As spiritual leaders, all of us want to have a sense that we’re operating in the will of God. Certainly we don’t want to lead outside of it. But the big question is: how would you know if you’re in God’s will? The reason to ask is obvious: Do you have an assumed picture of what God’s plan for your “leadership life” should look like? Personalize this and take the leadership factor out of it: Would it mean that life’s circumstances would all be good? Would you be single or married? Would you have more money? Would you have a different job? Would you be happier? Would you feel differently? I’m not trivializing this. It’s just that when we start thinking about God’s plan for our lives, we can carry a lot of assumptions into it. What would the internal trigger be—emotionally, intellectually or spiritually—to let you know you were now in “the perfect will of God”? At one level you might say like Paul in his Roman letter: “Who can fight His will?” Sounds pretty fatalistic. If no one can resist God’s will, then no one is ever really out of His will. Then again, why are we told to pray, “Let Your will be done on earth, like it is in heaven”? This is obviously a question for bigger theological grey matter than mine…let the Calvin/Arminius games begin. But one thing is for sure: we have to learn to see a larger picture. In her little book Jesus CEO, Laurie Beth Jones retold an old parable: “One day a man bought a stallion, and all of his friends said, ‘That’s good.’ The next day the stallion ran away, and all of his friends said, ‘That’s bad.’ Two weeks later the stallion returned with a herd of mares. His friends said, ‘That’s good.’ The next day his son broke his shoulder when the stallion threw him off. The friends said, ‘That’s bad.’ The next month war broke out. Because the boy was injured, he could not go to war. The friends said, ‘That’s good.’ The story could go on and on with people judging events as being bad or good when actually all the events are connected and have an impact on each other.” It’s always been interesting to me that the sheep who were separated from the goats in Matthew 25 never had a clue they were serving Jesus when they took care of the poor, the incarcerated and the stranger. Did they not know how centered they were in the will of God? Were they that clueless? In the end, it seems to me like it’s all about two things that are far more important than clarity: love and surrender. And if you’re exercising those two things while sharpening your leadership gift, you may very well be resting in the center of His will.
Question of the Day: Do you have a healthy picture of what success looks like for your leadership?
Dave Workman | ELEMENTAL CHURCHES