Stand Up and Lead

 

"The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?’ And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’ But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?’ And the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’ Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’" -Judges 9:8-15

We, as Christians, are all called to be leaders. Yes, all of us. You don't have to be a pastor or a great speaker or even an extrovert to be a leader. Every one of us is specifically gifted by God to lead in a way that only he/she can. Whatever position you find yourself in, assess how you might be a leader for the people around you. Sometimes that means taking a stand against bullying. Sometimes that means verbally standing up for your faith. Sometimes that means offering to help someone with something they are struggling with. Sometimes that means giving someone encouragement in a rough situation. Sometimes that means sharing the gospel. Sometimes that means leading a bible club.

Whatever it means for you, do not hesitate to take hold of God's calling on your life. If you are unsure, take a step of faith and trust that God will redirect you if you are wrong! God rewards choices based on faith in Him. If you do not take hold of that leadership, someone else will. As we saw in the allegory in Judges 9, the trees were looking for a king. They asked some suitable candidates to lead them, but those trees were too concerned about losing the things they valued. Since no good leaders would take hold of the kingship, the trees asked the bramble, a bad leader, to step up and lead them. The bramble did.

People are looking for someone/something to follow. If you do not step into the leadership God has called you to, someone else will take your place, and it won't be good! Is there something keeping you from walking in faith? Are you, like the olive tree, the fig tree, or the vine, afraid of losing something? Are you afraid of losing your reputation? Are you afraid of losing your boyfriend/girlfriend? Are you afraid of losing your money? Are you afraid of losing your friends? Brothers and sisters, if these are your concerns, have nothing to do with them! Regard everything but the gospel of Christ as worthless! Pick up your cross, put to death your old self, along with your fears and hesitations, and walk in faith! Hebrews 11:6 says that "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." You may be met with trial and pain, but you have been called to something greater than the earthly things you hold so dear. You have been called to lead as Jesus Christ led, sacrificing everything for the sake of others.

Do not hesitate to lead where you have been called. Have faith in a God who is faithful. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

Matt KellyComment