The U.S. presidential election transcends American politics, because the reality is that the U.S. president wields enormous power. The United States and its policies have a profound affect on many nations' economies and their quality of life.
American voters will soon determine who will occupy the most powerful position in the world, but only after carefully scripted campaigns designed to present the candidates in the most favorable light—as the epitome of leadership, compassion, strength and wisdom—run their course.
Both men have tried to be all things to all people, so inevitably the country will be disappointed when the winning candidate fails to live up to the high expectations.
Leaders and leadership aren't always the same
If we ever needed real leadership, now is the time. This campaign should cause us to consider several crucial questions: What is real leadership? Does God view leadership differently than most people do? How does He define leadership? And how can we apply it?
Some leaders assume that since they occupy positions as leaders, they automatically exhibit leadership. But this is not accurate. While a leader is generally defined as someone who is over a country, organization or group of people, the quality of leadership concerns how a leader acts toward others.
If a leader views himself as elevated above others and them beneath him, he is unlikely to be a good leader. His perspective erodes the respect others have of him. While he may think everything is fine, others secretly lament his approach toward them. As Proverbs 29:2 Proverbs 29:2When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bears rule, the people mourn.
American King James Version×tells us, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.”
Too many people in authority falsely equate their positions as leaders with being automatically smarter and better than those they lead. Conversely, a good leader is inclusive, honorable and fair, compassionate and merciful, and honors others. His leadership is clearly with humility (see Micah 6:8 Micah 6:8He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
American King James Version×).
Good leadership is serving those who are led
Ideally, the terms leader and leadership should go hand in hand. Sadly, in many cases these terms are contradictory. Yet leaders can develop good leadership over time, like that of the first U.S. president, George Washington.
The greatest leaders are characterized not by wielding great power, but by their humility and service to those they lead. George Washington was such a leader—a true public servant.
Many presidential observers cite various characteristics that made George Washington an effective leader. The quality least cited is intellect, possibly because he was surrounded by such luminaries as Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Pulitzer Prize–winning author Joseph Ellis wrote admiringly of Washington's leadership even in the midst of such brilliant men: “It seemed to me that Benjamin Franklin was wiser than Washington ; Alexander Hamilton was more brilliant; John Adams was better read; Thomas Jefferson was more intellectually sophisticated; James Madison was more politically astute. Yet each and all of these prominent figures acknowledged that Washington was their unquestioned superior.
“Within the gallery of greats so often mythologized and capitalized as Founding Fathers, Washington was recognized as primus inter pares, the Foundingest Father of them all. Why was that? . . . I have looked for an answer, which lies buried within the folds of the most ambitious, determined, and potent personality of an age not lacking for worthy rivals” ( His Excellency: George Washington, 2004, p. xiv).
Early in Washington 's military career (1755), while serving as a colonel with the Virginia troops under the direction of the British army's Gen. Edward Braddock, he and his fellow soldiers engaged, quite accidentally, a large detachment of French and Indians. The French and Indians spread out in a semicircle and started firing.
The Virginia troops rushed to fight the enemy at close quarters. Ironically, they were caught in the crossfire between the Indians and the British, which nearly wiped them out. The seasoned Braddock, fearless and stubborn, rode into the fracas to rally the men but was cut down with wounds to his chest and shoulder.
“With Braddock down and the other aides-de-camp casualties, it fell to Washington to rally the remnants. Riding back and forth amidst the chaos, two horses were shot out beneath him and four musket balls pierced his coat, but he escaped without a scratch, while, as he put it, 'death was levelling my companions on every side of me'” (p. 22).
Washington became a hero by rallying the survivors to retreat in an orderly manner, saving many lives by risking his own.
“His specialty seemed to be exhibiting courage in lost causes, or, as one newspaper account put it, he had earned 'a high Reputation for Military Skill, Integrity, and Valor; tho' Success has not always attended his Undertakings.' There was even talk—it was the first occasion—that his remarkable capacity to endure marked him as a man of destiny” (p. 23).
A servant to his country
A contemporary, Samuel Davies, wrote of the future president as “that heroic youth Col. Washington, who I cannot but hope Providence has hitherto preserved in so signal a Manner for some important Service to his Country” (ibid.).
Time, opportunity, charisma and experience elevated George Washington to prominence. His exploits in the French and Indian War made him a seasoned hero.
