March 11, 2018 • Life for Leaders
The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.”
In our scripture above, Moses has come a long way from being the scared, stuttering guide to become a refined, powerful leader of the children of Israel. Have you taken time to consider how you have changed since you began pursuing God’s vision for your life? There are lessons that you have learned. You are probably smarter, stronger, wiser, and more strategic than when you started. In fact, working the vision has likely given you new skills and insights, as well as an expanded workload. In other words, you are ready for help.
At this point in his journey, Moses has accomplished great feats and helped Israel in their process of becoming a nation. Moses instituted the first census, appointed captains from each of the tribes of Israel, and established the Levitical order. He worked the vision, and the weight of responsibility was beginning to hamper his overall efficiency and longevity. This is when God offers a few more helping hands.
This account in Numbers 11 teaches us two important lessons that are relevant to our journey as leaders executing God’s plan for us. The first of these lessons is that every vision will need to be staffed. God’s vision for you is so grand and full that you can’t do it alone. Some leaders try to do everything themselves, and it costs them dearly. For example, one of President Jimmy Carter’s shortcomings was his inability to delegate responsibility to his team. For a while, he didn’t even have a White House chief of staff. Yes, you must learn to work your vision for yourself, but at some point, you must also be ready to hand off responsibility to your staff. Taking this important step will free you up to focus on actually leading the vision, your staff, and constituents to the desired outcome.
The second lesson that we glean from this passage is that God must be the one to choose the proper staff in the proper time. We should not overlook the fact that God brought the need for a staff to Moses’s attention. He also promised to take the Spirit that was on Moses and transfuse it into seventy other leaders. Sometimes we find it difficult to staff our projects and visions, and this may be due to either the wrong timing or choosing the wrong people. Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to trust God with all our heart and lean not to our own understanding. Instead of leaning on our understanding, we should lean on his expertise in everything and watch him guide us to success. If you’ve been working the vision that God has given you, then you are most likely ready for this vision to be staffed. Instead of a prayer, I have included a prayer guide that you can use to help you navigate this space of staffing God’s vision for you.
God, is my vision ready for the staffing stage?
God, highlight the people whom you have called to help work this vision.
God, show me how to plant people in the proper positions according to their capacities and gifts.
Father, increase my capacity with the resources necessary to staff and further this vision.