Every once in a while God speaks a word that burns at you and you cannot keep it to yourself. This is one of those days. I recently listened to Bill Haybel talk about courageous leadership. You have to listen to this; it is mind boggling; the video is on YouTube. As I listened to this video, I could feel mu mind being freed. I realized that the greatest enemy to every single dream God has ever given me, and I bet you too, has always been my mind. It is amazing that the mind helps us do such great things; build houses, invent computers, set up businesses, run ministries, be great at our workplaces; yet this same mind if allowed will be the same reason we do not step into what God calls us to.
Bill Haybel says something that I carried to heart; that often God gives us a vision, something that He wants us to do, but too often we abort it in the knees of fear. Listen to this “Leaders, visions are holy commodities, they come from God. Treat them with utmost respect. Don’t kill them in a late night feat of cowardice.”
I got thinking of the visions God has ever placed in my heart and how often I have aborted them at ‘a late night feat of cowardice’. I got thinking of times I have engaged in a back and forth conversation with God that goes like, ‘why me, why not that person who has all the monies in the world’; ‘why not a simpler thing like this that or the other’; ‘but I am actually comfortable with my life the way it is, why do you want me to change it’; and my all time favorite ‘okay Lord you win, I will do it next year, and you know what happens to next year!
This reminds me of a man who God gives a vision to go rescue the Israelites from Pharaoh. This man has been a shepherd of his father-in-law’s sheep; he has adjusted to this life. So when God calls him, his first reaction is kinda like mine, ‘but I can’t, but what if they don’t believe me, but this that or the other’. This man has a long conversation with God about this vision; fortunately he does not abort it. As a result God uses him to set the Israelites free from captivity.
Can you imagine if he had aborted this vision, how many more years of captivity the Israelites would have had? How many more unrealized dreams the Israelites would have had? Can you imagine how sad this story would have been?
Yet this is the same thing you and I are doing. God gives us a vision, a save Israelites equal, but we abort it. As a result, many in our generation are still in captivity because of you and I. Bill Haydel says something that just cringes at my heart, “So, in my view, when we look at a violent and suffering world, and we all watch the news every night, I think we have a decision to make on where to lay the blame. Should we lay the blame at the feet of a compassionate God, who has been sending life-enhancing visions to millions of leaders all over the world? Or should we lay the blame at the feet of a large number of gutless, cowardly leaders who aborted the misery alleviating visions that God could have blessed wildly had there been the leadership courage to give them birth?” Ouch. Gut wrenching but very true.
A confession moment
What is it God has lay in your heart that you are aborting? What if you obeyed, what if like Joshua you were strong and courageous and took the mantle God gives you? What if you ignored the many naysayers including your mind and just took a step of faith, what if?
Bill shares an amazing story of how he started Willows Creek church at 22; 22! He says how when he went to a lawyer to help him register the church, the lawyer asked him why he wanted to start a church. He told him that this was because he wanted to transform people’s lives. The lawyer told him that was pipe dream; that the one true thing he has learned is that people never change! In short he was telling Bill, you are young and hyped, you have no clue what the world has. A naysayer.
40 years later this church is massive! This church hosts a global leadership summit. The event is to more than 230 locations throughout the U.S. It is attended by approximately 75,000 people nationwide and is viewed by an estimated 100,000 more people internationally; the church over 20,000 attendees, making it the third-largest church in US. The church has been listed as the most influential church in US in the last several years in a national poll of pastors. Lives are being transformed! The lawyer was wrong, God is still in the business of changing people!
And all it took was obedience to God’s leading, the rest He does.
What is in your hands?
So like Moses, God is asking what do you have in your hands? God is telling me I will hold you accountable for the talents I have given you. God is telling me not to miss the bigger point of life, not to get engrossed in my mind, or in my world that there is no space to say ‘send me Lord and I will go’.
Are you afraid? Top of Form
‘Get on your feet and say the Joshua prayer as many times as you need to. ‘Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid God will be with you and will never forsake you’.
Don’t be afraid, God’s word is at stake here, the pressure is on Him, He will be with you, He will never forsake you.
Take that step of faith, start small. I am amazed at what God does as we do that. He brings together from a far all that you need. He still does not give you the full picture. But with each step of faith you know without a doubt He is at work. But the hardest thing ever is to start, is not to plan the first step till kingdom come. It is to start just where you are, at your workplace, at your business, at ministry, at your family; just where you are. He will lead you. ‘Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid God will be with you and will never forsake you’