For a Christian, no decision is wise if made independently from God. Read Joshua 9:1-15
When the people of living in the land around the city of Jericho saw how God went before His chosen people and destroyed the city walls of Jericho, great fear nearly overwhelmed them. Many kings combined their armies and prepared for battle but the Gibeonites made a different plan. They sent emissaries to Joshua claiming to be from a far off land. They disguised themselves as weary travelers even down to the moldy bread in their saddlebags. They asked for a peace treaty claiming that they lived at such a great distance they would be of no danger to the Jewish people. In this instance, Joshua failed to consult God and made a bad decision. Once a decision was made, he was obligated to keep his word and his decision had long lasting consequences.
We make decisions every day, and the patterns we establish in the small decisions shape the larger ones. Read 1 Chronicles 12:32.
The background for 1 Chronicles 12:32 is that Israel’s first King, Saul, was dead. David, from the tribe of Judah had been appointed King and was ruling the nation from the city of Hebron. Many of the fighting men from each of the other 11 tribes of Israel were coming to Hebron to turn Saul’s kingdom over to David and re-unify the nation. This simple statement, tucked away in the middle of a listing of the men who had volunteered to serve David and who supported his anointing as king over all Israel, tells us of some men from the tribe of Issachar “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”
Decision making is critical leadership skill for every effective leader. Read Nehemiah 1:1-11.
Nehemiah was a Jewish man who had gained favor with Persian Royalty during the time the Jews were exiled from Israel to Babylon. Nehemiah lived in a time after the Persians had conquered Babylon, in the 20th year of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, (445/444 BC), and Nehemiah was cup-bearer to the king. A cup-bearer is an officer of high rank in royal courts, whose duty it was to serve the drinks at the royal table. Since there was constant fear of plots and intrigues, a cup-bearer must be regarded as thoroughly trustworthy to hold this position. When Nehemiah heard some difficult news from those who had returned to Persia from Jerusalem he had a major decision to make. If he asked to leave the kings service, even for a short period of time, to return to Jerusalem to help his fellow countrymen, he might be regarded as disloyal and suffer prison or death.
Knowing which alliances to make and which to stay away from will have a tremendous impact on a leader’s success. Read John 7:14-32.
Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the religious feasts held each year to commemorate a great work of God. As Jesus was teaching in the temple the religious leaders were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” Jesus’ answer indicated He received His knowledge from God and that set off a firestorm that ended with people trying to seize Him and arrest Him. Jesus knew which alliances to build and which to oppose. He consistently gathered around Him sinners whose hearts were ready to change and consistently stood against the legalistic practices of the religious leaders.
There will be times every leader must take risks to further the mission. Read John 2:12-22.
Following His miracle at the wedding in Cana (Verses 1-11) Jesus traveled with His family and disciples to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. Upon His arrival He went to the temple and became disturbed by the way religious leaders had allowed venders to turn the temple courts into a marketplace. Jesus’ passion for His Father’s house rose to the surface and He drove the vendors, cattle, and sheep from the courts and in the process tipped over the tables of the money changers and sent the coins flying onto the floor.