Do your words accurately represent your character? (72-4)
There are two kinds of false leaders in organizations: man-appointed and self-appointed. Yesterday, there were truths about Korah, a self-appointed leader, today truths about Balaam, a man-appointed leader. Read Numbers 22:5-24:25.
Balaam tried to curse Israel for profit, but the Lord would not allow it. How can we discern man-appointed leaders? According to The Maxwell Leadership Bible, we need to pay attention to the following five ways to discern man-appointed leaders:
- Leadership issues from human ingenuity rather than God’s anointing (22:14-16).
- Leadership reveals self-serving motives (22:17).
- Leadership devises plans that oppose what God’s doing (22:22).
- Leadership is blind to God’s intentions (22:23-30).
- Leadership’s goals eventually fall because they oppose the work of God (23:1-24:25).
As a man-appointed leader, Balaam claimed to receive a call from God but his authority actually came from human sources and not the Lord. Integrity says a leader is on the inside as they are on the outside. A leader with integrity allows their words to accurately represent their character. On the surface, Balaam sounded like a man devoted to God but in action he resorted to sorcery to attempt to please the man with the money (23:23; 24:1).
When Balak, king of Moab, tried to hire Balaam to pronounce a curse against Israel, the prophet avowed, “Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God” (22:17-18). But those words did not reveal Balaam’s heart. Earlier, when approached by Balak’s messenger and offered a fee to curse Israel, Balaam had been receptive. He had asked the king’s men to wait until the next morning to answer (vv. 7-8). Balaam had submitted to God only after the Lord overruled his materialistic passions.
God could see into Balaam’s heart and so could others. Balaam is consistently spoken of in negative terms in the Bible i.e. see Numbers 31:8 and 16; Deuteronomy 23:5-6; Joshua 13:22; 24:9; Nehemiah 13:2; 2 Peter 2:13-16; Jude 11 and Revelation 2:14.
To be God’s leader we must realize “God talk” does not make us godly. Godliness flows from a heart devoted to God, and when our hearts belong to God our actions will show it. Ultimately that is what makes a leader God-appointed and a leader of true integrity.
Proverbs 18:15 “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.”
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