Do you have circumstances in your life that indicate you must make a change? (178-1)
Effective leaders have an intelligent awareness of current events and their relationship to the future. Read Joel 1-3.
Very little is known about the prophet Joel. It is believed he wrote the book of Joel approximately 835 BC. Joel’s message is directed at the people of Judah, the Southern Kingdom. From his writing Joel appears to have been educated, well-read and familiar with the teachings of Micah, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. Joel effectively used a massive locust infestation that occurred during his lifetime as a word picture; utilizing a natural disaster to underscore the message of repentance to avoid a similar surprising and terrifying judgment by God. God’s assignment to Joel was to awaken the people of Judah from their spiritual apathy and provoke them to repentance and a return to Him.
Joel’s writings give leaders four basic principles that can be utilized to make their leadership more effective:
- Joel understood the relevance of the events of the day as they related to the future. He compared the physical reality of the destruction from a swarm of locusts to the future destruction that would come on the nation because they allowed sin to devour their souls.
- Joel saw the future clearly and told the people what steps must be taken to live and thrive in it. Joel charged the leaders of his day to sound a warning and lead in such a way as to benefit the future generations.
- Joel knew it was up to the leaders to lead the way. People will follow when there is a clear trumpet sound by the leaders. Joel called the priests to model repentance by fasting and wearing sackcloth because he knew the people would do what the leaders did.
- Joel understood that it is foolish for a leader to talk about change without some plan to make it a reality. Leaders must sound the alarm but if that is all they do it makes little difference. Along with his warnings of judgment, Joel told the people about God’s grace and His ability to help them change and be restored if they would repent and return to Him.
Do you have physical circumstances in your personal or work life that you know in your spirit are telling you there is a spiritual change you must make? Are there signs that your team is drifting from the established core values and you know change must happen to prevent significant internal issues or outright disaster for your organization? Wise leaders will learn from the prophet Joel understanding that the present will always affect the future and they take action in the present to correct the circumstances that will allow the organization to flourish in the future.
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