Imagine a small crowd of people standing before you. You must pick the leader(s) God will use. In the crowd are two heads of state, one chairman of the joint chiefs, a cadre of executive assistants, secretaries, ‘go fers’, waiters and waitresses, an orphan girl, and one pastor. Where is the leader God will pick?
It really is possible to know the answer because that is the cast of characters in 2 Kings 5. There is the King of Syria, King of Israel, Syria’s national military commander, all their servants, a captive Israeli girl, and Elisha. You know the story of Naaman. His king acted like a leader. He sought to meet the needs of Naaman by sending Naaman to Israel. That is a key attribute of God’s leaders: serving others.
Another leader God chose is the orphan girl who was forced to serve Naaman’s family. Despite her circumstance, she exhibited courage and faith. Though forced to serve, she took her role seriously and looked out for Naaman’s best interest. God’s leaders have bold faith in Him. They use their current circumstances to serve Him. They seek the good of others by pointing them to God.
In contrast, the King of Israel had a leadership position but didn’t lead. When he heard Naaman had been sent to him, he had a meltdown. Rather than believe God could meet the need of the moment, he assumed nothing could be done (no faith!). Because of that, he believed the King of Syria was trying to pick a fight with Israel. The adult leader in Israel was Elisha. He told the king not to worry and to let Naaman come. Elisha believed God (faith!) would do mighty things and everyone would know ‘there is a God in Israel.’
Naaman was indignant at the Lord’s instructions through Elisha. Leadership was provided by his servants. They reminded him of his mission and encouraged him to be faithful to the Lord’s instructions. That’s another thing God’s leaders do. To his credit, Naaman listened and obeyed. Dare I say it? He admitted he was wrong! God’s leaders do that, too. (see Psalm 51 for one example)
It seems I have a theme this week. God really does use the unexpected and/or foolish to confound the wise, (1 Corinthians 1:27). God can use you to be one of His leaders. Just take a lesson from an orphan girl!
Soli Deo Gloria!
(original post Jan. 2014)