Sunday, July 9, 2017

Snuffed Stars

Snuffed Stars
July 10, 2017
Daniel 12:3 "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever."

There is a saying that says you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. This speaks to the autonomy of the horse, the ability to choose what it wants to do even though you may have led it by a leash to the best thing for it. The horse gets to chose whether or not it decides to partake of that which will give it nourishing life, sustaining it and keeping it alive. The horse has the freedom to do what it pleases, just as humans have a free will in choosing the Lord and eternal salvation. The scripture in Daniel about leading many to righteousness, giving honor to the one who has led others, is a loaded statement, similar to leading a horse to water.

A human cannot be led by a leash to the wellspring of life, the eternal salvation of Jesus Christ. This choosing of Christ, this is the decision of righteousness by someone else that would honor the one who led him there. But there is so much more to it than leading a person to the point of salvation. Just because you point someone to the Lord does not mean you should be honored. The Scripture says you'd have to lead them. This leading is, again, not like pulling someone by a leash and arriving at a destination. The leadership spoken about in Daniel is a lifetime of example and coaching and teaching and encouraging and maintaining your own righteous walk with the Lord. The example of your life should motivate others to want your same relationship with the Lord. Standing on the roadside with an arrow on a billboard pointing to righteousness does not count. Taking someone by the hand and walking them over to the Lord is not enough. Encouraging someone else in the way of righteousness your entire life, and encouraging them to do the same, that's worthy of honor.

This is not an easy task, leading someone in righteousness. Notice in the first half of the verse it talks about wisdom. It says those who are wise will shine. This is a given, a wise person is always admired. But that wisdom will only adorn a person as long as he or she is alive. Long lasting brightness, even after you're dead or gone, is the application of that wisdom in leading others in the way of righteousness. The Bible is very clear that wisdom and righteousness go hand in hand. It says that the mouth of the righteous will always speak wisdom. I'm not sure which comes first, wisdom or righteousness, but as I understand it, wisdom begets righteousness and righteousness is required to be wise. Either way, leading in that way of life takes a great deal of maturity after a great deal of successful practice.

Scripture says you should be careful in choosing to be a leader. Those who put their lives out to be an example to others, to coach, to lead, to teach, will be judged by the Lord more harshly when we get to heaven. It says not to take that position of leadership lightly, but as a lifelong endeavor. The reason for this is simple, if you lead poorly, or only for a brief while, yet others are still following your example, then you could lead others astray, even to hell. Don't desire to be a shining star, desire first to be wise and live righteously. Practice this daily and sustainably in your life, then begin to lead, but only after you've proven that wisdom in your life. If not, your leadership won't even be a dimly lit star, it will get snuffed out.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Psalm 37:30, Proverbs 8:8-11, James 3:1

No comments: