Thursday, March 06 2014
What can a modern church leader learn from a king that lived approximately 700 years before Jesus Christ? The answer is simple...plenty! Hezekiah was the 13th King of Judah and the Bible documents the following:
2 Kings 18:1-8 KJV
 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.
 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord , according to all that David his father did.
 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
 He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.
 For he clave to the Lord , and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses.
 And the Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.
 He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
In eight verses, every Christian leader can glean from King Hezekiah:
God demands obedience. What if Noah would have shorten the ark or Moses changed the tabernacle? Obedience is a theme of the scripture beginning in the Garden of Eden with a command to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Christian leaders must be obedient to the Bible and their spiritual leaders.(Hebrews 13:17)
A Christian leader must appreciate their spiritual heritage. It has been said that we "stand on the shoulders" of those that have gone before us. The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy:
2 Timothy 3:14-15 KJV
 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them ;
 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
When something is passed down through our elders, the reason we do or not do something may not always be clear. We must trust that teach us because of a revelation through prayer.
Hezekiah was generations removed from David, but his heritage remained. David had prayed:
2 Samuel 7:29 KJV
 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God , hast spoken it : and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.
Prayers are not limited to time and space.
The Christian leader must be the guardian of the truth. The Psalmist wrote "buy the truth, and sell it not". In guarding the truth of the gospel, we must be willing to remove the "idols" in our lives and the church. An idol to a 21st Century Christian is something that would stand in the place or stead of God. An idol by nature is personal and each individual must evaulate their life to remove the things that are between them and God.
Idolotry is hated by God and the Apostle Paul lists it among sins that will exclude people from heaven.
Galatians 5:19-21 KJV
 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these ; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
The basis of a relationship with Jesus Christ is faith. The writer of Hebrews penned:
Hebrews 11:6 KJV
 But without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hezekiah trusted God would be true to His Word. When facing the Assyrian army, he did wither or cower. He stood before Jerusalem and declared:
2 Chronicles 32:6-8 KJV
 And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying,
 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:
 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
Hezekiah did not just profess his faith, but lived it. Hundreds of years later, another man of God would pen, "Faith without works is dead". The Christian leader must believe, but also show the courage to step out of the boat when everyone else wants to stay in.
The children of Israel of the Old Tesament were not always faithful to their God, but Hezekiah was committed to maintain his relationship with God. Everyday, he arose with a renewed dedication to his relationship with God. The Christian leader must cleave to God and despite circumstances continue to keep their eyes on Jesus Christ, the author anf finisher of our faith.
Matthew 10:22 KJV
 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Enduring to the end means salvation, but enduring also means faithfulness. A life of prayer and Bible study is necessary for the Christian leader. Our lives must center around Jesus if we are to make it to heaven. No excuses!
The conclusion of the story is simple. Hezekiah was faithful and God blessed him. His success was based on his faithfulness to God, but Hezekiah also possessed natural leadership skills. Christian leaders should use the abilities and talents that God has given us, but it should always be used in accordance with the will and anointing of God.