“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”
Are you a leader? Is your heart “in the hand of the Lord”?
I love the depth and power that is found in the simple statements of the Book of Proverbs. This proverb describes a godly, humble leader who seeks the truth and submits his heart to God. Although the proverb refers to a “king,” it describes any leader in any organization: business, education, government, athletics, the church, or the home.
The heart is the executive center of a person’s life. It is the intersection of thinking, feeling, and choosing. Thus this verse says that the thinking of godly leader is in the hand of the Lord. The emotions of a godly leader are in the hand of the Lord. The decisions of a godly leader are in the hand of the Lord.
The Lord uses the heart of a godly leader to bless people with what this proverb describes as “a stream of water.” Water is life-giving, and here it is a metaphor for the decisions and actions of the leader. A leader whose heart is in the hand of the Lord gives life to the team he leads; he blesses his organization with decisions and actions that are directed by truth, wisdom, justice, liberty, productivity, etc..
The culture of the organization (team, school, business, family) starts with the character of the leaders. The heart of the organization will be shaped by the heart of the leaders. Therefore, as a leader, make sure your heart is in the hand of the Lord.
(1) Submit your heart with humility. As goes your heart, so goes your leadership. Leadership begins in the heart. Your heart will be serve and submit to something, so make sure it is God and not self. Jesus said: “Be careful what you treasure, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If you treasure something, it means that thing has captured your heart. It owns you. It directs you. Therefore, submit your heart fully to the lordship of Christ. Submit everything to him; hold nothing back. “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” (1 Peter 5.5.-6)
(2) Fill your heart with truth. Your heart will grow stronger or weaker based on what you feed it. Your heart is designed to be a vessel. It is not built to be empty, and it will be filled with something. Fill your heart with things that make you strong. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3).
(3) Guard your heart with discipline. Nothing is more important than protecting your heart. “Guard your heart with all diligence for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov. 4:23). There are many forces trying to distract, disrupt, and misdirect you. Be discerning and disciplined. Protect yourself!
(4) Give your heart with love. This is what family and friendship and fellowship is all about. It is what education is about. It is what business is about. It is what being a citizen of this nation is about. It is about giving your heart to others. If you submit your heart … fill your heart … and guard your heart but you don't give your heart, then what's the purpose? I Corinthians 13 spells it out: “If am gifted and knowledgeable but I don’t have love, then I gain nothing.” Love is the most powerful force on earth. John 15.13: “There is no greater love than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
In closing, let me ask the question one more time: Are you a leader? Is your heart “in the hand of the Lord”?