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Meditation on Power and Leadership

Meditation on Power and Leadership

Sometimes having power seems to mean success and happiness, but when we have
it, it comes with greater temptations. Are we owning power, or owned by power?

Sometimes, power comes alongside leadership. Power itself might be neutral.
Nevertheless, not everyone is ready and capable to wrestle with what power can bring
to us. Some people are controlled by the sweetness of power and are willing to do
anything to maintain the power in their hands. Other people can control the power and
use it for good purposes. It seems unrealistic and difficult, but I think it is possible.
Throughout,human history, power has been a thing that pursued wildly by some
people. For them, the moment they got power, they felt like they got everything —
even eternity. Though they became kings, if they valued power more than anything, I
prefer to understand that they were owned by power. Though the crown was on their
heads, they forgot that they could only live for certain decades. People were born and
died, generation by generation. I imagine power as a human figure watching over
people killing each other to possess him. All the greatness of human activity and
revolution is limited in time and space. For example, the great glory of imperio
romano is a wreckage today. When Covid-19 overwhelmed the world, our society and
economy were damaged. Sometimes we might feel that we are strong. We praise our
hard work, our cleverness, and our humanity. But at the same time, we are so fragile
and small that we can’t even easily overcome a virus. Even the greatest among men is
vulnerable to disease and death.
Power might have been waiting for someone who cannot be played by him, just
like a wild horse waiting for someone who can make him obey. Therefore, I think

people not ready to wrestle with power who got power will find that it is their curse,
not a blessing. King Saul is an example. King Saul’s name became great, but he was
not trained to fear his LORD. Between fear of the LORD and maintaining his power
and glory, he chose power. Ursinus said in his Commentary the Heidelberg
Catechism, “But, the wicked do indeed receive many gifts; but not such as are
principal nor peculiar to the elect, as faith, repentance, conversion, remission of sins
and regeneration. And still further, the gifts which they do receive do not contribute to
their salvation, but to their destruction.” *1
Then who are the people ready for having power? How can leaders use power
properly for the world’s needs and goods? I would say those people who are trained to
fear the LORD daily are those prepared to hold power. “The fear of the LORD is the
beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
(Proverbs. 9:10) For us, being trained and equipped at school is helpful, but the most
important thing is to understand and believe that God is the source of all power. God
has power above all authority. When we truly and deeply fear Him, we will be able to
do all things in front of God only just like He is watching. God will help us to stay
firm and humble. For example, Joseph feared the LORD, so Joseph ran away when
Potiphar’s wife was trying to proposition him. (Genesis 39:7–18)
My dear readers, I don’t mean to discourage you. Leaders are humans as well.
Though we cannot guarantee that we will never make mistakes and never sin, we can
lean on God. We could pray like, “LORD, if you called me to be a leader, please help
me and keep me through all kinds of temptations. LORD, help me to fear you only.
LORD, teach me how to use the power. LORD, if you don’t help me, I have no hope.
LORD, please!” I understand that becoming a leader means taking a lot of

responsibilities and risks, but please don’t decide to give up on serving as a leader
because you are afraid of making mistakes. If you sin, come back to God as soon as
possible. “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you,
God, will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17) Remaining in God only is the only way to have
life. Furthermore, regardless of whether we are leaders or not, we need to practice
fearing God daily.
Regardless, many people who do not fear the LORD became leaders today. What
about them? It is the reason why we need to sincerely pray for leaders in the world
and in the house of our LORD, for they tend to be the targets Satan at tempts to
destroy. Their paths are tougher. We need to pray for the leaders of our churches,
denominations, organizations, schools, etc. We need to pray for leaders of countries,
leaders who have political powers, economic powers, and people who greatly
influence the world.
Having only one leader in one generation, in one country, is not enough. One
person cannot do everything. We need to raise up and work together. We need more
leaders who fear the LORD raise in this world. We need more leaders who already
had great power to fear the LORD.
People of God let’s pray for our leaders!
Leaders and future leaders let’s fear our LORD more!
We shall raise and become blessings to nations!

1 Commentary of Dr. Zacharias Ursinus on the Heidelberg Catechism, 620