Pastor and author John Maxwell wrote, “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” In other words, if we don’t believe in the character, wisdom, and vision of a leader, we face the challenge of following someone we don’t trust or respect.

David’s soldiers believed in him. They had been in battle with him. They had sweat and bled with him. They had captured the City of David with him (1 Chronicles 11:5). They had seen that “the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was with him” (1 Chronicles 11:9). And “they decided to make David their king, just as the Lord had promised concerning Israel” (1 Chronicles 11:10).

David’s men had truly bought into him, and now David gave them a vision: Men, we’re going to bring back the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13:3). The ark, forgotten under Saul’s erratic leadership, was catching dust in the home of a guy named Abinadab—8 miles away in Kiriath-jearim. David desperately wanted to bring back the holy chest, for it contained the mercy seat where God had met with His people. He loved God and desired to honor and follow His ways (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

Speaking of following, David truly led well by doing the following things: He loved and sought the will of God (1 Chronicles 13:1); he established a clear vision (1 Chronicles 13:3); he consulted with his leaders and listened to them (1 Chronicles 13:1); he brought the vision before all the people (1 Chronicles 13:2). The result? “The people could see that it was the right thing to do” (1 Chronicles 13:4).

As you lead others, take a close look at the four steps of leadership David lived out. Other believers won’t buy into your vision until they buy into your love of God and dedication to Him. For He alone provides what we need to lead well.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Numbers 14:5-45