Leadership these days is tougher than ever. Times are hard and organizations are stressed. Employees are stretched and budgets are tight. One job of a successful leader is to encourage those who look to him or her for leadership, to “rally the troops” so to speak. During difficult times in an organization this becomes even more important. One great example of that comes from the Psalmist David in Psalm 3. At the time of this writing it is believed that David was hiding out from his son Absalom. His encouragement kept his troops focused and gave them strength they needed in desperate times.
If you don’t know the story, you can read the full context in 2 Samuel Chapters 11 through 19, but in short, David’s sin led to a family turmoil, which led to David’s son attempting to take over the kingdom. David flees for his safety, but an army goes with him. In spite of being outnumbered, David keeps his troops encouraged and they eventually return to power. If you are a leader struggling to gain victory or you feel overwhelmed in your current situation, his story may motivate you. (It did me.) By the way, this is also good encouragement for you if you are leading a family!
Walk with me through this great passage from The Message Version:
1-2 God! Look! Enemies past counting! Enemies sprouting like mushrooms, Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery: “Hah! No help for him from God!”
There will be times in any organization (or family) where the odds seem to be against you. In those times a leader may feel there are more negative voices than positive outside and even inside the organization.
3-4 But you, God, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high; With all my might I shout up to God, His answers thunder from the holy mountain.
The leader, regardless of the naysayers, must remember the vision and the resolve of his role within the organization. In this case, of course, David wasn’t unrealistic. He knew the situation was gruesome, but he also knew he had a testimony with God and that God had placed a special calling on his life. Great leaders know their calling.
5-6 I stretch myself out. I sleep. Then I’m up again—rested, tall and steady, Fearless before the enemy mobs Coming at me from all sides.
David took action. He went to sleep, placing everything in God’s hands. It was as if he said, “God, when I get up…it’s all you again!” Leaders must know their limits, their strengths and be willing to rely on help from others. Christian leaders ultimately rely on the power of God.
7 Up, God! My God, help me! Slap their faces, First this cheek, then the other, Your fist hard in their teeth!
David woke up with a passion that exploded inside of him. He had a new resolve. He had experienced a revival in his heart. He was ready to move forward with God’s plan. I can almost imagine those around David thinking, “What got into him last night?” Great leaders, in spite of their challenges, have a contagious enthusiasm about moving the vision of the organization forward. A team will rally around a leader with conviction.
8 Real help comes from God. Your blessing clothes your people!
David assumed his rightful place as a leader and began to invest in others. As David looked to God for his strength, his people could look to him. Leaders find the strength they need to remain positive, instill vision and values, and encourage others to move forward, even during dark days.
Fellow leader, are you in a tough situation right now? Maybe you lead a church, a business, a non-profit or even a family, but if the organization you lead has fallen on hard times, follow the example of David and lead your organization to victory! With God on your side, who can be against you?