As hostilities spread following the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress unanimously elected and designated Washington as the general and commander in chief of the Continental Army on June 15, 1775, for several reasons. They knew they could trust him. He was a man of wealth, less tempted to corruption. He was a fearless, determined and competent leader who shared a common vision with the Colonial leaders.
The impression Washington made upon those he led and many members of Congress was significant. “The feeling was that if he, George Washington, who had so much, was willing to risk 'his all,' however daunting the odds, then who were they to equivocate. That he was also serving without pay was widely taken as further evidence of the genuineness of his commitment” (David McCullough, 1776 , 2005, p. 48).
He served in that capacity through the end of the war, but rather than pursue additional power, he resigned his commission and retired to his estate. Offered the kingship of the new country, he reportedly responded that he hadn't fought a war against Britain's King George the third to become America's King George the first.
In 1789 the electoral college unanimously elected him as the first president of the federal republic of the United States, then unanimously reelected him in 1792. After reluctantly serving his second term, he again surrendered great power and refused any further terms to retire to Mount Vernon.
When Washington died two years later, he was eulogized by one of his former generals as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” So respected was he that his former adversaries in the British navy flew their flags at half-mast.
Washington was memorialized as the father of his country, his likeness later chiseled onto Mount Rushmore and printed on the omnipresent one-dollar bill. His timeless principles of leadership set a high and lasting standard for all aspiring political leaders.
Another president sets a lasting standard
Less than a century passed before another historical giant led the United States through a bloody civil war and ended, in part, the stain of slavery. Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president, transformed the country and paid the ultimate price, killed by the bullet of an assassin.
Many books have been written about President Lincoln, but few about his leadership. One stands out: Donald Phillips' Lincoln on Leadership (1992).
“In order to comprehend modern leadership theory and be successful in the future, leaders must look to the past—to President Abraham Lincoln, for example—who routinely practiced nearly all of the 'revolutionary thinking' techniques that have been preached to American industry in the last ten to fifteen years,” Phillips wrote.
“Lincoln can be looked to as the ideal model for desirable, effective leadership. He is the perfect example of . . . a 'transforming leader'—a person who aims for the evolution of a new level of awareness and understanding among all members of an organization. Such a leader rejects the use of naked power and instead attempts to motivate and mobilize followers by persuading them to take ownership of their roles in a more grand mission that is shared by all members of the organization” (p. 172).
President Lincoln's example instructs leaders to know the people they serve. For Lincoln during the Civil War, that meant “get out of the office and circulate among the troops” (p. 13).
Not all of his generals did this. When Lincoln relieved Gen. John C. Fremont of his command in 1861, he focused on this leadership requirement: “His cardinal mistake is that he isolates himself, and allows nobody to see him; and by which he does not know what is going on in the very matter he is dealing with” (p. 13). “Freemont . . . was completely out of touch with those he commanded and the situation at hand” (p. 14).
Remarkably, Lincoln was a century ahead of his time. “Lincoln revealed the cornerstone of his own personal leadership philosophy, an approach that would become part of a revolution in modern leadership thinking 100 years later when it was dubbed MBWA (Managing by Wandering Around) by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman in their 1982 book In Search of Excellence” (p. 14).
How “Honest Abe” earned his name
Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln acquired the moniker “Honest Abe” during the campaign of 1860, but he'd earned it years earlier. During the early 1830s, Lincoln partnered with William Berry to run a general store. However, they ran up a debt he was left with after his partner died in 1835. Although it took him years, Lincoln repaid the $1,100 they owed—a huge sum in those times.
Lincoln led by being led. To bring peace to those he served, he would bring them together to work out their differences. Such was the case of a jealous secretary of the treasury, Salmon Chase, who rallied some senators to accuse Secretary of State William Seward before President Lincoln. The president got them together to talk out the situation. In the process, Chase suddenly realized that he had revealed his hidden agenda. He admitted Seward was not guilty and submitted his resignation.
“So what's the lesson to be learned from this episode? Many corporate leaders will recognize Lincoln's method because it is an often-used technique. They get all the members of feuding departments together, lock them in a conference room . . . and compel them to stay together until peace is made …
“Had he dictated [to them], they may have accepted his authority with great resentment. But the problem would not have gone away. It would have lingered and festered. By gathering the disputing parties, Lincoln let his subordinates lead themselves out of the mess” (p. 102).
