The product continues to flourish. And that intrigues me.
On the one hand, it could be just plain old fashioned good engineering. On the other hand, God might be blessing this product. I can’t tell yet.
On the surface, it seems as though there is no particular reason for God to be engaged in a product that is simply a better mousetrap. There are others of this thing that already exist. But one wonders if God has a purpose for this product that we don’t see yet.
In terms of Solomon, he is still out of the office. He has already reneged on his promise and is meddling with the staff below Nehemiah, via e-mails, giving orders that contravene Nehemiah’s priorities for them. Broadly speaking, they are usually ignoring his e-mails and doing what Nehemiah directs them to do.
I have no clue how this battle for control will end up nor how it should. We have two strong-willed men having a turf war with people as the prize. Both ostensibly have the same goal – a good product – but they see the world very differently.
And Solomon who has all the economic control (i.e. he can fire anyone) has lost the loyalty and the respect of his people. Nehemiah who has only moral authority to protect any of his people, has both their loyalty and their respect. Bodes well to be an interesting battle.
Tension, conflict and pressure are some of God’s favorite playing fields for revealing truth and bringing about transformation. I have no idea how He plans to leverage this, so I am just going to play it safe and pray the prayer that never fails: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.”
As we look at Nehemiah and Mordecai, I am drawn back to the Ark of the Covenant. This is the 6th of the seven items of furniture in the Tabernacle. It parallels the redemptive gift of Ruler.
The three things in the Ark represent the three facets of legitimate leadership (regardless of your redemptive gift).
The Ten Commandments represents the moral authority one has from obeying the law he is enforcing.
This is the great governmental crisis in America today. The law makers and law enforcers tend to be highly lawless, and it causes cynicism and lawlessness in the citizenry. And this is the battle in the company. Some of the highest levels of leadership, including Solomon, rule by decree with no pretext of any justification.
They want what they want, when they want it because they want it. And they are deeply vested in their belief that this is the way the world should be. They have no concept of their arbitrary demands being considered inappropriate in the eyes of any of the minions below. They subscribe to the devil’s Golden Rule: “He who has the gold makes the rules!”
Nehemiah by contrast does not come at his leadership by propagating a religious ethos, although he is quite religious, but he does function within some framework of consistent principles, based on reality.
He requires a good work ethic and rewards it. He has high standards for the product development but his competence gives him high credibility.
Notice the core issue here: consistency to whatever the moral code is.
For Moses, it meant following the Law exactly the same as the people did. For Solomon, it means having the same parameters for his work as he has for theirs and in this, he falls short.
By being consistent in following a basic, secular work ethic, and requiring it of his employees, Nehemiah has gained the moral authority to be their leader and to lead in the moderate push back against an arbitrary set of bosses.
Mordecai is obviously a walking tall believer. His moral framework is Biblical. He is not militantly evangelistic in his workplace. He is consistent in following the mores of the workplace, AND is consistent in living what he believes in.
For both of them, their integrous, consistent living within the moral context they have chosen gives them a respectable following.
I have observed over time that crises will test a leader’s consistency, and – if he passes – will radically increase the level of willingness in the followers to have them for a leader.
In no way am I asking God to create a crisis that will cement their leadership. That is His business.
But knowing that this is the way things work, let’s pray out ahead that both Nehemiah and Mordecai will be significantly strengthened in their core values through the work of the Holy Spirit, so that when push comes to shove, every battle the enemy crafts will result in their being validated in their leadership, through a rock solid adherence to the values they proclaim.
Copyright September 2016 by Arthur Burk
From Innsbruck, not far from the end of the runway