We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
2 Chron. 20:12
When the Old Testament king Jehoshaphat received word that three armies had conspired together and were coming against him in one massive assault, he made a decisive and unconventional leadership move.
Every leader around the globe is in a similar predicament.
Faced with the three-pronged advance of a global health pandemic, a world economy that’s come to a screeching halt, and the personal crisis of anxiety and fear—what can we learn from this ancient leader that’s applicable today?
The odds weren’t good for Jehoshaphat, and, honestly, they aren’t that great for a lot of families and businesses right now.
Deep down, most leaders who have weathered brutal storms know that we’ll get through it. We always do. We will endure the carnage and emerge from the depths to grow and prosper again. But that’s going to take time—a long time. Right now, we’re in the valley of the shadow of death.
So how do we lead through these dark hours?
Let’s look closely at the path Jehoshaphat chose.
First, he called the people to seek God. The King prayed this transformational twelve-word prayer—We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
We don’t all have the liberty to corporately call our people to seek God. But every leader does have the opportunity to privately seek heaven’s help before leading others into the fray.
By nature, leaders are confident, skilled, and battle tested. So often we roll out of bed and start leading the charge. It’s easy to wake up, survey the landscape, and immediately focus on solving problems, creating opportunities, and marshalling the troops.
Yet, ultimately, any leader is only as durable as the humility that undergirds them—the humility that drives them to first seek help from the Lord.
The hallmark of every great leader is the ability to lead oneself. This means facing your limitations and leaning on your Maker. We lead best by allowing God to lead us.
Some object: “You can’t be humble in my line of work. You can never show weakness or people will run right over you!”
Humility doesn’t equate to weakness. Rather, it’s where we find our strength. Or better yet, humility is the place we access God’s supply.
Hurricane-forced winds require exceptional leadership—leadership that begins with this plea: God, I don’t know what to do. But my eyes are on you.
It’s not always prudent to lead a shareholder call or staff meeting with this confession. People are looking for stability in their leaders and are counting on us to project confidence in worst-case scenarios like we face today. But that doesn’t hinder us from privately staying tethered to the reality that we are completely dependent on God. (It doesn’t hurt to say it every once in a while to our closest team leaders, either).
This posture of humility is essential because it positions us for supernatural assistance.
A word came to the king and a battle plan was set in motion. Jehoshaphat was told, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you” (2 Chron. 20:17).
God isn’t asking you to over-spiritualize your situation: “Hey guys, we’re just going to trust God with our enterprise and see what happens! Sit back and relax.”
Check out all the active verbs: Take up your position. Stand firm. Look. Go out. Face them.
Yet, as you go, keep the oxygen of God’s supernatural supply flowing with your every breath. In his Spirit power you can find the power to do what Jehoshaphat did next.
He set out. He stood up. He spoke. (v.20)
Set out in faith that God is with you.
Stand up on the Rock of Ages.
Speak with authority because God will not fail.
Then Jehoshaphat did one final thing before heading into the battle—he praised God. The king thanked God in advance for the victory God had promised.
With God’s help, Jehoshaphat and his army experienced God’s deliverance in the battle. In the same way, God is going to deliver you.
Dear God, I lift my eyes to You. Please disrupt my false sense of control and my overblown confidence in my own abilities. I humbly bow and ask for your supernatural strength, wisdom and courage so I can endure these days and lead myself and others with faith for the future. My daily prayer will be: I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on you. Lead me and use me as an agent for your glory. In Jesus name, Amen.
Louie Giglio is pastor of Passion City Church and the founder of the Passion movement, which exists to call a generation to leverage their lives for the fame of Jesus.