Traveling through Israel on the dusty trails where the Bible greats walked taught me how fallible we are when we try to lead in our own power and strength. As it turns out, the Lord works His way when we relinquish control and acknowledge our weakness.
We started our visit on the Sea of Galilee. I stood in awe on a stony rise overlooking a beach where Jesus called Peter to be a disciple. I relate to Peter. Like him, I say things I ought not, miss an important concept, or get something completely wrong as I run ahead of Jesus. As leaders, we follow Jesus and learn from our mistakes. Strong leaders learn from their mistakes.
Riding alongside the Dead Sea on the way to Ein Gedi, our tour guide shared the story of David, running and then hiding from Saul and his army. Saul was in full pursuit of David, threatened and afraid. He wanted to rid the earth of David. David trusted God and took refuge in the mountains of Ein Gedi and was put in a position where he could kill Saul and put an end to Saul’s death threat.
The same day my FP4H Bible study referenced 1 Samuel 24:1-10 pointing out David honored God and honored others when he chose not to kill Saul. My Bible reading plan only days later, had me reading the same passage. God’s wonderful coincidence had my attention. David honored God with his restraint and self-control.
I am thankful for the Holy Spirit’s fruit of self-control. A fruit I need to live out a God-honoring life. As leaders, we must spend time with the Lord and ask Him to shower us with all the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Strong leaders honor God with self-control.
Now home from Israel, my bible reading plan has me in 1 and 2 Kings. Elijah’s story of calling fire down from heaven jumps off the page. The views from Mt. Carmel where Elijah stood his ground, strengthen my resolve to stand my ground.
As leaders, we must deal with resistance coming from all sides. We are pulled in multiple directions. We are challenged about our chosen priorities. Sometimes we feel bullied by the world. As leaders, we must trust God and stand up to the resistance placed in our path. Strong leaders trust God for the outcome.
Maybe you are like me and in awe of what God can accomplish when we agree to join Him and His plan for our life. In 2006, I was a reluctant leader, starting a First-Place group at my church weighing in at 274 pounds. I had no idea what God had planned, yet I was willing to:
- Learn from mistakes
- Honor God with self-control
- Trust God for the outcome
Are you ready to be a strong leader? Embrace change and say “Yes” to all God has planned.
Helen Baratta Director of Development for First Place for Health. She is the author of My Place for Leadership included in the My Place Leader’s Kit and Restored! Embracing Weight Loss God’s way available at our online bookstore.