(A couple of days ago I began a discussion on the leadership Hokey Cokey focusing on Step 1 – keeping our Face Down. You can check out the post here if you missed it and follow from there!)
So, time for move 3……………………………
Putting your shoulder in and working for what God is directing is a non-negotiable part of the leadership process. Throughout Scripture God spoke promise after promise over the leaders He had chosen to deliver freedom to His people but very few of them enjoyed an easy ride as they sought to see the promise fulfilled.
Moses, was called by God to go and rescue the Israelites from slavery. He returned to Egypt and spoke to the Israelites and the ruling King, the Pharaoh. He asked him to let God’s people go but Pharaoh turned his request down, not once, but ten times in the process and even when he finally relented he gave chase as the Israelites left.
Joshua, as we talked about yesterday, was leading the Israelites into the land that God had called them to but the people who lived there didn’t exactly roll over and hand them the keys. They had to fight for the land and lost some battles on the way. Nehemiah had to work through many issues to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, David’s road to Kingship wasn’t exactly plain sailing and Noah’s boat building project wasn’t without criticism.
God’s promises are an invitation into white water paddling not to lazy river drifting
Would we have given up?
I feel too often today that we are all too eager to receive God’s call and promise but way too quick to move on to something else when that promise isn’t fulfilled within our allotted time limit. The truth is we will experience a whole range of emotions when we are working to see what God has visioned; there will be times of pain, disappointment and failure within the joy, celebration and success.
It isn’t enough to pray for vision and cast it over people we lead so that we can retreat and wait for the fulfillment of it all. No, we need to put our shoulder in and work!
We have been working in our community here in Northern Ireland for about 13 years as a church. We are trying to change aspects of our community that we feel the direction of the Lord over and over these years we have heard some incredible stories and some of these things are showing signs of movement but we are aware that we are battling generational issues, issues that pre-date anyone who is currently alive in the community. These issues have taken deep roots and the deepest root is often the hardest to pull out. The worst thing we could do is leave these roots after working at them for a few years because they will continue to grow both deeper underground and therefore higher above the surface.
The truth of the matter is; I don’t know if I will ever physically see what I feel God has spoken over my life but I’m going to pray, lead and work like I am about to. That means that I need to be prepared to put my shoulder in and take everything that comes with it.
Shoulders in folks – 1 more move to go!!