Lincoln was known for never acting out of vengeance or spite and for being able to handle criticism, even if unjust. Author Bruce Barton, in his book The Man Nobody Knows, describes a revealing incident from Lincoln's life that took place during the dark days of the Civil War:
“An important man left the White House in Washington for the War Office, with a letter from the President to the Secretary of War [Edwin Stanton]. In a very few minutes he was back in the White House again, bursting with indignation.
“The President looked up in mild surprise. 'Did you give the message to Stanton?' he asked.
“The other man nodded, too angry for words.
“'What did he do?'
“'He tore it up,' exclaimed the outraged citizen, 'and what's more, sir, he said you are a fool.'
“The President rose slowly from the desk, stretching his long frame to its full height, and regarding the wrath of the other with a quizzical glance.
“'Did Stanton call me that?' he asked.
“'He did, sir, and repeated it.'
“'Well,' said the President with a dry laugh, 'I reckon it must be true then, because Stanton is generally right.'
“The angry gentleman waited for the storm to break, but nothing happened. Abraham Lincoln turned quietly to his desk and went on with his work” (1987, p. 3).
Lincoln not only kept his hardheaded secretary of war in office throughout his administration, but he eventually won him over. At Lincoln's death, the man who had once derided him as a fool lamented, “There lies the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen.”
Another leader arises to save his country
Neither Abraham Lincoln nor George Washington sought to build empires, amass great personal wealth or gain power for themselves. Their leadership qualities helped save their country in times of great crisis, as did the leadership of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The free world owes Sir Winston Churchill a sizable debt. Had it not been for his bold stand against Hitler's insatiable lust for power, post–World War II Europe (or much of it) might well have ended up under Nazi control.
Churchill's remarkable leadership is highlighted in a memorable speech he gave before the House of Commons on June 4, 1940, just after the British withdrawal from France. In one of his nation's darkest hours, he rallied his countrymen to stand firm in their time of peril:
“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
Churchill became a symbol to the world of his country's determination to resist the Nazi domination of the continent. Through his dogged leadership, his countrymen stood against a bullying tyrant who threatened the free world—and they survived.
Tyrants left a deadly legacy
Regrettably, leaders like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill stand out because they were the exceptions, not the rule. History is filled with abusive leaders who mistreated and sacrificed others in their hunger for control. Often it was their own subjects, over whom they wielded life-or-death power.
The ancient Roman emperors often declared themselves gods. (One reportedly said on his deathbed, “I feel myself becoming a god!”) With this mind-set, other people were useful only to the extent that they could satisfy the leaders' lust for power.
Three tyrannical leaders in the 20th century—Mao Tse-tung, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin—were responsible for more violent deaths than any before, in each case numbering tens of millions.
These dictators maintained their power by instilling fear in the masses on many levels. They eliminated rival institutions that might compete for loyalty, seized control of their educational systems for long-term influence, controlled the military structures and insisted on obedience to their personal opinions and whims.
It's mind-boggling that such leaders could have wielded such monstrous power in the 20th century. Yet these tyrants were followed by equally evil megalomaniacs such as Cambodia's Pol Pot, North Korea's Kim Il Sung and Iraq's Saddam Hussein, all of whom were responsible for the deaths of thousands to millions of their own countrymen in their quest to gain and maintain power.
Real leadership is rare
Sadly, real leadership—the kind of leadership the Bible says God wants to see—is rare and precious indeed. Jesus Christ defined for His disciples the perfect and principled leadership that really counts.
Before their conversion, the disciples naturally jockeyed for the most coveted positions. In response Jesus revealed to them the essence of true leadership:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave —just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28 Matthew 20:25-28 25 But Jesus called them to him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority on them.
26 But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27 And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
American King James Version×, emphasis added throughout).
If aspiring leaders were required to practice these leadership qualities today, we would go begging for candidates!
Christ's lesson on humility
God's perspective on leadership is very different from ours. In fact it's the polar opposite. “'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts'” (Isaiah 55:8-9 Isaiah 55:8-9 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, said the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
American King James Version×).
True leadership goes beyond shallow thinking, personal tastes and comfort zones. An effective leader understands and appreciates the need for sacrifice and service toward others. He is focused on helping others more than on helping himself.
Jesus Christ emphasized sacrificing for and serving others. When His disciples asked Him, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He directed their attention to a little child and said that unless they became like children, humble and receptive, they could not enter His Kingdom (Matthew 18:1-4 Matthew 18:1-4 1 At the same time came the disciples to Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child to him, and set him in the middle of them,
3 And said, Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
American King James Version×).
