I’ve enjoyed studying history with my kids. We take a cyclical world view approach and repeat it every four years, going into greater detail each time. Ancient one year, medieval the next, early modern after that, and wrap up with modern. Repeat. Because my education wasn’t as fluid, I only knew specific parts of history, and mostly just about a specific area. This broader approach has been fascinating to me, and I enjoy learning as much as my kids do.
One of the things I focus on and hope to draw to their attention is who the leaders are; how they are motivated; what their character is like; and how they are influenced. This is not a political post. Governments aside, leadership opportunities are everywhere. People lead corporations. They lead churches. They lead communities. They can even lead in friendships.
In the car yesterday, one of my kids remarked about a friend following another’s poor example, and it frustrated her to see them behaving the way they did. It was a good moment to talk about the influence friends have on us and how their influence can bring out the best, the worst, or the immature in us. In the moments that followed, I thought of some of my closest friends and how my friendships have changed over the years. I thank God for removing some of the influences that (had and) could have shaped me in a negative way. I thank him for others who, whether they walked the same streets I have, or come to life in history pages, lead a path that points to him.
Samuel 8, the people want a leader. The Lord tells Samuel to warn them of what that means.
19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. 20 “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.”
21 So Samuel repeated to the Lord what the people had said, 22 and the Lord replied, “Do as they say, and give them a king.” Then Samuel agreed and sent the people home. Samuel 8:19-22, NLT.
Leadership seeps through Stephen’s testimony in Acts 7.
37 “Moses himself told the people of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people.’ 38 Moses was with our ancestors, the assembly of God’s people in the wilderness, when the angel spoke to him at Mount Sinai. And there Moses received life-giving words to pass on to us.
39 “But our ancestors refused to listen to Moses. They rejected him and wanted to return to Egypt. 40 They told Aaron, ‘Make us some gods who can lead us, for we don’t know what has become of this Moses, who brought us out of Egypt.’ 41 So they made an idol shaped like a calf, and they sacrificed to it and celebrated over this thing they had made. 42 Then God turned away from them and abandoned them to serve the stars of heaven as their gods! Acts 7:37-42, NLT.
Lord, I just want to listen to your voice.