Leadership

I have known for awhile that I was blessed with the gift of administration, that is, the gift to lead by steering others to remain on task and to organize to achieve long-term goals. In other words, I have a gift to plan and ensure that the plan is implemented and achieved, something you might call a Project Manager; however, I have recently been given a great opportunity – to become a leader in an organization.

I would like to say that because of this gift, I will be an automatically great leader, but that isn’t how this works. Jesus was a great leader and still uses people as his body to lead the people of this earth to His purpose; however, I have found it difficult to take a principle that Jesus teaches from ancient times and apply it in a place of business. Recently, I stumbled upon a book entitled Jesus, CEO by Laurie Beth Jones that helps that very difficulty.

I realize that I have a lot of work to do in order to lead effectively both biblically as well as in the corporate culture of the company in which I work. From hating silence and having to answer questions first (that went all the way back to middle school and was a great way for me to differentiate myself in the classroom, but doesn’t look that humble in the middle of a company), to wanting to be the smartest person in the room, or the subject matter expert, on certain topics to ensure that I could add value to the organization I know that I need to adjust my thinking.

In order to be the body of Christ and lead as Jesus led, I need to know Him better.

Jesus knew exactly who He was, do I know who I am? Do you know who you are?

Jesus knew His mission, but do I know mine? Do you know yours?

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Plans

All of us make plans. In fact, Jesus even told the disciples to prepare for the last super! But no matter how much we plan or prepare for something to happen, if it is not in God’s will, it will not happen.

That is not a bad thing! God’s desire for our lives are so much greater than we could ever think or imagine (Jeremiah 29:11) and His plans are also on a scale that we could not fathom (the entire universe v. our life/families lives.)

The Bible states many times that even though we (people) make plans, the Lord’s plan will be done. That could be discouraging if our plans include going against the will of God. However, as we abide in Him we will be better equipped to discern His will and to align to His will within us. When this happens, His will becomes our will.

Regardless of what our plans are, God will accomplish His plans and purpose. This is why scripture says we should not boast about what we plan to do tomorrow. A lot of things can happen in a single instant that may change plans completely or prevent tomorrow from even happening at all. However, by saying and believing that if the Lord wills it, we will do this or that, that aligns our plans to God’s sovereign nature.

No matter what we plan, if it is not according to the ultimate purpose and will of God. Our will just might not happen for us.

The question you might ask from this is, why would God then “will” bad things to happen to people. I do not know God’s ultimate plan; however, there are many times when something bad happening to someone allows them to help others through the same issue to bring glory to Himself. There are also so many times when a bad thing brings notice to something that God’s people needs to stand against, not out of hate, but out of love for others. I do not know why everything happens or how everything will line up for everyone on Earth to hear the gospel and have the choice to accept God’s grace and forgiveness; however, I do know that God is always working and that His plan is far greater than mine.

While it is difficult to give up control, I know that whatever happens to me will be used for the good of those that love God and are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Reference Scriptures:

  • Psalms 33:11
  • Proverbs 16:1,9
  • Proverbs 20:24
  • Proverbs 27:1
  • Isaiah 14:24
  • Isaiah 46:10
  • Isaiah 55:11
  • Jeremiah 29:11
  • Romans 8:28
  • Lamentations 3:37

ReBirth

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” – Matthew 3:11

Next steps, and taking those steps in faith, are crucial to the life of a Christian. In the Bible, the next step of faith after receiving Jesus into your heart as Savior and King is typically baptism. There are arguments about how one should be baptized; however, Jesus himself was baptized through immersion. At the age of 7, I was baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the same way. 

As I think back to that day, I can remember everything, it seems, except why I did it. I knew that I believed in Jesus as my personal savior; I knew that He can accomplish anything and that I wanted to give my life to Him. But my actions as I grew older didn’t reflect that decision.

Sometimes, I wonder if I really understood at 7 years old what following Christ really meant. I wonder if I really understood what Jesus did for me in his death and resurrection. I wonder if I understood what a relationship with Christ really is and what it really meant to have Him control my life. By my actions throughout my life since that day, I would only be able to say that I half got it, But does half getting it really mean anything? 

In 2011-2012, I can say there was a point where I really got it! A point where my heart was zealous for Christ and all that He was doing in my heart and soul. I got closer to Him during that period of my life than I ever had before, or since. Still, there was a leading in my heart that I didn’t follow: to be baptized… again.

I recognize that baptism is the reflection of ones heart that says they believe in Christ as their savior and that it is the open display of that faith. Baptism is the personal testimony and “inward assurance” of the death of my old self  and birth of my new life in Christ. But did I understand that at 7, I am unsure. 

Since 2012, I have felt the need to be baptized again, but I have told myself that I have already been baptized once and that was all I needed and I was good. I told myself that if I did get baptized once again at the age of 23, others would look at me weird and wonder if I really was a Christian before. I let my fear of what others would think, including my husband, overtake what I felt lead and called to do. Since I told myself that I didn’t really need to do anything with this leading for the past two years, I felt my desire to know him remain, but lessen over time. My excitement for sharing the gospel diminished as I felt even more unworthy and defeated by myself. 

