Follow the Leader

When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, be on the alert! That will be the signal that the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army. 2 Samuel 5:24 NLT

He led and I followed.

My brother loved to lead when we hiked in the mountains. Since he was younger, I sometimes had a hard time keeping up with him—and he’d often have to wait on me to catch up.

Following him led to some interesting circumstances. Once, I followed him to the top of a mountain and watched our path disappear. We had to backtrack. Another time, I shadowed him around a curve and had him almost run over me as he suddenly turned around. A mother bear and her cubs were on the trail. Still another time, I trailed him to a yellow jacket’s nest in the middle of the trail. And who can forget the time I followed as we stepped over a log, only to find a snake lying on the other side.

One thing that never happened was that we got lost. We always arrived at our destination, sooner or later. One reason is that we had a guidebook that described the trail and gave us markers to look for along the way.

When the Philistines heard of David’s anointing as king of Israel, they mobilized their armies to fight against him. With wisdom and faith, David consulted his Leader before attacking them to make sure he did it the correct way. God gave him instruction that led to victory.

Whether I’m aware of it or not, someone is continuously following my lead. I may not know who follows—or why—but they remain, seen and sometimes unseen. My example is important. How I live my life, how I make decisions, what paths I take.

Only as I’m properly led can I lead others. God graciously gives His Holy Spirit to those who chose to follow Him, which in turn gives us the ability to lead others in the right direction. David consulted the Lord before making a decision. How God actually spoke to him, we may not know, but God speaks to us presently through His Word, through the inclination of His Spirit to our spirit, through circumstances, and through others. When we listen, we’ll lead others in the right direction, and their lives will be richer for having followed us.

Who is following your lead, and where are you leading them?

Martin Wiles

Martin lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (, the Senior Editor for Inspire-a-Fire, and a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He is an author, English teacher, minister, and freelance editor. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and the author of six books, including his most recent, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes for a Noisy World. He has also been published in numerous publications. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three. He can be contacted at

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