The book of Proverbs confirms the relationship between leader and leadership: “Before honor is humility” (Proverbs 15:33 Proverbs 15:33The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.
American King James Version×).
To a good leader, everyone is valuable
Another great leadership principle Jesus taught is that every individual is important to a good leader, just as that individual is important to God.
“If a man has a hundred sheep,” said Jesus, “and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:12-14 Matthew 18:12-14 12 How think you? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
American King James Version×).
A leader displays good leadership when he is willing to go back and restore a person who went astray rather than write him off.
Perhaps the greatest example of real leadership took place even as Jesus was dying. Experiencing great pain and aware of His imminent death, Jesus mercifully looked down on those responsible for His crucifixion and prayed for them, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34 Luke 23:34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
American King James Version×). Vengeance and getting even simply weren't part of His thinking.
A good leader will reach beyond his physical needs to help others even if they hate him (Matthew 5:44 Matthew 5:44But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you;
American King James Version×). This is why God the Father extols Jesus Christ's supreme example of leadership:
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11 Philippians 2:5-11 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
9 Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
American King James Version×, New International Version).
This is the attitude of a true servant leader, one who is willing to surrender all so that others might reach their ultimate God-given potential. One day, the entire world will experience this kind of humble, serving leadership when Christ establishes His Kingdom here on earth!
Christ's leadership in His coming Kingdom
You may have recited the Lord's Prayer and the part that requests and acknowledges “Your kingdom come” and “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 Matthew 6:10Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
American King James Version×). But do you know that this verse also foretells the thousand-year rest that Christ will bring to the earth mentioned in Revelation 20:4 Revelation 20:4And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
American King James Version×?
God the Father has promised that Jesus will return to set up His Kingdom of peace and prosperity. That is God's will to be done on this earth.
Another prophecy that talks about this coming Kingdom and God's will being carried out on earth is found in Isaiah 9:6-7 Isaiah 9:6-7 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
American King James Version×:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (NIV).
Jesus Christ will establish His peace on earth in justice and righteousness. Godly justice comes only from God's commandments (Psalms 119:172 Psalms 119:172My tongue shall speak of your word: for all your commandments are righteousness.
American King James Version×). Christ's leadership will be based on God's commandments, which bring about permanent peace (Matthew 5:17-19 Matthew 5:17-19 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
American King James Version×; 19:17; John 14:27 John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
American King James Version×; 1 John 5:3 1 John 5:3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
American King James Version×; James 3:17-18 James 3:17-18 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
American King James Version×). Without God's law, there can be no real or true leadership and certainly no peace.
When Christ returns, He will first dispatch all human tyrants who will gather to fight against Him at Jerusalem (Revelation 16:14 Revelation 16:14For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
American King James Version×, 16; 19:11-21; Zechariah 14:1-12 Zechariah 14:1-12 1 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, and your spoil shall be divided in the middle of you. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And you shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal: yes, you shall flee, like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with you. 6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. 10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate to the place of the first gate, to the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel to the king’s winepresses. 11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. 12 And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
American King James Version×). He will then remove Satan and the demons by binding them for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3 Revelation 20:1-3 1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
American King James Version×).
The prophet Isaiah describes Jesus Christ's leadership for us at that time: “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord .
“He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash round his waist.
“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them . . . They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:2-9 Isaiah 11:2-9 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatted calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
American King James Version×, NIV).
This is God's wonderful promise of a world finally at peace under right leadership!
God's exciting plan for you as a leader
So how does Jesus' leadership apply to you today?
There is no better time to compare current political campaigns and presidential promises to real leadership principles. Although we cannot change modern political leadership and its guaranteed disappointment, we can change ourselves to become better leaders.
God invites us to surrender our lives now (Luke 14:26-27 Luke 14:26-27 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
American King James Version×), along with our way of doing things (Matthew 20:25-28 Matthew 20:25-28 25 But Jesus called them to him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority on them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
American King James Version×), so we can be part of a very different kind of leadership promised to the world (Revelation 3:21 Revelation 3:21To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
American King James Version×; 1:6).
At Christ's return, those who have truly surrendered their lives to Him and remained faithful will teach all nations a new way of thinking that begins with a service-oriented change of heart, based on God's spiritual laws (Hebrews 8:10-11 Hebrews 8:10-11 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
American King James Version×).
Will you accept His invitation to become a true leader? The reward for doing so is beyond your wildest imagination! GN