John Maxwell is someone that has always inspired me. I enjoy reading his books and listening to his ministry material because I always find it inspirational. It challenges my thinking and asks me questions that help me move forward.
For those of you who have never heard of John Maxwell, he is an internationally known speaker, mostly specialising in the area of Leadership development. Now, before you stop reading and assume that the topic of leadership has nothing to do with you, I’d like you to consider reading the following with an open mind.
John is of the opinion that Leadership is defined by our influence and, every single one of us, whether we like it or not (or are aware of it) have opportunity to influence another…. so I hope you’ll feel included in the following. Even if you’re not convinced, please read the article anyway. John has a heart to see people reach their full potential and that is something that I hope we an all get on board with. As part of the leadership here at New Springs there are 2 things that really turn our light on, someone finding Christ as Saviour and walking that out to fulfill their God given potential.
So here goes.
Every year, as part of my own personal leadership development I read through one of John Maxwell’s books. It’s called ‘The 21 most powerful minutes in a leaders day’.
I like it because it asks you to look at different Biblical leadership examples every week and, using a daily study, asks you to identify personal areas for improvement. Each week is based on what John calls ‘Laws’ and the first week is all about the Law of the Lid. Leadership/influence is determined by a persons ability to lead and there are certain things that keep us contained rather than free to rise up and that is what this first week is about.
The teaching focuses on Saul and David and how different both of them were. Both however, regardless of their differences were put in a position of leadership and we also see that both had lids to push past to realise their potential (or not realise it!).
You find the story of Saul and David in 1st and 2nd Samuel.
A verse that we’ll use to help understand Saul’s situation is 1 Samuel 13:13-14.
‘Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of The Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now The Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now, your kingdom shall not continue.”
The background here is that Saul had not long been anointed King over Israel and in 1 Samuel 10:8 Samuel tells Saul to go on ahead of him and wait 7 days. After that time Samuel would arrive and burn offerings and sacrifices, something that Saul was not authorised to do. To cut a longer story short, Saul got tired of waiting for Samuel and went ahead and burned the sacrifices himself.
When you read the story of Saul’s life, we can see that he had many issues but the majority of them seemed to be internal rather than external.
Let me describe the internal lids that Saul faced:
FEAR – If you read 1 Samuel 9 and 10 you’ll see that right from the beginning Saul was afraid of the responsibility of leading. He couldn’t see the opportunity there was ahead of him to make a difference and tried to hide in amongst some bags so he couldn’t be brought out before the people and identified as ‘God’s chosen man for the job’.
IMPATIENCE – As we’ve already read, he refused to wait for Samuel to arrive and took matters into his own hands and made the sacrifices and burnt offerings himself.
DENAIL – He didn’t believe Samuel when he was told that he was sacked and just went on as though nothing has changed.
IMPULSIVENESS – He makes an oath that was reckless and it almost cost the life of his son.
DECIET – He offers his daughter in marriage to David in return for him agreeing to fight the Philistines. His secret hope is that David will die in battle.
JEALOUSY – He couldn’t bare being compared to David, especially when he people considered David to be a better fighter than he was. David was considered as an enemy rather than some one who had come to serve him.
ANGER – Saul would ask David to play the harp for him and while he was doing so would try and kill him with a spear.
These were all attitudes that impacted Saul’s life that he couldn’t seem to move past and in the end, cost him the kingdom that God had entrusted into his care.
How was david’s story different?
There was potential for David to be hindered by both internal and external lids. Saul’s pathway to the throne seemed easy in comparison to David.
So what things could have held David back?
HIS FAMILY – When his Dad, Jesse was asked to gather all his sons together, he didn’t even consider David to be worthy of bringing from the field. He was overlooked and unappreciated by his Dad and his brothers, he’d of been well within his rights to have an inferiority complex about who he was and feel left by the wayside, unimportant and irrelevant.
HIS LEADER – Saul who had seemed so welcoming in the first place had turned into a monster who had become jealous and manipulative. The man he’d left his family for, who he’d chosen to serve, had started to hate him and what he was becoming and he showed him his contempt probably verbally and by trying to kill him.
HIS BACKGROUND – 1 Samuel 9:1 says that Saul’s dad is described as ‘Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power. Saul’s family background was strong, powerful and had influence where as David was the runt of the litter, possibly stuck out in the field because he was unlikely to amount to anything.
HIS YOUTHFULNESS AND INEXPERIENCE – When David came onto the scene with Goliath; he really came to deliver the sandwiches and was ridiculed by his brothers when he suggested he could do something about the Philistine. He was underestimated and disrespected.
What about you?
Do any of these come into play with your life?
John 10:10 (CEV) says ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it fully.’
Jesus doesn’t want us to fade away into the shadows, quite the opposite, He wants us to learn how to be strong in Him so we can tell the Devil to sling his hook when he tries to remind us of our past!
You can lift the lids in your life with God’s help. Why not thank Him today that He has an awesome plan and purpose for your life and decide that, come what may, nothing is going to distract you from it.