Successors: A Barometer for Success
1 Kings 19:13-18
Message No. 0607 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
It does not matter how successful a person is, if there is no one groomed to take over his or her business, the demise of that person will most likely be the end of the business. If Tim Cook did not know what Steve Jobs was doing, Apple might not have been what we are seeing today. There could have been some internal struggle or fighting that would spell doom for the most valuable company in the world. If Pa. Josiah Akindayomi, founding pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, did not work hard to identify a successor, the name of the church may never have been known outside of its original locality, but just look at the monumental success of the church today!
When Moses led the Israelites out of Israel, he struggled with the sheer size of the people he was leading and the need for leadership overwhelmed him, until his father-in-law advised him to share the burden. Eventually, Moses identified and empowered Joshua, who was just on hand to succeed him when he died. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same of Joshua. Despite all of the great things the Lord used him to accomplish, Joshua did not pay attention to the need for a successor. He died without pointing Israel to the person who would go before them. Little wonder that Judges chapter 2 verses 10 to 12 happened:
After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger
Disaster happens when there is no successor. How could anyone imagine that God took Israel out of over 400 years of slavery in Egypt, and they spent decades together in the wilderness, conquering nations in their path and arriving at the Promised Land where God gave them the land flowing with milk and honey as He had promised their forefathers, and a time came when Israel did not know God, let alone what He had done for Israel. What a catastrophic disaster! If God had not raised up Judges to lead Israel at various times, what would have become of God’s own nation? Yet, after the Judges, because there was no succession plan, the Bible says in Judges 21:25:
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
God does not dwell in the midst of confusion. This was one reason why when Elijah got discouraged and tired, God told him to anoint Hazael king over Syria, Jehu as king over Israel and to anoint Elisha as prophet to replace himself. God did not want a vacuum that would lead to confusion and lack of leadership. Excuse me sir, madam, who is your successor?
In the world we live in today, there are some people who feel that their measure of power and success is hoarding. They refuse to bring anyone up to standard to succeed them. Is it any wonder that these people cannot go on leave? Their managers don’t approve their annual leaves because there is no one who can do what they do. All of their knowledge is hoarded in their brains. Some pastors cannot even afford to be absent from Church for two Sundays. What a failure. If you love hearing that the preaching last Sunday was not good because you were not the person who preached, you need to reconsider what you are doing. If you derive happiness in your department not functioning well when you are not around, thinking that this is the way your manager and the big guys would know how important you are, I am sorry to say that you’re one of the biggest failures there are, and you are the best example of how not to work.
Are you a pastor, lead singer, political leader, military leader, workplace manager or even family leader? May I ask who you are grooming to succeed you? How sad will it be if you’re unable to perform your duty, for any reason, and for you to hear that the team you have worked so hard to build is defunct because you’re no longer there. If this is your tactic, may I suggest that you reconsider? The best leaders on this planet are those who are not around and yet, their businesses are running efficiently without a hitch. This is one of the best barometers for success.
See, it is not a bad thing for people to miss you when you are not around. You are unique! Your character, the way you relate with people, the way you speak, the way you perform your duties, are all unique. This is a good thing, and you should keep doing your best to make a positive and lasting impact on the people around you. However, if in spite of all of these you still decide to obtain happiness from people not being able to carry on with business when you are away, I beg you to please reconsider and repent. Elijah thought he was the only one serving God and when he got discouraged, he probably thought that God would be stranded. He was possibly shocked when Elisha, the successor God told him to anoint, asked him for a double portion of his anointing.
Only few things are better than sitting back, crossing your leg, and seeing your business or church run while holding a hot cup of tea or coffee and smiling with satisfaction. This is freedom. This is success. I pray that every leader will experience this level of peace, in Jesus’ name. Have a blessed week!
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