In the fall of 1995 I was flying over Naples, Italy on a beautiful, starry night. I remember that it was nearly impossible to tell where the land ended and the sky began because the lights of the city blended perfectly with the stars in the sky. Looking across the horizon I noticed the one distinguishing factor between the two: as we flew across the peninsula the lights from the city slowly moved from left to right across my window but the stars appeared to be fixed in place.
In that moment I felt like the Lord told me, “Look, Kraig… The things that man puts in place will come and go, but the things I set in place are established forever.”
In my heart I finally understood the significance of the old hymn:
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the works thy hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed; Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
The things that man puts in place will come and go…
After 150 years of dominance, the Assyrian Empire finally began to crumble. Weak leadership, generations of cruelty, distractions and overreaching military strategies began to take their toll on the Assyrians at the same time Babylon was rising in power. With the assistance of the Medes (more on them during the Rebuilding Crisis) Nineveh was destroyed in 612 B.C. and Babylon assumed supremacy over the land. Fifteen years later, Jerusalem itself fell to Babylonian control & its citizens were taken into captivity.
Those who find themselves at the top should remember the fragility of their position.
The things that man puts in place will come and go, but the things God sets in place are established forever…
Here are a few leadership takeaways:
- All earthly positions of leadership are temporary.
- Leadership is a gift from God & must be stewarded accordingly.
- You’re not the smartest or the most gifted person in your organization–you’re just the leader. (Thank you Andy Stanley for that one!)
- The perversion of purpose (as established by God) is sin — whether in leadership or any other sphere of life.
- The purpose of leadership is to serve others in justice, mercy & humility.
- Leaders should leverage their position & power to elevate others to achieve their full potential.
- Cruelty and disrespect from leadership breeds contempt and revolt. (If you lead with an iron first, you will fall on an iron sword.)
- Today’s subordinate may be tomorrow’s superior.
- You will be held accountable for the way you lead.
- God is watching.