Are you a leader in your family? Workplace? Startup? Church? If so, you probably understand that many people won't, or don't, understand the financial pressures of raising a family, the pressures to perform for your superiors, to provide a stable work environment for your employees or the pressure to reach the lost with the Gospel.
Whether you serve as a leader in your workplace, church, or family, it's quite likely no one has let you in on the reality of the call to your role in leadership. This isn't to be a naysayer but rather to prepare you to experience new levels of loneliness and isolation. However, acknowledging that it truly is, "lonely at the top", isn't an excuse to stop us for lacing up our running shoes and charging ahead as we diligently work to expand the Kingdom of heaven. Amen?
Whether you're an entrepreneur, pastor, parent, student, employee, etc. it's important to know that leadership carries a very heavy weight.
The unexpected burden of the weight can also result in some dysfunctional behaviors. We can elect to shut down completely and run from where we're called, or we re-tie our running shoes, pick our head up and press on toward the finish.
But, what happens when we step out in leadership and are met with negativity, hatred, misunderstanding, frustration or outright rebellion?
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Since grace means, "to get something that is undeserved", then I would have to argue the greatest example of grace is the free gift of life with God, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Surely then, when we step out in 'uncomfortable' forms of leadership, we will experience new levels of victory through grace, in Jesus.
When I finally accepted, and listened, to God calling me to step up in leadership I didn't anticipate what would happen next.
What quickly followed was an attack on my friendships, family, marriage, career, self-image, mental stability and character. Attacks were coming from all sides at seemingly violent speeds. The attacks that came fast were surprisingly 'easier' to see than I'd imagined.
Imagine a mountain. The higher up on the mountain, the more clearly you can see the attack. The higher you vantage point, the easier it becomes to discern how to defend potential threats. As you begin to ascend the mountain, you can see the enemy gaining in speed and drawing closer. Instead of giving up and allowing the enemy to overcome, we have to stop (collaborate and listen...).
(couldn't help myself there...)
In all seriousness, the level of the attack you're experiencing is indirect correlation to the calling on your life - to where you're climbing. It's in direct opposition to THE ONE you're running to. God wants you to ascend the mountain top! He wants you to defend against, and stand victorious against Satan.
When you see the attacks coming, know that God has not only called you to overcome them, but he has equipped you to stand against them.
He is for you.
He has empowered you.
He has equipped you.
He has called you.
Stand in the Grace his blood poured out.
1. How is God calling you to step up, or step out, in leadership?
2. What are some practical ways you began to guard against the attacks of the enemy?
3. In what ways have you already experienced victory in God's grace?