Hardly Indispensable: A Leader’s View

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13″ The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.

14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”

Exodus 18

Often your father-in-law will observe things clearly and honestly. I believe most can perceive situations that our own fathers will overlook. I think this is because our own fathers are often functioning out of their hearts.  They are emotionally attached. But a father-in-law has a different view.

Jethro has come, most likely to escort the grandkids, and his daughter. He is probably quite curious about Moses new direction. Jethro has only known that his son-in-law as a shepherd. But now, things are changing quickly. And Jethro is praising God for what He did over the Egyptians.

Jethro is enthusiastic. But he is also alert and aware. As Moses schedules his day, Jethro sees an inordinate amount of time given to judging, not leading. He watches and than asks some questions. This is the sign of good correction. Moses faces these questions really well. He is a great model for teachability.

Leadership is almost always a shared work.

Many aspects of it should be collaborative and plural. The singular view of leading people– out of my own resources alone, will not end well. Moses was teachable and Jethro needed to share this word of correction. If Moses had not took the wise advice of Jethro, they would’ve died in the desert.

When Moses released these things to others who were qualified, he commences on a new understanding of ministry. He actually becomes a better man because of the advice of Jethro. He must become “expendable.”

24 “Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions. 25 He chose capable men from all over Israel and appointed them as leaders over the people. He put them in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.26 These men were always available to solve the people’s common disputes. They brought the major cases to Moses, but they took care of the smaller matters themselves.”

None are ever indispensable and no one can do everything. We may try, but that usually is ego. We will do better if we will relinquish control. I think that the Father designs it this way.

Dwight L. Moody once said that he would rather put a thousand men to work than do the work of a thousand men.  I believe that is a Kingdom concept that we should activate.

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Coincidence: When God Hides

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“‘O Sovereign Lord, you have only begun to show your greatness and the strength of your hand to me, your servant. Is there any god in heaven or on earth who can perform such great and mighty deeds as you do?”‘

Deuteronomy 3:24, NLT

I knew God had a sense of humor when I hesitantly answered the ringing K-Mart payphone, only to hear my best friend, who had misdialed my home phone number, on the other end.

When God really does speak, He will often use circumstance to align His grace and power to you. Seldom are we untouched by this work, but the act of our personal reflection turns it into gold.

Once I prayed for my young son who had a blazing fever. Five minutes later, I laid hands on him. He was completely cool; his fever had completely broken. He was well.

I think God can do these things, and more. This is really His control over circumstances, and events that we see as firmly set, and concretely beyond our own actions. But He moves miraculously intervenes. There comes a moment when all the cosmic tumblers fall into place, and the key can be turned; the door is opened.

Walking with friends from Alaska, we wormed our way down Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. The streets and sidewalks were jammed, and our little village in Alaska was like on a different planet. Suddenly, my friend turned around to see his captain, the owner of his fishing boat come out a door of a coffee house and into the throng. Monte yelped and turned to meet his boss. They meet 5000 miles from home in one implausible moment.

These things seem a strange and supernatural “sequences of events.” But the Bible clearly teaches that one attribute of His nature is that of omnipotence. Another attribute is that of sovereignty. Together they teach us that God is fully in control and can do all things. He is so much more, but He is solidly in charge of His universe. And our lives.

 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you!;”

2 Samuel 7:22

“O Sovereign Lord, the strong one who rescued me,
    you protected me on the day of battle.”

Psalm 140:7

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.

Albert Einstein