The more I read the story of Saul, the more blunders I find. It’s absolutely amazing to me how many failure moments he actually had in his leadership. Several of the failures are similar and end up coming down to the same problem—a lack of intimacy with the Lord.
Saul needed and apprentice. Saul needed a successor. Yet, Saul avoided this like the plague. He thought he knew who it was; his son Jonathan, so he took his desires for granted. Yet, Saul was unaware of Samuel anointing David. Saul was unaware of his sons willing abnegation of the throne to David. How do we avoid failed leadership?
Ensure you are mentoring and Apprentice
“Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”
And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on.” (1 Samuel 18:7-9)
“And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.
Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul.” (1 Samuel 18:11-12)
“And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him.” (1 Samuel 18:15)
Saul had messed up as king, so God had left Saul and stopped giving him favor. Due to Saul’s wicked and unrepentant heart God was forced to choose another king. God chose David and began showering favor upon David and had His Spirit rest upon David.
This success frustrated Saul to no end. Instead of celebrating that God was giving Israel a better king, Saul became jealous and sought to end David’s life…further separating himself from the Lord and the Lord’s will.
I will be the first to admit that as a leader it is hard to see those under you achieving success. It’s hard not because I’m so great but because my sinful nature wants to be better than them. We judge ourselves in comparison to others. I’ve even found myself wondering why someone on Facebook has more “friends” than I do….that’s pretty freaking low and pathetic!
However, we are jealous of others success, aren’t we? Someone gets promoted over us, we get ticked. Someone younger than us gets more accolades for their effort than we do…it makes us freak out, because after all: we’ve been doing it longer!
True, honest leadership I’m learning is leadership that develops others. A strong leader may be effective for 30 or 40 years, but if they invest in the up and comers, they celebrate the success of a younger person and seek to make that person better…they are investing for much longer! When we apprentice, our skills and our gifts sometimes get transferred…so even if we die off we are still a part of that younger leaders life! Our influence goes farther!
Saul sought only his glory and so he jealously kept all his leadership stuff to himself. There was no attempt to teach a younger guy how to be king. He hated the success of David and the moment it looked like David was blessed by God to take the throne was the moment Saul went ballistic.
We as leaders need to be seeking how to invest in the future…even if someone eclipses us in the process…especially in the church! It’s not about us…it’s about Him! Saul as the king over Israel was supposed to be pointing the whole nation to God…instead he was trying to point them to himself.
His reign was all about his glory…not God’s glory. Saul cared more about his image than he did the image of God. Brothers ans Sisters, we can’t be like Saul!
I fail here a ton, I am a people pleaser and I want people to like me, I want the glory, I want the spotlight.
I, however must die to myself and start pointing to God. My gifts are His gifts. My ministry is His ministry. My wisdom is His wisdom. We, my friends, are simply stewards of all he has given us. We don’t own anything, not even who we are. We had no control over who we would be…we simply have a choice to steward that which was given.
Saul failed in developing an Apprentice. We should not fail here, God has entrusted our leadership roles to us to not only lead now, but to lead when we’re gone.
We must look and see: who are the young leaders that have the Lord’s Anointing on them? How can we pick them out and apprentice them for what God has for them in the future?