Part 5 of the Leadership Journey has to do with a leader refusing the call God has given them. In the last part of the Leadership Journey we ended with a vision being given to a leader. Moses had his burning bush moment. That moment humbles the leader. They are stunned/overwhelmed/awestruck. God then proceeds to give a clear explanation of what the call truly entails. God tells Moses what it’s really going to take to accomplish the vision before him. This is where doubt begins to creep in.
Think about it, you or I probably wouldn’t have chosen Moses. He is a stuttering shepherd, with low self-esteem, way past his prime, running away from Pharaoh.
Moses appears to be a tragic figure at this stage in his life.
He has lost a position of power and authority, along with fame and riches. And he is carrying out the most menial type of work in a desolate place!
Would you hire him? Most staffing firms (including those in the church!) would never even give him an email back.
Maybe we need to be reminded the Lord doesn’t look at people the way we do.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God is always looking for ordinary people to play significant roles in his extraordinary unfolding story.
Yet for most leaders a clear vision is usually followed by reluctance to undertake the task.
It’s the start that stops most people.
Just like Moses, many leaders feel completely inadequate to lead the vision God has called them to because they lack a firm identity. We live in a culture that basis our value or identity on what other people think of us, on what we have accomplished, on our successes, or on our notoriety.
When other people think we are awesome, we think we are awesome.
When other people think we are nothing, we think we are nothing.
This leads to insecurity. Questioning yourself and your qualification for what God has called you to.
In response to his burning bush moment Moses says these words. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Have you ever asked God the same question of your call? Who are you? Take a few minutes to write down some words you’d use to define yourself.
I have friend who was a rising star in the church world, everyone thought he was the model of what a “Pastor” should be until he had a morale failure. He has been out of the ministry for 4 years now and is struggling greatly with who he is.
I have another friend who has a 20-year successful track record as a “coach”, but she has had 2 subpar seasons in a row. She is struggling greatly because she has always been a “winning coach” and now it has rocked her confidence in herself and she is not sure who she is.
I have another friend who is so gifted his name is a label; everyone wants to be him. The problem is he doesn’t want to be the “him” everyone else sees; so he goes to bed every night drinking, smoking weed and taking Ambien because he doesn’t want to wake up and be “him” the next day.
When we see ourselves only through the eyes of others we see what we are not. When we see ourselves through the eyes of the Father, we see only who we are created to be.
Maybe it’s not what others say that troubles you. Maybe it’s what you say about yourself. Moses probably thought, “I’m the wrong guy. I don’t have what it takes to pull this off.” When Moses was forty, he was cocky and arrogant. He killed an Egyptian and thought his act would be understood. He thought he could deliver Israel all by himself. He thought he was invincible.
Moses quickly found out that he couldn’t rescue Israel by himself. His pride was knocked low. And when our pride is knocked low, we often swing the pendulum from arrogance to self-doubt.
You will start to doubt and think, “why would God do anything in me or through me?” Doubt comes from the word hesitate, or “to choose between two things”. The choice is not between arrogant self-reliance or staggering self doubt.
The choice you have to make as a leader is between doubt and faith in your Father. Do you believe that He is competent, capable, and fully aware of what it will take to accomplish the vision? Do you truly believe that your frailty can trump the plans of the God of the Universe?
Will you trust in God or in your own understanding? What weaknesses are holding you back? Where are you still believing that your competency is more important than God’s calling?
There are two paths ahead of you, one walked out in trusting your own strength, the other walked out in trusting God in your weakness.
Just like Moses, it’s the start that stops most people.