On your mark….Get Set….
We know what to do. We know the words. We’re supposed to Go. Then why are so many of us not moving, looking at the stop signs in our own lives? The emotion of fear will often grip you in a place where you become paralyzed to move or make any decision. Fear can be powerful…if you let it be. You can possibly be in a place where you think you are not dealing with fear, but don’t be deceived; fear comes in many forms and is different to every person. What scares a two-year old is not what scares a twenty year old. What frightens a female college student, is not what frightens a female single mother with bills to pay. What scares a white man, is not what scares a black man…
It takes courage to do anything in our lives…everyday. Think about it. It took courage for you to stop and read this blog post. You’re probably saying, “No, it just took a click of the button and a few seconds of my time.” I disagree. Anything we do is motivated out of courage which is rooted in faith and love OR fear which is rooted in insecurity and doubt.
For the past month I have been on a fearless faith journey, working with over 200 kids in a camp as the director. The short ten week span certainly tested my leadership and stamina in ways I never imagined but it taught me lessons about Courage that I don’t think I could have got anywhere else. It certainly takes courage to lead. Without it, you’ll be stopped dead in your tracks with followers doing the same and you don’t want that!
What I have discovered is that the enemy will grip you with fear to stop your forward movement in the destiny and purpose God has given you. Instead of recognizing that you’re stopped and not focused on your own race, you begin to take notice of other people and the race they are running. Being stopped gives you the opportunity to gaze. You begin to compare and compete. You begin to complain and criticize. You begin to crush your own spirit and cancel your own race because you’re so focused on what everyone else is doing that you can’t see you are stuck in fear.
Who’s race are you running? Your own or someone else’s?
We live in a society where it’s so easy to see what other people are doing, especially with social media. Be careful, comparison is the #1 destroyer of destiny. But I want to encourage you, as well as myself, to assess where you are and check to see if you are moving forward in your own race or constantly seeing who you can compete with. When God told Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt towards the Red Sea, they were moving forward in their purpose. Then they came to a stop and saw Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s army chasing after them and fear gripped the people.
“Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” Exodus 14: 13-15
“Tell the Israelites to MOVE ON…”
As leaders, we need courage to lead and move on even when in the natural there seems no way out. But God is faithful and when we give what we have to the Lord, He will honor that and do wonders before your eyes. The camp I worked at embraced five pillars of Courage that I want to share with you. These are certainly not all the ways in which we need courage but it’s a good foundation to start on. I understand that there is so much hurt and brokenness in our country right now dealing with shootings, racism, politics, etc…Leaders, if we are going to continue the race that God has given us, we must have Courage to do these things:
- Courage to Show Up – Sometimes just showing up is all you need to know what the next step is. Fear of the unknown, new surroundings, rejections, or even uncomfortable situations will block you from the blessing God has for you when all you have to do is muster enough faith to show up and lead.
- Courage to Trust – If you have problems trusting, then it is because you have not dealt with the consequences of broken trust. We are all flawed human beings and there are times we mess up. However, as leaders, we must lead the way in bridging gaps in our homes, teams, communities, and amongst ethnicities to trust again.
- Courage to Forgive – It’s not easy to forgive such hatred and violence in our world. In fact, it is impossible on our own. Only through the strength and forgiveness of our Father in Heaven in our own lives can we see the light to forgive others. Again, who’s race are you running? When your eyes are on Jesus, the hurt no longer becomes all about you. If we as leaders do not forgive, those who follow won’t either.
- Courage to Change – Adaptation to change starts from the inside then moves out. Change is inevitable; it’s just a matter if we will embrace and move forward in positive perspective or be stopped by negative criticism. If we ever expect this nation, our community, or our family to change, we as leaders must initiate it in our actions and our words.
- Courage to Connect – Everyone can communicate. Few connect. John Maxwell’s words couldn’t be more true. The best leaders know how to move through people’s walls, boundaries, and fears to connect with them on the deepest level and establish trust. We need to connect more than ever in our nation. Will you as a leader have the courage to connect?
Be Blessed. Be Revealed.