I have decided that fear of other’s opinions will not overtake me. I will follow the leading that I have experienced many times over the past two years and following the next step in faith that I have been called to, even if I have already been baptized before. I must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and recognize the voice of God verses the voice of hostility and distraction. 

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

 
He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
 
By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Worry…

God has a wonderful way of bringing your attention back to him when life gets hectic and out of focus.

For the past couple of months, I have been completely focused on finishing my last semester of college and preparing for the blessing that God provided in a new job after graduation with a wonderful company on the other side of the United States. While my husband and I still pray together every night and every time I am in my car praise music is rocking my stereo, I still have not put my focus on the most high King.

My God is always faithful, but I fail often. I often worry about what is ahead and not focus on what I can do with the life that has been given to me here and now. I spent some time reflecting why I worry and why I, no matter how hard I try to remember that God has a greater plan that He will see out to its end, revert back to a state in my life of feeling in adequate and not enough.

God has shown me many times in my life that, while I am technically not enough, He is enough. He makes me enough because I would never be enough on my own. Still, I forget this and try and try to be better, live better, and do better to the point of exhaustion. It is not about what I can do, but what has already been done by Jesus for me and for you.

I need not worry because He has gone before me; He knows what is going to happen and the choices that I will make. I need not worry about being adequate because He will make up for what I lack; In my weakness is His strength! I need not question my ability to complete a task because He would not place me where He could not lead me through (and He can do everything and anything). Worrying just takes the life out of us and prevents us from doing what God has called us to do.

Worrying is easy. It allows you to live in your mind never acting on the desires God has placed within you. Let me tell you this:

  1. You, in and of  yourself, are not enough. But with God you are more than enough!
  2. Mistakes will happen, but it is never bad enough that God cannot heal you call you back to Him!
  3. God is greater than your worry, your failure, your shame, your panic, your inadequacies, your suffering, your weakness, your addictions; He is greater!
  4. God is your maker, creator, and protector.
  5. God is always with you!
  6. God never changes!
  7. God knows everything about you and still  loves you!
  8. Never give up hope. Where you are now may be preparation for where God has called you to be.
  9. God has His hand on you. When He leads you to it, He will lead you through it.
  10. It is easy to focus on our own glory and what we want, but do all things for the glory of the one who made you and your reward will be more than you can possibly imagine!

Opportunities Arise

God has an interesting way of showing you what you should be doing or where you should be going in life.

I have often thought to myself, “how do I know that THIS is what God wants me to do?” I still ask for the blinking neon sign that tells me “go this path,” to hear Isaiah 30:21 in my ear. I long to hear “This is the way, walk in it.”

With that being said, here is a little story about how God answered that for me without a direct neon sign.

Last year around this time, I was sitting in a class at 8 am because I wanted a good parking spot at my university and my class at 9 am was in the same room. A company was scheduled to visit the class room before the Career Fair and I just happen to be participating in the class to the point that they gave me an interview the next day. After I exited the interview building, I was presented with an opportunity to work with a great company in the field that I am majoring in. I was offered an internship position which required my husband and I to move a state away for six months and then a move back to finish school. Because of this offer, I started talking with my current employer which had something in mind themselves. The decision was made last year that we would stay were we were as the stress of moving and not have a position when we returned was not something that, as we looked at our current situation in light of where we want to be, made sense.

One year later, I was sitting in this same class, for real this time, and the same company visited the university before the Career Fair. After the class, they asked me to interview with them in 1 hour and to come as I was (Converse Shoes and all). During that interview, they presented me with an opportunity for a full-time position that include moving West in the United States. This is exactly where we wanted to be, but, yet again, my current employer had something in mind. After long talks, list making, budget planning, and review the totality of each choice, we made the decision to take the opportunity to move West after my college graduation.

Now, you might ask, “how exactly in all of that did you get God’s answer.” The answer is, in a very profound way.

First, it was clear that God made this happen for the second time in my life. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen to people and it had happened twice. Second, my husband and I had many conversations before we brought the concept to our family. All of the family was excited for us either way, but was not necessarily leaning toward any option. After we made our decision, they all agreed! Third, I was at peace with the decision and it helped us to achieve where we wanted to be in light of our present circumstances and future goals. God gave us peace and that is how He told me “This is the way. Walk in it.”

Trust, Fear not.

Isaiah 41:10 helps me to remember that I am not alone in anything that I do. In fact, my God is with me, strengthening me with His righteous right hand. 

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)

Now that I am back in college for my last year, finally, it seems overwhelming. With school, work, laundry, dishes, and a husband to feed, it feels like I’m in over my head. But I will not fear as my God is my strength. 

Do you every feel in over your head? Are you there now? Remember how God has been there for you in your life and praise Him in trust and faith that He will do so again. 

If you don’t believe, think of the stregth you have had to get through something that you never thought you could. That was God beside you, upholding you, even without your love in return. He has a plan for your life; sometimes you have to be broken to understand what He has done and can do in your life for His kingdom and for you.