Well, we have arrived at our final session. You’ve done it. We’ve made it. I pray that you have enjoyed it as much as I have. I’ve been trying to hold my enthusiasm as we go through these leadership lessons. And so let’s get to work, so we can fulfill this in expeditious time.
37. God can use anyone He chooses to restore His work and vindicate His leaders.
Our next point is leadership point number 37. This is a great one because it reminds us through King Cyrus that God can use anyone He chooses to restore His work and vindicate His leaders. As a matter of fact, I want to read just a bit. I have this Scripture here, 2 Chronicles 36:22–23. Let’s read verse 23. It says, “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people, The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up” (KJV). A man who’s not a Jew, a man who’s not from Judah, decides, “God has blessed me. I want to be a blessing.” Which means if God can use Cyrus, He can use anyone. No matter where you’ve come from, no matter what your educational background, your ethnicity, your nationality, your ability to articulate or to speak, whether you feel like you’re beautiful or not, your hair is long, you’re tall or short, God uses whoever He wants to restore His work and vindicate His leaders. He doesn’t want us to limit ourselves based on our qualifications, because God qualifies you. And we see that in 2 Chronicles 36:22–23.
As we continue to move forward, there’s a few other things that I see here in the text that I think are very important. First of all, we can kind of summarize lessons that we’ve seen. This is not from a particular king, per se. These last three lessons are things that we can see in light of all that we’ve learned from these kings of Judah.
38. Knowledge is learning from your own mistakes; wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others.
First of all, knowledge learns from our own mistakes. We get knowledge from learning from our own mistakes. But wisdom learns from the mistakes of others. We saw some of the kings that were very wise by learning from the mistakes and the victories of others, so that they do not spend most of their life making their own mistakes. If you’re going to be a great leader, you’ve got to learn from the mistakes of others, learn from the victories of others, so that you can be successful.
39. The Five Levels of Leadership
Also, I referred to it in the beginning, and I think it’s very important—I referred to in the beginning, a book that supports this study on leadership, and I recommend it. It’s The Five Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell that I think is very important. In his book of The Five Levels of Leadership, he talks about five specific levels of leader. And that’s the next lesson that I want to share with you, that there are levels of leadership. You don’t just walk in at level five. He says there’re five levels of leadership. Level one, being the lowest. Level five, being the highest.
Level one is position. You lead based on position, like Saul did. That’s when you lead based on your rights. People follow you there because they have to.
Level two is permission. You build relationships. Remember, Rehoboam failed this level. He had the position, but did not follow relationships. People follow you now because they want to. They trust you. They believe in you. That’s the second level of leadership.
Then as you move higher, level three is production. You lead based on results. Uzziah was a level-three leader. He had results. He had production. The man did great things. And what you have done for the organization is what people get excited about. They see you as a winner, your accomplishments. You have momentum as a level-three leader.
Level four is people development. You lead based on reproduction. People follow you because of what you have done for them. You develop leaders, not just followers. This is what Jehoiada had done with Joash. He produced and led someone else to become a leader. He mentored him and discipled him and led him to a new level. That’s level four, people development. That’s a difficult level.
And then, finally, level five is personhood. That’s a level of respect. It’s based on respect. People follow you because of what you are and what you represent. They follow you because of your values. They follow you because of what you stand for. You spend years of growing people and organizations. Level-five leaders reproduce themselves with other leaders. Level-five leaders lead level-five organizations. They lead people who lead people. They lead leaders. That is the epitome. That’s where we seek to be.
And the greatest level-five leader of all time is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus took twelve ragtag, uneducated, and untrained individuals and led them. Excuse me, really only eleven because Judas was disqualified before Jesus even went on the cross. And through these eleven guys that He poured into, He impacted the lives of those around Him. But what He did then impacts us even today.
We should strive and recognize that there are levels of leadership. And you can go up and down those levels and recognize, as you lead individuals, you do not start at level five; you start at level one. And you must work your way up. And if you’re leading in any organization, even in your family, in any organization or wherever else, you can be level five with some people and level one with others. And then it moves consummate to that. And so I just wanted to share that with you.
40. Don’t follow your heart; follow God.
And now for our final leadership lesson, which brings us to leadership lesson number 40. We have made it through 40. There’re no trumpets. There’s no confetti. I don’t understand. Something’s wrong with this studio. Where’s the confetti? Anyway, final point, number 40, is don’t follow your heart; follow God. Too many individuals follow their hearts. Leaders of God do not follow our hearts, but we follow God. As a matter of fact, in Jeremiah 11:8 it reminds us that the heart is deceitfully wicked. Who can know it? But a Scripture I want to share with you is from Jeremiah 9: Jeremiah who was the final prophet to Israel before they went to slavery after the kings had failed. Jeremiah 9:13 says, “And the LORD said, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; but have walked after the imagination of their own heart and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them.” Then it continues in 15, “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood and give them water of gall to drink.” The biggest accusation that God had given them through the prophet was that they did not follow His Word. They did what they wanted to, and they followed their own hearts.
The heart is wicked, deceitful. Don’t follow your heart. The heart can confuse, can deceive. But as a leader, follow God, follow His irrefutable ways. And when you do that, you may not be popular, but we learn from Saul that leadership is not a popularity contest. You may not be the most celebrated individual, but we learn throughout the text that that’s not the goal. We do not want to be like that guy, Ishbosheth, irrelevant because we followed our hearts. Follow God, and He will always lead us in the right direction.
Listen, that is our 40 leadership lessons. I am excited for you. I’m excited for me because God has called us for such a time as this in such dark days. He called us to be light and salt in this world. Light and salt, that’s leadership. He called us to be light and salt in a world that is anti Christ, anti-God, anti-Bible, antifamily. And here you are counter-culturally leading people to the righteousness of God. My prayer is that you will courageously—regardless of your personality type, regardless of how you feel, regardless of what is going on in society—that you will courageously stand and follow the principles of God. And when the annals of history are opened, and we look back on your life, the life that you were given as a gift, it can be said of you that you decided to stand in these dark days to be God’s representative, His ambassador on earth when many have fallen away. That you have led hope to others. And so I want to pray for you that you will walk in courage and be that leader God is calling for.
Father, I thank You. I thank You for every woman, every man, every young child who is watching this as an assignment, every person, whether they’re Christians or not, but I pray that they will receive You, receive Your grace and Your love and receive Your mandate of true godly leadership on every level that we live. And I thank You for the courage, the wisdom, and the insight to fulfill Your Great Commission as we follow these lessons that we learned from the kings of Judah. May we save our nations. May we save our cities, our states. May we save our families. And may You save our lives. And may we lead with courage. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.
God bless you. Thank you.