I had this leadership thought reading through Numbers 14. You know the context; it’s the rebellion following the exodus. The people refused to enter the land due to overwhelming physical obstacles before them. Unable to recognize God’s presence and protection, they rejected the gift of the promise. In the midst of this rebellion you read these words recorded in Numbers 14:4, “And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”” The people not only reject God, they reject God’s called leader. Let us choose a companion to chaperone our return into slavery rather than choose a leader to take us into a God prescribed future. The mantra is awfully familiar in the church today. I’ve observed well meaning believers choose a companion rather than choose a leader. Can’t you hear it, “Let’s choose a person who’ll do what we want him or her to do!”
Why does this happen? I think our human nature desires control; let’s create a future confined to what we can see and what we can accomplish on our own. Our old nature doesn’t like the geography of dependence. I like being captain of my own ship! What’s familiar seems so palatable contrasted against the unknown. We like to utilize what’s in our grasp at the moment though often God’s plan requires surrender, risk, trust, dependence, and a whole lot of faith. We don’t need chaperones to guide us backwards; we need leaders who aren’t afraid of the giants and the imposing obstacles ahead. We need leaders who will unashamedly lead forward and people who will fearlessly walk with their leaders into a God created future. When tempted to entertain a companion, you’ve become too comfortable. Choose a leader since going backwards isn’t really the option.
Think about it – do you really want to go backwards? Really? Do you want to choose a companion or call a leader? A companion can take you back to once was but will never really be the same. Where’s the freshness of the encounter in this? The leader can guide you into a God called future. Take the risk and trust! If history is an indictor, you’re better off going forward than backward!