The Growing Up of a Leader

Growing With God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Samuel 3:19-21 (NIV)
The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

1 Samuel 3:19-21 (MSG)
Samuel grew up. God was with him, and Samuel’s prophetic record was flawless. Everyone in Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, recognized that Samuel was the real thing—a true prophet of God. God continued to show up at Shiloh, revealed through his word to Samuel at Shiloh.
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“Now Samuel grew; and the Lord was with him and He let none of his words fail [to be fulfilled]. And all Israel from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south] knew that Samuel was appointed as a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.” -AMPLIFIED

God was raising up a leader that would be true to Him and could be trusted by the people. The young Samuel grew up, not only in age and physically, but also spiritually as well. He listened to and followed the ways of the Lord; hence the Lord was with him as he grew. The Voice transliterates verse 19 in this way, “As Samuel grew, the Eternal One guided him and none of His words were lost on Samuel.”

We are then informed that the growing Samuel found great respect among the people. In fact, they recognized Samuel as, “…the real thing—a true prophet of God.” Similar words were spoken of the young Jesus. “And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men.”

The fact that the Lord was “with” Samuel was of the utmost importance. Nothing compares with having the presence of the Lord with you, leading and guiding; giving you words of wisdom and knowledge. Samuel was experiencing this. Remember, if God is for us, then who can be against us!

The writer of Samuel tells us that “…He (God) let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.”; which attests to the closeness of the relationship between Samuel and God. God did not allow any of Samuel’s prophecies to fail; they were flawless The Message says, perfect, sound, without defect. This was of utmost importance; for this proved to the people of Israel that Samuel could be trusted, that he truly was the spokesperson sent to them from God.

Again, we must reiterate that God was raising up a leader. His leader for Israel had to have some very important qualities:
1.) This person must seek God’s direction in all things.
2.) This person must be willing to have a growing relationship with God.
3.) This person must be passionate about the things of God.
4.) This person must be humble and allow God to have the attention.
5.) This person must be a peacemaker.
6.) This person must be fair and unbiased.
7.) This person must be a good listener; to God and others.
8.) This person must be someone of good reputation.
9.) This person must be persistent; not giving up when this are tough.
10.) This person must be obedient to God; no matter what the circumstances.

God chose Samuel to be that leader; His leader. Samuel was Israel’s last judge and first prophet. Samuel would bridge the gap between the time of the judges, and the time of the monarchy when the prophets, such as Elijah, Elisha, and Isaiah) influenced the nation of Israel.

The fact that the Lord was with Samuel as he continued to grow up is significant; for growing is a continual process, even for a leader. The word “growing” implies expanding, developing and thriving. Growing only works if one is plugged in or attached to the Source of energy or sustenance.

Jesus spoke these words to His followers: “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.” -John 15:5-10 (MSG)

“God ultimately raises up leaders for one primary reason: His glory. He shows His power in our weakness. He demonstrates His wisdom in our folly…” -Matt Chandler

Leaders remember this; “But as for you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.” -2 Chronicles 15:7 (AMP)

Are you growing as a leader and are you in turn growing other leaders?

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to be growing my relationship with you and my knowledge of you. Help me to be the leader that you want me to be in the place that you have planted me. Help me to have my priorities in their proper places; you first always. This includes being plugged in daily so that I have the sustenance to continue to grow in you. Do your good work in me, Lord and help me to be the leader that you need me to be.

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