Great leaders choose to cause movement.
Have you ever felt like a particular situation was absolutely hopeless? Perhaps it was a broken relationship, a dead end job, a class that simply seemed too challenging or goal that seemed to be set too high? Paralysis can so easily set in when we feel things are beyond hope.
The Israelites must have felt this way after living under the subjugation of the Persian kings for decades. Generations of Jewish children where born knowing nothing but what seemed to be a hopeless situation. I imagine most of them lost all sense of hope.
However, God was not finished writing their story. He was moving in the most unlikely of ways. After all, it is in God’s character to cause movement!
In the very first few verses of the Bible we see that God is characterized by activity and movement. “God created” (Genesis 1:1), “God was moving” (1:2), “God said” (1:3) and “God separated” (1:4). A few verses later after creating man, the pinnacle of His creation, it says, “So God created man in his own image” (1:27). Another translation of that word is “resemblance”. We are are designed to be like God… we are designed to create, through movement, through the words we speak and through the things that we accomplish. Through out the pages of scripture we see this pattern played out in the lives of those who chose to follow God’s plans for their lives. In fact, if we take the time to examine our own lives, we notice we are most vibrantly alive when we are, creating, moving and accomplishing something of significance; when we operate in the image of God.
The first chapter of Ezra begins in a bizarre manner. King Cyrus, who inherited the kingdom earlier that year and ruled over virtually all of the known world, including Israel, receives a revelation from God. The first verse of Ezra says, “…the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus“. While the plight of the captive Israelites seemed hopeless, God was about to blow the doors of hope wide open. Cyrus commissions the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. and issues a proclamation that anyone who wants to help should travel to Jerusalem and join in this endeavor. Not only would they receive freedom from their hopeless, captive condition, they would be supported in the rebuilding of their temple! God was moving!
“Then rose up the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go and rebuild the house of the LORD that is in Jerusalem.” ~Ezra 1:5
God continued moving by stirring the spirits of His people. Notice, that in response to this stirring, the leaders (“heads of the fathers’ houses“) rose up. This is how God so often operates. He stirs our spirits and looks for the leaders to cause movement.
How is God prompting, nudging or stirring in your your life? How is He moving in your spirit? Perhaps, like the Israelites in Ezra, you feel enslaved to something or someone. Perhaps, you also feel as though your circumstances can not change. Perhaps you feel stuck and hopeless. God is moving. Like the Israelites, He is stirring our spirits, inviting us to move towards His plan for our lives.
This is how God always operates in our lives. He moves in us, to help us accomplish the extraordinary. He has designed incredible things for us to accomplish in this life. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
The first thing the leaders of the Israelites did in response to the movement of God in their lives was to move themselves. They “rose up” immediately. What move will we make today to begin the journey God has in store for us?
Great leaders choose to cause movement. Great leaders do this our their lives, and in the lives of those who follow them!