The Forgotten Trait of Great Kingdom Leadership: Humility

A sermon idea from 1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21

Elijah was certainly eloquent and persuasive. People listened to him. His name would have been in the newspapers of his day for his activism.

But it wasn’t his eloquence God was after. It was his humility.

Elijah had made a common mistake during his time of service in believing that he was necessary for the work God wanted to do. And not only was he necessary, he began to feel a bit indispensable.

And in one paragraph of the text, God humbles him. He tells him to anoint kings who will step into a role Elijah had once occupied himself. And then he tells Elijah to go and anoint his own replacement.

Elijah. is obedient and God’s mission continues.

This story reminds me of the very first line in Rick Warren’s best-selller, The Purpose Driven Life

It’s not about you.

Rick goes on to say,

Contrary to what many popular books, movies, and seminars tell you, you won’t discover your life’s meaning by looking within yourself. You’ve probably tried that already. You didn’t create yourself, so there is no way you can tell yourself what you were created for!

In other words, you’ll never ultimately find fulfillment when you see yourself as the center of the universe.

I love that the story ends with a kind of matter-of-fact last-minute detail.

Oh, you thought you were the only one capable of doing my work, Elijah? Well, I’ve had 7,000 others like you ready to share their own prophetic words. Now get back to work.

I don’t believe God’s intention is to make us feel unimportant or belittled. But our Creator knows that our truest path to being who he intended for us to be is not through self-importance, but rather through self-abandonment.

The mantle of prophetic leadership isn’t earned. It is graciously bestowed, which is all the more motivation to live a life worthy of it.

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