Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Leaders and Followers

Recently, while ministering in a women’s prison, I shared with them my struggles, but I also told them about God’s deliverance. I confessed my distresses, but I also testified of my victories in Christ. Afterward, a tough, young inmate came to my prayer line. She confessed that she had come that night only to stir up trouble. But then she said, “But ma’am, you make me want to know God.” 

The world is full of hurting people. You know that (I know that). In fact, you may be one of them right now. I have certainly at times wondered how people manage in this life without a knowledge of God and His goodness.

So it’s almost comical, and yet sobering at the same time, when I read about the army that banded together around David when he was running from King Saul. It sounds eerily like our world today.

“And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.” 1 Samuel 22:2 (NKJV) 

Can you imagine the conversations in that camp? It’s very difficult for people who are struggling in any way to keep quiet when around those who are suffering the same. And sadly, it becomes a breeding ground for more distress and discontent. 

Our nation has seen this on the rise the last several years, mostly due to the voice given to people through social media and the rise of “fake news” (through these same outlets). Rallies and marches have become popular among those who are angry and frustrated with policies and laws. But what is most interesting is the number of people who it attracts — many who really never tried to have a voice before but, in their discontent and searching, migrated towards those who were bold enough to speak up (right or wrong).

But what I love about David’s men is the fact that they became known as David’s mighty men. When they aligned themselves to righteousness, they were healed, filled, and fruitful. The Bible says David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), not because he was perfect — but because he was quick to repent.

This is a noble quality in a leader. And obviously, one that creates noble followers.

I remember one time my sister telling me it might be best to keep my “junk” to myself and not tell everyone. “No one would know,” she said. But I couldn’t do that. God had done too much in my life to keep quiet about it. And the only way people would know is to find my voice and tell the difficult parts first. 

I believe the men were attracted to David because they saw that although he wasn’t perfect, he kept following God. People are by nature followers and leaders. We’re all following something/someone. And we’re all leading those behind us.

The important thing is the direction we’re going — whether following or leading. 

One of my favorite psalms (written by David) is Psalm 23. He said,

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3 (NKJV)

I particularly pray that last part often: “Lead me in paths of righteousness.” There are a lot of people discontent, distressed, and in debt. But if we will find the path of righteousness and follow it, others will follow us there too — and find (real) life.

The young woman I met in prison was in a camp with many who are distressed and discontent. But I pray she becomes a mighty woman of God and leads many to the truth.

Copyright © 2019 Daphne Delay, used with permission.

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