For months now, I’ve been sharing with you about the key characteristics of a Spirit-empowered leader. We’ve considered how the head of a leader is filled with wisdom and understanding. The eyes of a leader see the potential for a better future. The ears of a leader tune in the right messages. The nose of a leader smells when something is fishy. The mouth of a leader speaks words that matter. The shoulders of a leader carry God’s call responsibly. The heart of a leader is moved with compassion. The hands of a leader get involved in the lives of others. And the knees of a leader humbly bow to God in prayer.
I hope these messages so far have helped to enlarge your vision of how God can use you in leadership. Now, I have an important question for you: Are you ready to take a step of faith? God has a way of leading His people to take specific actions, and sometimes those tasks can seem difficult or uncomfortable. But the feet of a leader are willing to take steps of faith. Let’s consider the Bible’s account of Queen Esther.
Esther, who was a Jew, became aware of a plot to kill all the Jews in her land. She needed to go before the king to try to stop the evil plan. However, the law of the land prevented anyone from going before the king without being invited, and violators could be put to death. Esther faced a difficult decision, but she chose to move forward and go before the king. In the end, her efforts paid off, as the king showed favor to her request and saved her people.
When we look closely at Esther’s story, we can find several keys that made her efforts successful. From her example, I believe we can learn some key ingredients to a successful step of faith.
1. Responsibility. One of the determining factors that moved Esther to action was the insistence of her cousin Mordecai. Even though it was unlawful to go before the king uninvited, Mordecai urged Esther to do so. “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” he asked her. (Esther 4:14, NKJV). Those words seemed to spark in Esther a realization that she had a responsibility to her family, to her people, and to her God to take action.
Likewise, we should be moved by our own sense of responsibility. When there is a need that God has called us to meet, we must accept His call and the responsibility it carries. Any step of faith we take should begin with a keen awareness of responsibility to our God and His call on our lives.
2. Humility. Even when Esther decided to move forward with the plan to go before the king, she didn’t rush to action. Instead, she instructed all the Jews in the land to first fast for her for three days while she and her maids fasted as well.
Esther was humble enough to know she needed help from God and other people in order to carry out her mission. I believe she wanted to make sure she had God’s blessing on the plan before she took action. We can certainly learn from her example. When we step out in faith, we shouldn’t step out on our own. We should sincerely call for the grace of God and the help of fellow believers.
3. Risk. When Esther presented herself before the king, she was certainly taking a huge risk. Esther has not been invited before the king, so she was risking her own life to go before him. Still, her sense of responsibility and humility was strong enough that she determined to go anyway. “I will go to the king, which is against the law,” she declared, “and if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16).
Undoubtedly, when we take a step of faith, we will encounter our own risks of failure, ridicule, or rejection. But we can’t let that stop us! We must display a resolve like Esther to move forward in spite of the risk.
So, what step is God leading you to take today? Consider these lessons from Esther as you follow the Lord. Be responsible to His call, humbly ask for His favor, and move forward in spite of risks. May God bless you in your walk of faith!
Leadership Lesson: Leaders are willing to take risks when they know they’ve been called by God, and they have His help.