God’s leadership building strategy does not involve finding or calling out the most qualified or even the most likely candidate for what He wants to accomplish. In fact, God delights in using the weak, the unlikely and sometimes those the world would quickly discount as of little account. (1 Corinthians 1:26)
God has the ability, if He so chooses, to use the most powerful of men to accomplish His goals. “The heart of the king is in the hands of God… He turns it wherever He wills.” (Proverbs 21:1). God used Cyrus, the King of Persia who had conquered the Babylonians… the most powerful empire in the world… and set the Jewish people free to return to Jerusalem after seventy years of captivity. He even called Cyrus “my anointed (my “messiah!”) because He specifically chose Cyrus for this special task of leadership. (Isaiah 45:1)
But the next time God raised up a leader to deal with His people, He chose not a king… but a cupbearer. He did not choose an ordinary man because no noble person could be found. He chose an ordinary man to show that it is not by man’s power that these things are accomplished but by God’s! As He told the prophet Zechariah, ” it is not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit, says the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6)
And so God built a leader… from the ground up… by using a person without formal training in management or construction or military strategy or ministry… and made him a leader, a construction foreman, a military commander and a minister… by showing the one thing that is indispensable for any leader in any profession to be successful:
Complete and utter dependence upon God.
FOR MEMORIZATION: Now I was the cupbearer for the king. Nehemiah 1:11
FOR REFLECTION: As we begin this series, think about people in your life whom God has used to influence you as leaders. These may be people in church or at work or in school. What are the qualities that made their influence effective in your life?