After an array of kings with poor leadership, finally comes a king who truly raises the bar.
As we take another look into the book of 2 Kings, I’d like to focus on chapters 22 and 23 this morning. Up to this point, there have been an kings who “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” But we have also had those who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.“
However, now we read about a king who not only does “what is right in the eyes of the Lord,” but who also walks “in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.” (2 Kings 22:2) Finally, a king who has got it together!
Within 2 Kings 22 and 23, we can find six strategies that King Josiah’s embraced, which led him to great leadership success and faithful followers.
1. VISION (2 Kings 22:3-7): King Josiah had the desire and/or the inner-calling to repair the Temple. Little did he know that this calling to repair the Temple would lead to a huge movement within God’s people.
Many times, a revival or a movement back to God begins with one man or woman. They have been given a desire for some ministry-related project or plan. This project or plan soon becomes a vision for change.
2. REPENTANCE (2 Kings 22:11-13): King Josiah hears the Word and repents personally before he addresses his people. Any leader who feels called to bring God’s people into a large movement, must first seek God’s Word and humbly repent. It’s important to note that later on in the chapter, we see God’s response to King Josiah’s authentic repentance.
“Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD.” (2 Kings 22:19) The vision may come from God, but our concentration on God’s Word and repentance moves Him to bless that vision.
3. COMMUNICATION (2 Kings 23:1-2): Before King Josiah starts assigning tasks for his vision, he calls the people together to communicate what the Lord has taught him. Furthermore, to publicly renew his commitment to God’s Word.
Many times, we leaders neglects this vital step. It’s easy to get caught up in the vision that is about to take shape. We end up neglecting to effectively communicate our commitment to God’s Word, prior to communicating our vision. As leaders, we must put ourselves on the line, openly sharing our heart. In turn, sharing our commitment to God before we start initiating the procedures and processes of our vision.
4. RESPONSE (2 Kings 23:3): After King Josiah renews his commitment to God and His Word, the people respond: “Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.” (2 Kings 23:3b)
As I spoke of last week, I recently attending a Relational Leadership conference facilitated by author, Walter C.Wright (“Relational Leadership“, “Mentoring” and “Don’t Step on the Rope“). Once again, I find myself hearing the book of 2 Kings echo Dr. Wright’s statement that “Leadership requires followers — someone who chooses to be influenced. Leaders cannot lead unless followers choose to follow.” (Walter C. Wright, Jr.)
As leaders, we must humbly gauge our success by the response of our followers. If we are committed to God and communicates that humbly through word and deed, the people will commit to our leadership. In turn, they will commit to our vision.
5. FOLLOW THROUGH (2 Kings 23:4-20): This is where King Josiah proves that he’s a man of his word. Once he communicates his commitment to God and the people join in his commitment, he puts his vision into action and starts ‘cleaning house’. Task after task, project after project, King Josiah gets to work, fulfilling the words he spoke at the Temple.
This is a vital step for us as leaders. We must fulfill our commitments! Too many times, we neglect this final step of follow-through and finish poorly. In the end, we leave our followers feeling hopeless and visionless. Missing this step can seriously hinder future successes.
6. CELEBRATION (2 Kings 23:21-23): This is a remarkable piece of King Josiah’s story. His initial vision was to repair the Temple, but it became a huge movement to bring the people of Israel back to God. After he had completed numerous tasks and projects to see his vision through, the work stops and we read the following:
“The king gave this order to all the people: ‘Celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.’ Not since the days of the judges who led Israel, nor throughout the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah, had any such Passover been observed.” (2 Kings 23:21-22)
As leaders, we not only need to take time for celebration and remembrance, we need to do it well. It is vital to know where we came from, what we have accomplished and most importantly, what has been accomplished in us. Celebrate success like it’s as vital as the vision itself.
I leave you with 2 Kings 23:25: “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” As leaders, may we leave this kind of legacy.
Originally posted at QuietMorningsWithHim.com by Jeremy Norton.