Traits of a Godly Leader
The bookstores of America are filled with books dealing with leadership, yet I believe we have fewer true leaders right now than at any time in our history. If God is calling you to be a leader, there are important character traits to develop.
I went to a leadership clinic not long ago, and the question was proposed, “What is a leader?”
One man said, “A leader is someone who can articulate his vision powerfully and forcefully.”
I said, “What about Moses? Moses was a man of such poor speech that God gave him somebody to talk for him.”
Another man said, “He’s a man of purity. He’s a man of holiness.”
I replied, “What about David? He was convicted of conspiracy
to commit murder, and he was an adulterer.”
I just wasn’t satisfied with those definitions of leadership. My definition of a leader is simple: someone who can get somebody else to follow him or her.
Now, there are righteous leaders, as in the case of Moses, and there are unrighteous leaders, as in the case of Hitler. Both were powerful leaders, one for the Prince of Light, and the other for the prince of darkness. But I believe there are specific traits a godly leader should possess in order to lead others in this end-time spiritual battle.
Focuses on one purpose
St. Paul said, This one thing I do…I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV). Jesus said, “I only do the will of My Father” (John 8:28).
Godly leaders don’t try to do everything. They know that all they need to do is one thing—what God has called them to do—and do it well. God’s call is specific, and as we walk in it, He empowers us with His supernatural authority.
Endures the heat
The three Hebrew young men were told to bow before a statue of Nebuchadnezzar or be thrown in the fiery furnace. They refused, saying, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:17 KJV).
At some point in our lives, God may allow us to be put in a furnace—a trial by fire—to see what we’re made of. If we have any quit in us, that’s when it will come out. But if we have the ability to endure the heat, as the Hebrew young men did, I believe God can use us in ways we never dreamed.
Responds with the mind of God
I believe God wants His leaders to be able to function under fire, and to be rooted in the Word of God to such a degree that even in the worst of times, the mind of God will be their first response.
When Moses and his people were escaping Egyptian slavery, Moses didn’t have time to call a committee meeting. Even as Pharaoh and his chariots were racing to kill them, Moses stood firm on the bank of the Red Sea and said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13 KJV).
Moses had the ability, under fire, to see the mind of God for his people, and through his faith, God worked a miracle that allowed them to cross to the other side.
Leaves the past in the past
Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind me, I reach ahead” (Philippians 3:13). Paul had a lot to forget: he had sent Christians to prison, many of whom were later killed. In fact, he personally supervised the murder of Stephen, the first martyr.
I believe our success or failure in reaching the destiny God has for us is often based on our capacity to forget the past and to move confidently forward. God said, “Your sin and iniquity I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12). If God can forget our past, we can forget it too.
God is looking for leaders, young and old, who can lead others
in the good fight of faith. I believe as we develop the traits of a godly leader that God’s Word reveals, God will go before us and make the impossible possible in Him.
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