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Pastor Nathan Leigh   /   Mar 22, 2015

Why do leaders fail? In Exodus 5:22-23, when Moses went to the Lord, he felt he was a failure as a leader. “Moses returned to the Lord, and said, ‘Lord, why have you brought trouble to this people? Why did you ever send me?  From the time I went to speak to Pharaoh in your name, he has caused trouble for this people, and you have certainly not rescued your people!’” 

As a background in Exodus chapters 4 and 5, it says that Moses was actually struggling with God. In chapter 4, Moses returned to Egypt and met with the elders of Israel. He performed the signs God had given him, and they all believed (4:31). No doubt elated by his early success with the Israelites, Moses confronts Pharaoh for the first time. He requests a three days' journey into the wilderness, so that the Israelites can go worship their God (5:1). He indicates that if the Israelites do not obey God by worshipping Him, God may bring a plague on them (5:3). Pharaoh objects, stating that he does not even know this God whom they want to worship. He not only refuses to release the Israelites, he greatly increases their workload (5:6-11). The Egyptians beat the foremen, and they came to Moses to protest that Moses had not made things better for them; they were worse off than ever.

How can this passage help us when we feel we want to quit? Like Moses, we need to remember that what you want to see in your life accomplished that would glorify God does not depend on us. Everything depends on Him. Secondly, when God leads us to do something, like teaching people from the Word of God, we have to remember who the author is. God is the author. Just follow His script and don’t try and make up other things. Thirdly, God wants us to obey all the way. In chapter four, God was angry for Moses’ failure to circumcise his son. His non-Jewish wife was the one who had to circumcise his son. We don’t always have all the details in the Bible but it seems pretty clear from the context that God wanted complete obedience from Moses. As for why leaders fail, here are some factors to consider.

1.     Discontentment

Reading Matthew 26:6-14, we see Judas had been walking with Jesus for three years but he was not satisfied because he wasn’t in it to be with Jesus, he was in it for what he could get out of it. When you approach anything in life with “What does it do for me?” you will not find contentment there. Find guidance and help in what Paul says in Philippians 4:11-12.  

2.     Discouragement

We all have issues that come into our life that are disheartening. Take Elijah’s experience in 1 Kings 19:4 and 1 Kings 19:10. Elijah had no idea what God was accomplishing. When you’re discouraged, you’re asking “What’s the result?” But what’s important is that we should just do what God asks us to do and let Him worry about the rest (1 Corinthians 3:6).

3.     Burn Out

In Numbers 20:7-13, Moses was really angry. He was burnt out and the flesh was controlling him. When you’re burned out, you’re asking, “What do I have to do to make it work?” In this case, remember what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:17-18. You’re never alone. When you’re starting to rely on yourself and act like it depends on you then you have a wrong mindset because everything depends on God.

How can we attain a proper mindset? 1 Timothy 1:12 says, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service.” We can be faithful to God. That’s our choice. Another is we must be accountable to each other. Next is that we encourage each other to do what’s right, to act the way the Lord would want us to act. Then share what God is doing in your life and pray for each other.

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