Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Philip. 4:13 (NLT) “For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
Something happened to me this past year that has happened to me repeatedly since I have given my life to the Lord. I was asked to take on a position of responsibility and leadership in an entirely new area of ministry that was foreign to me and different from anything I had ever done in the past. I remember my first thoughts: “There are a hundred people I know that are more qualified to take this on. Lord why would you want me to do this? I know almost nothing about any of this.” I probably sounded like millions of people whom God has spoken to over time whom He has asked to do things for Him.
In the early days, many of the things God asked me to do (often through people asking me but I knew the request was ultimately from the Lord,) were what seemed small or somewhat unimportant or even somewhat insignificant. The kinds of things your brain would wrestle and whine about doing and your flesh would resist wanting to do. Some were spiritual in nature, some were more about the development of life disciplines, and some were about doing acts of kindness for others. Most times I’d be aware that it was the Lord that wanted me to do these things.
I’d be thinking about them and then a sermon would be preached or I’d be listening to a tape (pre-CD days) that would confirm it. I could just sense the still small voice of God inside compelling me to obey Him. I could have easily blown any of them off except that the Lord kept bringing a verse to my heart that became a Word from Him to me. It was about being faithful and obedient in the small things. This verse became what I call a character anchor – a word that would be foundational to the way I thought and responded to the Lord. It was Luke 16:10 and it said, “Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”
This word from God compelled me to pay attention, quite making excuses, and do the small things I felt He was leading me to do. In His way, He was showing me that He was building me from the ground up. As I said, He was building my by teaching me obedience to obey Him in the small things – in my obedience to pray and study Hs Word, in the development of life disciplines, and in taking on commitments at church serving people as well as acts of kindness for others. He led me on a day-to-day basis. He was teaching me that faithfulness to these things was my preparation to do greater things throughout life. I’d often hear Him say in my heart, “Tim, if you can’t be faithful in the little things, why would I trust you with greater things?”
In the beginning it wasn’t so much about taking leadership roles as it was about the development of my personal character. But, as I began to develop, He did begin to bring opportunities of leadership to me. That is when I’d get hit with the feeling of fear and inadequacy. Of course the devil was there to point out my every disobedience to God, every sin in my life, and every weakness in my character. I couldn’t argue with the devil on that point. My faults were plenty. But in pressing through it, the Holy Spirit taught me valuable life lessons.
He taught me that before we do learn to lead others, it is important that we learn to lead ourselves. But the reality of that statement is that are people in leadership at all times everywhere that do not know how to lead themselves. If you focus on leading yourself and you are an honest person, you will realize that this is an ongoing and lifelong process of development in maturity and character and obedience to God.
It doesn’t make sense to wait your entire life to accept responsibility and roles of service or even leadership until you have perfectly learned to lead yourself. No, the Bible teaches us that in the body of Christ, we should be involved in giving our supply to the church. In other words we should serve God and people faithfully and diligently. As we do we can grow up and begin to accept responsibility at higher levels including roles of leadership.
Although people are often flattered and excited – especially at first when they are given roles of leadership, the majority of people feel inadequate when stepping into them and do not feel qualified and often hear the thought come against them, “You don’t even know how to lead yourself. What are you doing leading others?”
The balance is in knowing that learning to lead yourself is a life long course of development and learning to lead others is the same. The key to success in going down this road is learning to first: obey God’s leading in the small things understanding they are hugely important to the leader you will become over time. Secondly, as a Christian, learning to lean on God because of His promise to you –today’s Fresh Manna verse – “For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.” Philip. 4:13 (NLT)
Overcoming your personal laziness to instead listen and obey the voice of God and become faithful to the small things He asked you to do will revolutionize your life at one level. Understanding that your development is a lifelong course of development will take you to another. Learning to say yes in the face of laziness and overcoming fear or inadequacy and instead saying “I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need,” will bring you to great places and an exciting life in God.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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