As a leader over the years I have learned there are numerous voices speaking to you at all times. Voices of good counselors, voices of family, voices of people who have an opinion about what your doing, and distracting voices speaking about nothing in particular. These voices speak more in some seasons and less in others, but rest assured when its time to make a decision or you’re in transition your life will become voice central. You’ll think your brain is a switchboard.
There are also some supernatural voices speaking to you. That of God and even the enemy. I can’t stress enough, how important it is in your life as a leader to listen to the right voices, especially in high pressure transitional seasons. Listening to the wrong voices in certain seasons can cause you to miss destiny moments, God connections, and future opportunities. It can literally cause your life to take the wrong path. Not that you can’t come back from a mistake like that, but sometimes its a long way around. If the voices you are hearing, are fearful, doubtful, cynical, negatively critical, shut them out!
In 2 Samuel 10 there is an account that is incredibly sad. Especially for a leader. As a leader you know there are certain relationships that come into your life that are meant to help you grow,develop, teach and sometimes even protect you. God arranges such relationships and they are such a blessing. In this passage of scripture we see that God arranged this for a young leader and because he listened to the wrong voices, he killed the relationship, and sealed his fate.
The Leaders name was Hanun, he was the King of Ammon, the son of Nahash. He had just taken the throne of Ammon, because his father had died. I’m sure his heart was in full grieving mode, while at the same time trying to lead a nation, and establish himself as king. Transition doesn’t get bigger than this, decisions are tense and pressurized. He had to think about the best interest of the kingdom, his family, their standing in the region, so many things must have been racing through his mind. Not to mention he was hurting. He had lost his leader, his king, his father.
At this time David was ruling over all Israel, he had taken his rightful place as King and God was giving him great success. He expressed his desire to build God a house, and this blessed God so much that he made a covenant with David that his family would set on the throne of Israel forever. David was winning every battle, he was a force to be reckoned with. People who opposed him militarily quickly found it wasn’t wise to do so.
David heard of the death of King Nahash, and he remembered that Nahash was kind to him. David said I want to show kindness to Hanun and Ammon because they have lost their king. So David sent some men from his kingdom to comfort the young king. To let him know everything was going to be alright. To, no doubt, console him and give him confidence that David himself was watching out for him. Then it happened. He heard the voices. The princes of the people of Ammon said to Hanun their lord. “Do you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you? Has David not rather sent his servants to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?”
When he heard this, their vicious insecurity stabbed at his heart and fear overtook his mind, and he lashed out without thinking. He took the men that David sent to him, shaved their beards, and cut their clothes in half from the waist down. In other words he shamed them, and embarrassed them. Consequently this action put them at odds and David’s armies overcame them and what they feared would happen did.
What do we learn from this.
1. Don’t make rash or big decisions when your hurt?
I think because of Hanun’s hurt and grief he listened to counselors that were full of insecurity and it demolished favor God was trying to establish in his life.
2. Don’t listen to voices that are insecure, immature, fearful, doubtful, or cynical.
people who base their thoughts and opinions on this type of thinking will bring no good results in your life. NONE!
3. When you are going through transition take your time. Don’t be pressured into doing anything urgently.
He acted so quickly and in that moment destroyed his future.
4. You will ultimately be responsible for the decisions you make don’t be pressured into making them.
The sad part about this is imagine what that relationship with David could have meant for his kingdom, or for him personally. He could have been in covenant with David which would have meant blessing, protection, brothorhood, community, connection all the things a leader needs. He lost it all in one rediculous decision brought on by hurt and insecurity. Moral of the story is when you’re hurt, and in leadership you will be, don’t listen to the wrong voices.
Listen first and foremost to God. Secondly to good counselors and mentors who will be objective and not moved by your feelings. Third base your decisions making on the word of God, it is God speaking to us by the way. It could mean the difference between Success or failure.
What voices are you listening to?