Did you know it’s possible to have a gift but not use it? Unfortunately, many people live with untapped potential, because they let their God-given gifts lay dormant. But today, I want to share why it is so important to use your gifts, particularly the gift of leadership.
There is a fascinating account in the book of Judges about how God delivered the children of Israel from King Jaban of Canaan who had harshly oppressed them for twenty years. When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, God spoke to a prophetess named Deborah who was serving as the judge over Israel at the time. He gave her a commandment that Israel should send ten thousand troops against Jabin’s army, and He would bring them victory. Deborah shared the vision with a man named Barak who she called to lead the army of Israel.
So, Barak assembled the troops and sure enough, God brought victory for the children of Israel. When the battle was over, Deborah and Barak sang a song pf praise to the Lord. The song began with these words: “When leaders lead in Israel, when the people willingly offer themselves, bless the LORD!” (Judges 5:2, NKJV). I’m fascinated by those opening words, “when leaders lead.” It’s amazing what can happen when leaders lead!
But what happens when leaders don’t lead? In this account, God brought deliverance to the children of Israel through the leadership of people like Deborah and Barak. But what would have happened if they hadn’t stepped up to lead? What if Deborah would not have shared the word God had spoken to her? What if she had not prompted Barak to assemble the army? What if Barak had not led the troops as he was instructed?
It’s important that we realize that when God moves to fulfill His plans, He often calls on leaders to carry out the work. Most of us would wholeheartedly agree that we want God’s plans to be fulfilled on earth, but we also have to understand that each of us has a responsibility in that regard. When He calls on us to move, we must move!
God gives people the gift of leadership for a reason. We may not always fully understand those reasons until we step out in faith and start leading. But it’s important that we obey His call and step forward. Otherwise, if we just stand idly, it’s like we’re clogging up the flow of God’s plans. I’m sure you feel as I do in that I want to move with the Lord, not against Him. We need to be people who cooperate with the Lord, not stand in His way.
The apostle Paul exhorted Christians with these words: “Having then gifts according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” (Romans 12:6, NKJV). He continued, “If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously” (v. 8, NLT). Another translation reads this way: “If [your gift] is to lead, do it diligently” (NIV). Certainly, we must be accountable to the call of leadership God has given us.
Again, let me remind you what Deborah and Barak exclaimed: “When leaders lead … bless the LORD!” Indeed, when leaders lead, blessings come. So, don’t miss out on the blessings God has for you! And don’t cheat others from the blessings they could receive through you. Use the gift God has given you; be a leader who leads!