Godly Direction in a Godless World
In the word’s of John Maxwell, “Leadership is Influence: nothing more, nothing less”. But that influence is about direction. Spiritual leadership is about the direction we are going and the direction we want to take othrrs. For the next weeks, we will consider the direction significant men and women in the Bible took others. As always your thoughts and comments are appreciated.
He was inundated by a sin-saturated and satiated culture. It was enough to throw anyone off track. The minds and hearts and eyes and hands of the world were given over to all manner of evil all day, every day (Gen. 6:5). The world was one vile cesspool.
But there was an exception; a notable and noble exception. “…Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8). He did not go with the flow. He did not follow the crowd. He did not compromise with the culture. In a day when the world was on a roller coaster to hell, Noah resolutely went in the other direction and led his family to do so. And that is the crux of spiritual leadership: not knowledge or ability but direction. And direction can be very obvious in a day of rampant wickedness like Noah’s day; and like ours. When culture is bent on wickedness the person bent on following Christ will stand out. Noah’s integrity, his upright conduct, and his walk with God were notable exceptions to the fair of his day. His wife and his children saw a different kind of man when they looked at him; a man who knew the grace of God personally and enjoyed fellowship with God regularly. This is a distinguishing mark of any spiritual leader. He or she sets himself apart from the norm. He is not afraid to be different. Such a person is ready to hear from God and cooperate in what God will accomplish in a day of great wickedness.
What is the significance of Noah’s spiritual leadership? What was the fruit of his life being a light “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation”? (See Phil. 2:15). The author of Hebrews in the New Testament tells us (Hebrews 11:7). This man of genuine faith guided by the word of God and bound to the will of God heeded the warning of God and acted on things that He had never seen to bring his family to salvation. His godly life stood as a condemnation to a wicked generation and a means of salvation to his family.
But his actions had consequences far beyond his immediate family and generation. Not only did he follow God and become a means of salvation to his immediate family, but God also used him to affect the course of human history. His sons repopulated the earth. One of his sons was the father of the Jewish people through whom we received the Scriptures and ultimately the Savior – our Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritual leadership is not just about today. Spiritual leaders live with a view to the coming generations. In a day in which evil is exalted and righteousness is ridiculed, we who follow Christ would do well to keep this in mind. The faith and spiritual leadership of Noah are a challenge to us to avoid a life of ease that goes with the flow and to embrace a life lived to the glory of Christ.
President, Vision4living Ministries, Inc.