The Importance of Obedience to God in Leadership: A Lesson from Moses

Posted: June 11, 2010 in Leadership, Ministry

Moses is one the most influential and important leaders in the entire Bible.  He is the one that was chosen by God to deliver the nation of Israel out of Egypt and to the promised land.  Moses is the very one who spoke face-to-face with God (Exodus 33:11) and he is the one who God allowed to see his glory (Exodus 33:19-23), yet he was not allowed to enter into the promised land because of his one act of disobedience to God (Deuteronomy 32:48-52).  When you go back and read about his disobedience you realize that it doesn’t even seem like that big of a deal – he hit the rock with a stick instead of talking to it to get water to come out of it (Numbers 20:1-13).  If this happened in a church today people might say, “Man Pastor lost his temper,” but they wouldn’t be calling together a committee to fire him over something like this.  It’s not like Moses had a moral failing or he mishandled the church’s finances!  But what God says to Moses is, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them” (Numbers 20:12).

The lesson to learn in leadership is this: We can place a cap on the effectiveness and potential leadership we have in the kingdom of God by our disobedience. Moses was unable to lead the people into the promised land, not because he was too old or the task was above his leadership ability, but because of his disobedience to God.  God placed a cap on his leadership because of his sin.  It burdens my heart to think that I could not rise to my full potential in ministry by allowing sin in my life.  I may not fall into a gross moral sin, but even the small things that keep God from blessing me and using me to make an impact in his kingdom.  The importance of obedience is of the crucial for leaders in the church because the very holiness of God demands it!  By our position as leaders we have influence over people’s lives and we can either point them more to Christ or pull them away from him by our actions, words, and obedience/disobedience to God.

Here are several questions for you to consider as a leader:

1)  Is there anything in my life right now that is not honoring to God and preventing me from having the greatest kingdom impact possible?

2)  Am I spending time in the Word of God consistently and hiding it in my heart so that I don’t sin against God?  Am I daily asking God to search my heart and my life to point out even the smallest of sins?

3)  What are the areas in my life that I need to keep a close watch on?  These are the areas that I am most susceptible to giving into temptation.  How can I set myself up to not give into these temptations?

4)  Am I treating God as holy before others?

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