Influence and the Great Commandment
Leadership is influence. At Lead Like Jesus, we define leadership as any situation in which one influences the thinking, behavior or development of another person. One amazing aspect of leadership is that it throws light in every direction. Whenever someone leads a group or team in one endeavor, leadership momentum grows and can be directed to other areas as well. Ezra and Nehemiah provide a unique glimpse into this privilege.
Ezra completed the rebuilding of the Temple and established again the ongoing worship of Jehovah upon which Israel’s destiny had been founded. The good people of Jerusalem were elated to worship again following their captivity. Ezra was their man. His picture of the future had become a reality; those connected to him sensed the Divine hand upon his life and work. Now he reached deeper into their lives by leading them to rekindle their worship of God.
Ezra…stood on a platform…and opened the Book [of the Law] in the sight of all the people…And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground (Nehemiah 8:4-6, NKJV).
What a great privilege to lead others to a more meaningful worship of our Lord.Ezra’s influence in their lives had grown during his season of leadership in the temple rebuilding project. As a result of continuing to follow the Lord in that instance, he was able to lead all of Jerusalem to worship God and celebrate His goodness toward them. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He responded:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Mk 12:30).
God had again placed Ezra in a unique place of influence. Now that the Temple had been finished, he was able to lead his fellow men in further developing their relationship with God—aligning their hearts, souls, minds and strength to God in worship.
How are you using your influence in the lives of others to lead them to a more meaningful worship of Jesus of Nazareth? Are you letting the light of your influence shine in the direction of God’s throne? That relationship…that connection between your life and another did not come about by accident. God himself has arranged the appointment.
Will you keep it?
By Steve Cartin