"This is what the Lord said to me: 'Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah'" - Jeremiah 27:2-3.
Jeremiah was a prophet in Judah, but his purpose was to be a prophet to the nations (see Jeremiah 1:5). The challenge was that the nations did not recognize or worship Jehovah, Jeremiah's God. In today's passage, Jeremiah was sent to give a word to the envoys visiting Jerusalem to take back to their masters. In bringing the word, the Lord had Jeremiah wear an ox yoke around his neck in order to help get the message across to them. The best Jeremiah could hope to do was influence those envoys, for he had no authority over them or their king masters. At times, that is what leaders can only hope to do: influence others so they willingly choose to listen and follow the leader's wisdom.
LEADERSHIP STEP: Jeremiah became part of the message he brought to the envoys when he wore the yoke to help express his message. You too must become part of your message, using whatever media possible and any illustrations necessary to influence others. Your Step today is to do an influence check. Are you using social media to communicate? Is your communication lively or dry? Do people pay attention when you speak? What can you do to improve?