Friday, April 19, 2013

Me? A Leader?

Imagine you are on a battlefield.

You stand in line with other soldiers, your armor is heavy your sword firmly fitted in your grasp. The enemy roars its battle cry across the field. Their leaders yelling orders and direction, you can hear it but on your side...  it's silence. You look around "Where is our leader?" you ask. But no one is there. You are now faced with a decision, you can wait and hope someone else will step forward or you can take the lead. The choice is yours which do you pick?

 Few were born into a position of leadership, and fewer still are courageous leaders. A truly courageous leader adds God into their goals into their life and into their dreams. They seek him like a thirsty person after water. Not just on Sundays or during a crisis. You see, where our mind is where our heart will be. What is your mind centered on?  God longs to use us but many people are too big to allow God to use them, too self-important.

OK, I'll be honest with you, I hate leading. I never have liked it. It makes me feel awkward and, to be frank, I just downright can't stand it. But time after time after time I get put in that role.

OK, I have another confession I am really shy. It freaks me out when I have to talk to someone I don't know and heaven forbid if I must go into a store by myself. (I know I know, strange.)

Today I was reading a devotional called Courageous Teens, and it was talking about leadership. I thought it was very interesting and so I decide to touch on the subject with you girls. Whether we like it or not we are leaders. Our siblings, our friends, and even people we don't know are watching us. They follow are lead. So that leads me to my first question; When people look at us do they see who we serve? Do they see our principles? Or do they see yet another teenager tapping away on their cell phone? Headphones on and eyes rolling, disconnected from the world around them. Well, let me set it straight for you, the world has enough ordinary teenagers, who can not be bothered with the world.

To be a leader we have to be courageous. Let me introduce you to a guy named Joshua. For those of you unfamiliar with his story he was born in Egypt as a slave and then became the General of the Israelite army. And one of the most well-known men in the Old Testament. Do You want to know what made Joshua such a good leader? He was a good leader because he was a great follower.  His heart was for God and his will and he took God at his word.  He believed that although God saw him threshing wheat in the bottom of a wine stomping pit to hide from the enemy that God called him brave. So he believed it. All through his life instead of taking credit for the battles he won, he gave glory to God for the victories. Truly courageous leaders don't need applause, attention or medals.

Leaders rise to the occasion. It's a fact. Proven over and over by courageous leaders such as Joshua and so many others. The one's that rise to the top are the one's who learned to hit their knees before God.

Another great example is a woman from the Old Testament by the name of Deborah. She is the only female judge in the Old Testament. She led the Israelites to victory over the Canaanites.  Barak (the military commander) refused to go into battle without her.
(Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go."...)
 Miriam is another woman from the Old Testament. She was Moses' sister. She was also a prophetess, who led her people in worship. 

(Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord...) In Micah 6:4 she is referred to as a core leader. "I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from slavery. I sent Moses and also Aaron and Miriam."

Esther, she is one of only two women in the entire Old Testament to have a book of the bible named after her. She risked her life to save her people from Haman.  (Ester 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.") You can read her story in the book of Ester.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, She was just a young teenager, when she obeyed the will of God even though she risked her life and her marriage. (Luke 1-2...)

Joan of Arc is another great example from the pages of history. She led the French army during the Hundred Years War. She was then burned at the stake for claiming to see visions from God.

Clara Barton lived during the American Civil War. She delivered medical supplies and treated wounded soldiers on the battlefield. She later organized the Red Cross.

Mother Teresa, among her countless other acts of selflessness once negotiated a temporary cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians. She also crossed a war zone to rescue thirty-seven children trapped in a hospital.

The pages of history are alight with amazing role models. In Joshua 24:15 states "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," Actually  "As for me," is used twenty-one times in the book of Joshua. He didn't take a poll, he didn't wait to see what was popular. He stepped forward and said, "Though none follow I and my family will serve the Lord."

So it's your turn. Choose this day who you will serve. As for me... I will serve the Lord.

  • Joshua 1: 9 Haven't I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

  • Matthew 10:19 Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time, you will be given what to say,

  • "The best and wisest thing in the world is to work as if it all depended on you, and then trust in God knowing that it all depends on him," Spurgeon

  • Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

  • Matthew 10:16 Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

  • Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.


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