My blogging journey from the beginning for those who are interested. Each week I will include one of those original blogs from Martin Scott’s Perspective site. February 4th 2010 and the blogging began. Never did this before, but what therapy, what a joy, what a chronicling of a journey that never ends. In many ways things have developed, but it is good to see where we come from to appreciate where we are. All in the healing. Enjoy or endure…
Gideon’s fleecing again
I believe the greatest leaders are the one’s who will refuse position and title. They would rather put on the towel than pick up the trowel. They will influence from among and not guide from above. They will realise that being last in the queue is more powerful than being first. They will recognise that listening is so much more powerful than talking. They will learn to be like little children and not paid professionals. They will see that greatness comes from being a servant of all and not from being recognised. The biggest challenge to being a servant of all is the heart of people. They are always looking for a coronation. They are always desiring a king. They have a throne ready and somebody with an earthly body has got to sit in it. They just have to be like everybody else. This was so evident in the aftermath of the recent election, for 48 hours no one really knew who was in charge. Panic!!! The country will all fall down if we do not have someone in charge straight away. There then came a national obsession in crying out for a new leader, even if he did not win the election. I do not know about anybody else but my life went on over the weekend as per usual. Still full of joy, challenge, family, friends, life…
Gideon understood this dilemma. Here was a man who just wanted to serve God in his own back yard. A reluctant warrior. Someone who would rather put out another fleece than get on with a job. God loves the reluctant types. The one’s who do not really think they’ve got much to give. These make the best leaders because they don’t want to be leaders. They want to give it away. They don’t want to control and manipulate and dictate their own agenda. To cut a not very long story even shorter, Gideon led Israel to victory with trumpets and torches. Not the most powerful weaponry that any leader has displayed. But God. Gideon understood God enough to reluctantly do it. Not with a powerful army, but a puff of air army. God won the day.
Gideon had fulfilled the call. God never gave him any more instructions. He was ready to go back home. Problem. We want a king. The people ask Gideon to become their king and rule over them. Not just him but all his descendants. Family security for the rest of their days. No more threshing wheat in wine presses. Position, recognition, power. But Gideon was a man of the towel. I will not rule over you, was his reply. The Lord shall rule over you.Then he made a strange request. One that became a snare to him. I do not believe it became a snare because of what Gideon did, I believe it became a snare because the heart of the people wanted something or someone as a vicar, a representation of God upon the earth. Gideon made an ephod. A sign of priesthood. A sign? Prophetic symbol? We are a kingdom of priests, we do not need an earthly king, we have a king. The people worshipped it instead of Gideon, and instead of God. Gideon went home. He gave it all away.
In those days there was no king in Israel
everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
I used to think that verse was just about them being so bad because they had no king. Now I wonder if there can be some positive there. What if we had no earthly king and yet we recognised the King. The right in our eyes could be right after all.
Give them what they ask for
Samuel was a prophet in the Nation. He had no position or title, he was just recognised for what he carried. But he was getting old now. His kids were the rebellious type. Here is a word for any parents reading this who think they have failed because your kids are living a rebellious lifestyle. It is not your fault. It has nothing to do with bad parenting or failure on your behalf. Look at Samuel, he lived 100% for God but his kids didn’t. We cannot make the life choices for our kids. Even God’s kids rebelled in the garden of Eden, and He was the perfect father that provided the perfect environment. Everyone makes personal choices.
The people were concerned about leadership. The elders gathered together and came to Samuel. Elders meetings have never changed over all these centuries. How many times when I was a pastor the elders gathered and then came to me with some great advice. Their request, ‘make us a king…like all the nations.’ We just want to be like everybody else. We want to incorporate the worlds systems. They have kings on the earth, we want one too. They have priests, we want priests, they have vicars, we want vicars, they have pastors, we want pastors, they have apostles, we want apostles. We just want to be like the Greek system, the Roman system. Make us a king to rule over us. God said to Samuel, ‘give them what they want.’
What comes with a king
He will take your sons and appoint them for his own …to be his
He will appoint captains over 1000′s and 50′s
He will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest
He will appoint some to make his weopons and equipment
He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks and bakers
He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves
He will take a tenth
He will take your servants and your finest young men and put them to work
Is this a king that God is warning us about, or a modern day pastor/leader/apostle?
The people refused to listen. We want a king over us. We want to be like the Nations. We want someone to judge us and go out before us and fight for us. God listened and gave them Saul- enough said.
This desire is still in the hearts of people.
When I was a pastor I wanted to serve, the people wanted me to lead. I wanted to equip and empower people for works of service, they wanted me to be the equipped one and anointed one. I wanted go share the load, they wanted me to carry it. I wanted to set people free, they wanted to be tied. I wanted to release people, they wanted to gather. I wanted to see people live out there lives before God, they wanted to watch me live out my life before God. I wanted to give it all away, they wanted to give it back with more besides. They wanted a king to do it all for them. To fight the battles and judge them and be their ruler.
Like Gideon I did not want to become their king, so I left and came back to my house. Now I live with a towel and not a trowel. Now I have no position or title or throne to sit on. And that is where I delight to dwell and serve.