Solomon’s Leadership Secret

This morning I was reflecting on some things that happened to me about 14 years ago and how unfair they were. I didn’t get what I was promised or what I deserved. I’d like to say that I’ve gotten past the sting but obviously if I’m still dwelling on them I have not. This morning I began to put them into the perspective of where I am now and the role those things played in getting me here. Yes, they were wrong, perhaps even sinful, but God allowed them at the right time in the right way to get me here now. I couldn’t have seen that at the time but with those things I probably wouldn’t have finished my under-grad degree nor would I have been involved in my last church at a critical time.

That began to give me confidence that God is in charge and is leading. I was able to serve my last church the way I did not because of my great skill but because of God’s mighty work. He is even able to accomplish his purposes though a goof like me. Then I looked forward. If he has done all that in my history, if he has written my story that way so far, then he probably has a purpose for me going forward as well. So I sat here with coffee cup in hand pondering this. I have little confidence in myself as a leader but I have great confidence in God’s ability to accomplish his purposes even with weak people. So going forward, I don’t have confidence in myself but I do have great confidence in God. How do I operate doubting myself but trusting him? What’s the linchpin that keeps those two things together?

My mind went to Solomon. I don’t know why, I haven’t been reading 1 or 2 Kings but I though of Solomon’s ascension to the throne of David. Listen to what Solomon says to God,

“And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” – 1Ki 3:7-9

Solomon knew he wasn’t fit for the task of leading Israel. He didn’t have confidence in himself, but he knew what God had done through David and the promise (covenant) he’s made with his father. And so he asked God for what he didn’t have. He trusted God to give him what he needed to lead. The linchpin between my appropriate mistrust of my abilities and my confidence in God is prayer. “Lord, I can’t… but you can.” I need to pray more.

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  • Amen! I so resonate with so much you speak to!

  • I thought you younger seminary grads had it all together and it was only older folks like me that had that problem.

    I’ll pray for you Matt. I have a lot of confidence in you. I thought you handled that issue at that other church really well.

  • sweet post, brother. I’m often slapped in the head with this reality

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