The Importance Of Good Leaders
Most of today's leaders in Christendom are not strong enough to keep God's people on the straight and narrow path because the leaders themselves don't know God and are compromisers. They seek to please men and to be p[popular, like Aaron (Exodus 32), and therefore God cannot endorse their leadership. Moses and Joshua never sought to be popular.
"And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that he did for Israel" (Judges 2:7). But by the time Joshua and his fellow elders died, there were no God fearing men available to replace them. And so "And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel" (Judges 2:10). There was nobody who knew God.
I have met very few Christian leaders who really know God, and who can say like Elijah, "I stand before the Lord God." Most people in Christian ministry today are professional ministers. They study the Catholic faith and get a degree, get folks to support them and then go out to "serve God". There may be some sacrifice in their lives and even zeal. But zeal, sacrifice, and knowledge are of no use, if a person doesn't know God. The statistics of their work may be impressive, but the quality of their converts will be poor, because they don't know God. They will talk about how they have a large group of good Catholic parishioners, but are these "good parishioners disciples of Christ? There is a vast difference between spiritual believers and carnal believers. Any man of God knows that it is better to have a small church or a small ministry that has spiritual believers, than a large church or ministry of carnal ones. That's like saying that it is better to have a few 1000-watt bulbs than a hundred zero-watt bulbs.
We are to be the light of the world. But the intensity of our light depends upon how much we know God.
if the leader doesn't know God, the people won't know God either. You can study the Bible and teach it to your parishioners, and they will know the Bible. But that would be like teaching them chemistry in the classroom. That won't help them to know God. People can't come to know God by getting Biblical information.
You can only know God by going through trials and testings.
You have to humble yourself in those trials and have to have a yearning in your heart for God. That is how you can know God, not by sitting in a Catechism class or a spiritual conference of some sort. We certainly need the Catechism classes, and spiritual conferences and retreats are wonderful, but we need to go beyond these things and get to know God. "And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." (Daniel 11:32). These Isrealites did not know God and therefore "did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baals" (Judges 2:11). That was because Joshua had died, and now there was no God-fearing leaders to lead them.
The history of Christianity in the last 2000 years is replete with numerous examples of men whom God raised up to start a movement or a society or a ministry that brought revival in their lifetime. but once they died, movement or society or ministry, declined just like the movements and or societies and ministries before them. The new generation holds the same doctrine as their founder; but they are not holy as their founder was. Many of them claim to have the same "baptism in the Holy Ghost" that their founder had; but their life and ministry do not have the same anointing. Something is missing. The founder knew god, but the followers knew only the founder. And so God has to raise up another man and start something new.
God has always done His greatest work in the church through individual men whom He has raised up in different generations in different lands. Around such a man God gathers together a few people who are concerned not so much for numbers as for quality-for pure testimony for God in their generation. In the book of Judges, when God could not find a man, He found a woman-Deborah. That's an encouragement to all saintly women.
Whenever God can find a totally yielded man, He will begin to use him to the measure in which he is surrendered.
Not all leaders are of the same quality, because not all are equally surrendered. The book of Judges describes certain leaders whom God raised up; but none were of the quality of Moses or Joshua. Gideon, for example, was a good, anointed man, when he started out; but towards the end of his life he worshiped idols. So we see that the book of Judges has a very relevant message for our time.