I believe in this time, more than any other, God is looking and calling forth His leaders to rise up. As our culture is growing more dark and apostate, I believe the heart of God is calling for His sons and daughters to rise up and be strong leaders. Individuals who will influence society for righteousness, peace and faith. Everyone seems to be afraid these days. Confusion, hate and fear are running rampant and I believe desperate people are looking for direction and help. The culture of our day is producing addictions, terror and oppression and people are shouting out- if you slow down and listen you will hear its cry!
In the book of Judges, you see God summoning men and women to step up and be leaders in their communities and nation. At first glance, the lives of these men and women that God was beckoning, seemed pretty ordinary. However, as you begin to look deeper, you see that their response to the voice of God on their life was based on a few key things.
The most important was they were able to recognize when God was speaking to them. If you don’t train yourself to hear God’s voice, how will you recognize His invitation? You will notice in scripture that when God initially speaks to His people, He speaks to their potential, not necessarily their current situation or position. Spending time in God’s word daily will help you learn and recognize His voice.
For example, in Judges, we find the story of Gideon. One day, probably a very ordinary day for Gideon, we see the messenger of the LORD, appear and speak. He calls Gideon a mighty man of valor or courage. He ardently tells Gideon that the LORD is with him and that He has an assignment for him to accomplish.
What I particularly like about this scenario is Gideon is hiding in the winepress, threshing wheat because he is afraid of the Midianites that had surrounded the land. They were fierce enemies and had been stealing and plundering the children of Israel for over 7 years. I find it very interesting as you study Judges, you see a distinct pattern. Over and over you will read, “…..and the people did what was right in their own eyes.” Because of this, God would allow an enemy to surround them, oppress them and bring them into profound captivity and oppression.
What is most comforting in all of these stories is when the children of Israel had taken enough harassment from their enemy, they would cry out to the Lord. God would hear their cry and in His great compassion, He would call forth a leader or a judge to deliver them.
The leaders God would appoint were everyday men and women. The thing that set them apart from all the others was their ability to hear the voice of God. They also had a heart that desired to obey God despite any fear, opposition or obstacle that stood in their way.
The greatest obstacle in becoming a leader is failing to believe what God has spoken
Gideon struggled to see himself the way God did, however, we see Gideon make a decision that is pivotal in shaping him to become a great leader. He stops and offer sacrifices to His God. I believe as Gideon pours himself out in worship to the Lord, he begins to see himself the way God does. His identity becomes solid and his purpose is magnified!
Worship is another key principle we can apply in becoming a true leader. When we enter God’s manifest presence through worship, He brings our bodies and souls into a calm quietness where we cannot be moved. Fear cannot stay in the presence of the Lord and we are able to connect with God’s heart and believe His truth. We must see ourselves the way God sees us. I wonder if Gideon had ever been told that he was a man of courage– perhaps not. However, when God speaks, Gideon dared to believe. Take a risk! Believe and trust in God’s judgment, not in your natural circumstance or in what others have spoken over you.
Are you expecting God to use you?
Another leader in the book of Judges was Deborah. God had called her to lead and judge His people. He gave her authority and influence to rule righteously. When God invites you to labor with Him, He gives you everything you need to lead and impact others for good.
God does not look at gender, He looks at potential. I believe woman are essential in gaining victory for the Lord. I know this because God demonstrates this principle in scripture, and if He does it once, then we can expect Him to do it again.
God always sets precedents and then creates purpose. He looks for a teachable heart that can be molded into His image. When we put ourselves in this place, God is able to use us mightily. The word tells us that Deborah spent time sitting under a tree. I would imagine the time she spent there was one of great meditation and worship to her God. Dark days are in her midst, there are enemies raging all around, and yet we see Deborah sitting down contemplating her God. I believe this is why she was able to emphatically pronounce the Lord’s will. She had spent time getting to know God’s heart and His nature and with confidence could judge for Him.
As you read Judges 4 and 5, we see another woman, Jael, whom God used as a leader. Most would not probably call Jael a leader but, I believe she was. She stepped out of her comfort zone and believed she could defeat her enemy because of God’s strength upon her. I am not sure many woman would have the physical strength to hammer a peg through a man’s skull unless God was with them. She also had the ability to hear God’s voice, for when Sisera asked her for a drink of water, she gave him milk. After drinking the milk from Jael’s hand, Sisera falls into a deep sleep. The atmosphere becomes ripe for Jael to step up, lead and destroy their enemy!
Perhaps Jael was able to rise up and believe she was a leader, because she had been watching Deborah’s life. She dared to believe that if God could use Deborah, then He could use her as well. People are always watching and observing what you are doing. Perhaps without realizing, you are influencing others. I believe as you accept the challenge to rise up and be a leader, God will use you to be an inspiration to others.
Leaders Have Vision
The power of vision can accelerate your purpose and bring the miraculous into your life. When we have vision to see, we can have faith to believe for the impossible. Jesus’ mother, Mary, was able to perceive the power that was contained inside of Jesus, and she activated her faith to ask for a miracle, and it was done. Her vision became the catalyst needed to pull down into the “now moment” what the Father wanted to do at the wedding in Cana- turning water into wine. Mary was a leader because of her vision, and God used her to bring provision where there was lack. Our faith can be strengthened by our vision. And our vision can be accomplished through faith. What it your vision today? Are you walking in faith believing God to bring it to bear? If not, unbelief is keeping you from receiving all that God wants to pour out on you!
In the natural, when man and woman come together, they have potential to procreate. A very simple definition of procreate is to produce offspring. As men and women, rise up and become leaders, I believe we will see the fullness of God’s heart manifest. Procreation will occur and there will be an offspring of leaders, disciples and saved souls for the Kingdom.
Leaders reproduce leaders. This world needs the people of God to rise up and lead our communities with wisdom, power and influence. God wants to magnify your purpose. Ask Him to show you what your specific assignment is for the season you are in, and then be filled with courage like Gideon, Deborah and Jael.
Go into the land and slay your enemies! Believe that God can and will be magnified through your life and you will become a history maker. We are called to be ambassadors for Christ- leading others into His marvelous light and victory.
A Daily Proclamation
The Almighty’s spirit lives in me. I am free from condemnation. I have the strength to live my life free of despairing thoughts and competing desires of my flesh. I am God’s workmanship, created to do good works, which God has prepared ahead of time for me to accomplish. I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loves me. I have a clear mind and can make good decisions. I am increasing daily in my faith, strength, wisdom and love. I can be used mightily by God to impact my sphere of influence for greatness!
Much Love – Lisa