“God is wholly and relentlessly committed to our holiness. He is committed to our purity, to putting our sin to death. He is so committed to this that he will create within us a whole new relationship to sin, and even to our favorite pet sins.” Read the full blog by Tim Challies.
As Western culture has changed, prevailing attitudes toward Christianity have changed with it. There’s no denying this reality.
But what about Tim Keller, John Piper, and Don Carson? Has their attitude toward matters of Christ and culture evolved over the years as the world around them has grown more hostile to Christianity?
When you are in real need for leadership, the best guide is one who has already made the journey themselves.
Part of what qualified Moses for his leadership journey is he had already been on his own journey with God. Moses had been in the wilderness (physically and spiritually) for 40 years. He knew how to navigate others through their wilderness experience.
Right now I want to give 4 tips for guides, but before I do I want to make two comments:
- Challenge: Almost all of us here should be regularly serving as a guide – especially guiding other, younger, men. If you can’t immediately state who you are guiding then you need to get to work finding someone who needs help.
- If you’re young (under 35), do you have a guide? Are you learning? Are you taking notes on how to guide? Be anxious to learn, not simply to lead.
Proverbs 19:2 – It is not good to have zeal without knowledge
Moses learned to lead sheep in the wilderness when no one was looking for 40 years. Then, he was ready to lead a nation.
David learned to fight in the wilderness against lions and bears when no one was looking. When his time came to step up, he was ready to defeat Goliath.
Drew Brees: “Train like it was meant to be.”
While not many people are looking, are you learning how to be a better guide, are you training like it was meant to be?
4 Tips for Guides: What Moses learned about Leadership
Leadership usually starts with a stirring. There is an event or accumulation of events which stirs up the awareness that something needs to be changed. Something needs a new direction.
- Exodus 2:11-12 – Moses’ stirring begins. However, Moses has an immature game plan. He needs 40 years in the Wilderness.
- Exodus 2:23 40 years later the cumulative effect of slavery had reached a boiling point. Something needed to change! The Israelites as a whole had a stirring
God is stirring. Stirring your heart and stirring circumstances. If it’s not obvious to you where He is stirring right now, then my question would be: Are you getting in the best shape you can right now? Are you “Training like it was meant to be” When you are called onto the playing field, will you be ready?
2. Collision of Leadership and Vision
This is where leadership can get very messy. Stirring creates a vision. A vision is defined as: “A dissatisfaction of what is and a picture of what could be a preferred future.” Yet, your vision is not preferred by everyone. Moses’ vision of getting people out of slavery isn’t preferred by everyone, especially Pharaoh. No one should be surprised!
Exodus 6:10-12 – So the LORD said to Moses, “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land.” But Moses said to the LORD, “Behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?”
Paul Phillips Version:
“Lord, it’s not working out as planned. No one is Listening to my vision. Not the Israelites, not Pharaoh, and I told you I wasn’t a good communicator (Blame shifting toward God) things are getting pretty tense down here! ”
Denial is a lot less painful than collision. Being a good guide requires helping people have the courage to keep facing the problem and moving forward. Can you withstand this collision, or do you prefer denial?
3. Round-About Way
Exodus 13:17-18 – “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle.”
Being a good guide requires knowing the capacity of those you lead. God knows they arew newly freed slaves. They are still fragile and wouldn’t survive a direct conflict with the Philistines. To protect them, he takes them on a Round-About way. Sometimes the most direct route is not the best one.
Are you patient enough to be lead in a Round-About way. Moses tried the direct way and it failed. God took him on a 40 year journey. Are you patient enough to lead someone else in a Round-About way or does all the transformation have to happen now?
4. Pain Tolerance
Moses spent 40 years leading thousands of people through a desert. One outstanding feature of these people is they complained a lot. What a Joy! Good guides help you uncover whether you really want to change the world or if you just want credit for it. A good guide helps you understand the critical need for humility and pain tolerance.
- Stirring: Leadership usually starts with a stirring; an event or accumulation of events which stirs up your awareness something needs to be changed. ” Is there something stirring in You?
- Collision of Leadership and Vision: Denial is a lot less painful than collision. Being a good guide requires helping people have the courage to keep facing the problem and moving forward. Can you withstand this collision – or, do you prefer denial?
- Round-About Way: Are you patient enough to be led in a Round-About way? Moses tried the direct way and it failed, God took him on a 40 year journey. Are you patient enough to lead someone else in a Round-About way or does all the transformation have to happen now!
- Pain Tolerance: How do you increase your capacity for Humility and Pain Tolerance? How do you know if you really want to help change the world or you just want credit for it?
Friends and Brothers,
Pastor, Christ Community Church