You know you’ve arrived at a significant level of influence within your nation when you are the one God chooses to anoint the king. Samuel was that kind of guy; chosen by God to lead his people as prophet and judge.
The Lord had a mighty plan for him and the story of Samuel’s life provides an excellent pattern for becoming a leader of great influence. Let’s take a look.
1. Samuel had some serious skills.
Samuel started off in the house of Eli, learning to be a priest dedicated to serving the Lord. Eli’s sons were no good; manipulating God’s law and sinning for their own gain. Samuel, however, did what he was supposed to do as a good and faithful servant. Being chosen by God, he was able to hear the call and listen to Him speak. (1 Sam 3:10)
Samuel was also able to receive commands from God and carry them out. He was even sent to anoint Saul as the king over Israel. (1 Sam 10:1) If that doesn’t serve to display the incredible influence of Samuel, this will:
In 1 Sam 15:22-23, Samuel effectively unanoints Saul, after Saul fails to follow God’s command in a victory over the Amalekites. Not only did he get to crown the king, but he got to snatch the crown off of the king’s head and pass it on to someone else….
2. Samuel was a great man with strong character.
God’s plan for Samuel was that he would be his prophet in Israel. He knew that in order for him to have the kind of influence that could carry the word of God, he would have to achieve a high level of earthly stature. Nothing is too big for God, so He gave Samuel that recognition. (1 Sam 2:26) He even sent a man of God to declare to Eli that he would be torn down and a faithful priest would be raised in his place. (1 Sam 2:35)
In Samuel’s farewell address, after having declared Saul the king, he rehashes his faithful judging of the Israelites and they witness before God that he has been nothing but straight and honest with them. (1 Sam 12:3-5)
3. Samuel cared for, loved, and invested in his people.
Samuel loved his people. He spoke their language. He prayed for them. (1 Sam 7:5) He devoted entire his life to them. (1 Sam 7:15) He deliberately visited them all yearly. (1 Sam 7:16) He interceded for them before God and cried out so that they would be saved from the Philistines’ attack. (1 Sam 7:9-11) He faithfully counseled and warned them repeatedly of the dangers of appointing a king, even though they would not listen. (1 Sam 8:10-18)
The overview we get from the story of Samuel is this: if you want to be a person of great influence you’ve got to be skilled and knowledgeable in your field, be of strong character, and really love and invest in your followers (team members, staff, employees, etc.)
Who is your favorite biblical model of an influencer?