By Michael J. LaPierre
There are times in the business world when everything seems to be out of sync. The boss is upset, customers enraged, and the employees are just fed up with the status quo and headed out the door in droves. There is no passion, focus, or vision for where the organization is headed and what they hope to accomplish in the long-term. These can be very trying times in the business world and organizational life in general for all involved. Fortunately, trying times call for special and gifted leaders that will step up and lead. They lead in ways that exhibit much determination, inspiration, discernment, and prayer to see the project, business issue, or even the organizational life-cycle through to the end. For this special individual there is an acute understanding that God has placed them in the exact circumstance to make a difference. The Bible story that we are going to explore is a model for taking an organization from the depths of despair to one of prominence. Let’s consider each of the leadership traits and the strategies employed by King Hezekiah that helped move the nation of Israel back to a God consciousness. God used King Hezekiah and his gifts to bring glory to Himself. Can the strategies used by God’s turnaround expert in 2 Chronicles help impact your organization?
King Hezekiah understood the absolute travesty that took place (and continued to take place) with the nation of Israel. He knew without question that they had forsaken the Lord God Almighty and set their hearts on idols and other pagan distractions. He also understood that the paths that their forefathers had taken them was leading to utter spiritual and physical destruction. It was a path so vile and full of pagan ritual and apostasy that their very existence hinged on their willingness to “turn” and worship the one true God. The portion of the Bible we will be looking at in this article should remind Christians everywhere of our need for repentance, rebirth, and renewal.
Understanding the Root Cause
“For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord, and turned their backs.” (2 Chronicles 29:6)
Hezekiah knew that Israel was in the eye of a storm and in the grasp of God’s mighty wrath and judgement. Something had to be done and it was going to take a strong, disciplined, and committed leader to stand up and articulate an alternative direction back to the foundations of the faith. Yes, they must immediately “turn” back to the face of the Lord.
“Wherefore the wrath of the Lord was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.” (2 Chronicles 29:8)
Taking Ownership Responsibility
“Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.” (2 Chronicles 29:10)
Hezekiah’s visionary plea and encouragement to Israel carried a direct responsibility of obedience from the nation (corporately) and the people (individually) along with a heavenly expectation that the Spirit of God would be at work and move.
Creating the Vision
“My sons, be not now negligent: for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.” (2 Chronicles 29:11)
What is so refreshing about this portion of scripture is how the people of Israel saw the error of their way (repentance); made the necessary spiritual adjustments by turning (rebirth); then put a plan in place to do something about their wayward ways (renewal). Furthermore, once God’s spirit started to move there was an immediacy to their action. It was a force so powerful that it consumed their very thoughts, desires, and actions.
“And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 29:15)
Division of Labor and Accountability
In their focus and delight in charting a new path for the Lord, temple worship was restored, vessels sanctified, sacrifice and offerings reinstituted, and atonement was made for all Israel. Hezekiah even brought back the sacred sound of music with cymbals, psalteries, harps, and trumpets.
“And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets.” (2 Chronicles 29:25)
Relying on God
What is especially comforting about the events of this period was the way the Spirit of God worked. The Lord used the strong leadership capabilities of Hezekiah to lead the people to a place where they would become obedient and willing servants. However, we must also notice that a sovereign God moved in the hearts of the people at the same time.
“And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people; for the thing was done suddenly.” (2 Chronicles 29:36)
“So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.” (2 Chronicles 30:26)
It should help remind us that when “man moves” through human invention, worldly ingenuity, and in a sin filled world, that our thoughts and our ways are limited and confined. In other words, when “man moves” he generally explores the depths and extremities of the usual and mundane. But when “God moves,” the energy, passion, and the hope that we have for a brighter tomorrow is exponentially multiplied by the working of the Holy Spirit. God uses people for the furtherance of His kingdom. God used Hezekiah to help get the nation of Israel back on track. Will you let God use you as a leader to impact others in your place of business? Will you let Him use you to help revive the hearts of the people in your community, entrepreneurial venture, corporate setting, nonprofit, family, or ministry organization? Praise God for a leader’s vision and the corresponding plea from King Hezekiah! Praise God for business leaders who stand up, take charge, and lead! Are you God’s next turnaround expert?
Michael J. LaPierre is a former business executive who specializes in Christian leadership training and development. Mike had the privilege over a 32 year career to work with top tier companies spanning a range from Fortune 50 to Fortune 500 organizations. A former minor league baseball player, his executive experiences include VP Sales, Global Strategist, Director of Sales & Marketing, Director Sales Strategy, entrepreneur, church servant/deacon, and community leader. http://www.clwi.org/