy. People who know where the enemy is and they go after him.
In Judges 3, it says that they might teach them to do war. This is exercise. This is the idea of strengthening their muscles because they had not experienced war. We take people through the training program, but often we don’t allow them to engage in the game. What if a football player practiced every day with the team but never played in a game? Wouldn’t that be frustrating? I think sometimes this happens in certain discipleship cultures. We are perfecting people, smoothing them out, making people pleasant to be around, able to contribute to the church; but ultimately, we want to make them terrorize the devil in some way.
They were for testing Israel, to find out if they would obey the commandments of the Lord…
How do you teach them to war? You teach them to obey. You defy the devil by obeying God. If I obey God, then when it comes to not obeying, submitting, or caving into some tyrant, that’s going to be in me because I’m obeying God. Obeying God is not just about making my life more pleasant and applying the principles of the Bible like a self-help book. That is the benefit. But ultimately, you not only know Who to obey, but who not to obey.
You sit down at God’s feet so you will be able stand in the face of the oppressor.
Warfare is not convenient. During the Revolutionary War and the Battle at Valley Forge, men died because they froze to death. They didn’t have enough clothing to withstand the winter storms. Boots were worn out, and their feet were wrapped in rags. It was said that when they marched, you could follow the bloody trail in the snow.
War is inconvenient. War disrupts. War stirs up. War is not comfortable.
We are an army that has a hospital. Armies have hospitals; hospitals don’t have armies. At a hospital you are made to get well--not so you can come back to the hospital, but you are made to get well so you can go and do your life. That’s the truth of discipleship.
In Judges 3, God is trying to teach a generation that they would know war. They have to understand that if they want to fulfill their inheritance, they will have to fight for it. There is no room to be passive and wait for things to happen.
God had enemies in the land who would be the sparring partners for Israel and teach them how to fight. Why? So that on game day they could knock out the devil.
Are you learning to fight? Are you looking for the enemy? When you see someone who is being bullied by the devil, being taken advantage of by the world, under the load of sin, does something rise up in you? Or do you go home, shut the door, and wait for it to come across your threshold?
God wants to uncover the warrior in you. To do that, He is going to have to break you out of the convenient and the comfortable. We fight so that others may learn to sit at the feet of Jesus so that they also can stand in the face of tyrants.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!