Over the next several weeks and months, I hope to share some insights about leadership that will help you. Trust me, there’s no shortage of information out there about leadership. You can easily find millions of books, articles, videos, and courses about how to be an effective leader.
Unfortunately, a lot of those materials leave out the most important part, the spiritual component of leadership. To be an effective leader, you must understand that your life was God’s idea to begin with. You were created by Him with purpose and for a purpose. Until you live with that understanding, you’ll never really maximize your potential.
There’s an account in the Bible about a young man named Jeremiah who served as a prophet, a minister who shares important messages from the Lord. But Jeremiah didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be a prophet. God called him with these words: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV).
At first, Jeremiah made an excuse and told the Lord, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” (Jeremiah 1:6, NLT). But God answered, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you” (Jeremiah 1:7, NLT). You see, God knew Jeremiah was a prophet before Jeremiah knew he was a prophet! And I believe God knows things about you that you don’t know about yourself. You have the potential to accomplish much more than you’ve ever realized, but you’ll never know unless you seek the Lord and listen for His direction.
God taught me a valuable lesson during my freshman year of college when I was worried about choosing the right major. One day, I simply prayed, “God, what do you want me to do with my life?” I was expecting Him to reveal my future occupation and show me which major I should select. That didn’t happen.
But immediately after I asked my question, this Bible verse came to my mind: “The people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32, NKJV). I knew in my heart that the message of that scripture was God’s response to me. He answered my question in a way that got to the very heart of the issue.
You see, God was re-directing my focus to where He wanted it to be. He was telling me that what was really important was not that I chose the “right” major, but that I set my heart to know Him. I knew if I would concentrate on knowing the Lord, He would use my life in great ways, regardless of what major I chose.
God called Jeremiah to be a prophet. He may be calling you to be a doctor, teacher, businessperson, coach, law enforcement officer, or musician. Or, maybe God is calling you to be a better friend, spouse, student, or parent. Whatever responsibilities you have, God will help you be a great leader. But it starts by seeking Him. Pray, read your Bible, go to church, and listen for the messages He speaks to you.
It may sound ironic, but the best way to start being a leader is to be a great follower … a follower of Jesus. When you seek to know Him, He’ll make you strong and help you to accomplish far more than you could ever accomplish on your own.
Leadership Lesson: God has called you to be a leader, so listen to Him and follow Him closely.
This devotional is a great support in our sermon today with the scripture Matthew 7:7-11. Thank you for a great start to this devotion!
“It may be ironic . .” Actually, I think you hit the nail on the head. The disciples were followers first, then became disciple-makers, leaders. I think of key moments such as Peter yielding to Jesus in Lk 5, putting out again after an unsuccessful night of fishing, “because you say so.” It was Peter who led the disciples to wait in Jerusalem “because he said so,” when this would seem like the least likely place to “fish” because it was in Jerusalem Jesus was condemned and crucified.