“Even when you see things happening or not happening that you don’t understand, I want you to trust Me.” Those words came to my heart a few weeks ago while praying and sitting quietly with the Lord.
It’s hard sometimes to trust God, isn’t it? It’s not because He’s proven Himself untrustworthy to me. Quite the opposite—He’s proven more times than I can count that He is ultimately reliable.
And yet, life happens. Contested elections; national unrest; COVID spikes; restrictions due to COVID spikes . . . and all of a sudden, a kind of spiritual weariness can set in. Leading a business, or a church, or a team, or a family can become confusing.
One of the greatest leaders in history, the apostle Paul dealt with this. He wrote, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:8
Frances Ridley Havergal puts it this way: “In perplexities when we cannot tell what to do, when we cannot understand what is going on around us—let us be calmed and steadied and made patient by the thought that what is hidden from us is not hidden from Him.”
When leading gets confusing, and your emotions are all over the place, remember that if you belong to Jesus, no matter what’s going on, He is with you, For real. He hasn’t abandoned you in your confusion, and He never will.
Our nation is in turmoil due to multiple factors: COVID-19 and quarantine; racial tensions; a contested national election . . . along with a media which profits financially by fanning the flames of fear and division. We are confused as a country. These combined forces create significant challenges for those of us who lead.
How do we sift through all of the disinformation, lies, and conflicting reports of this season, along with the emotions we feel about all of this stuff? How do we know what’s true and what’s false? How do we move the organizations we lead forward?
Despite running the risk of oversimplifying a complicated issue, here’s the best answer from my perspective: We spend more time listening to the One who never lies. We tune into His voice and tune out the media. His perspective is the only one that matters in the end—not what we think, feel, hear, etc. The answer to our confusion is found in digging deeper into our relationship with Jesus Christ, and allowing His voice expressed through His written word to become our standard, the divine hook we hang our leadership hats on.
I’ve said goodbye to the news media and almost all social media, and spent more time fasting, praying, and calling on our Heavenly Father. And wouldn’t you know it . . . overall I feel calmer. Clearer. I have a better sense of what next steps to take. I’ve been freshly reminded that a titanic struggle is raging in the spirit realm, and we who follow Jesus and lead others need to wake up to that reality, get on our knees, and fight with the spiritual weapons God has given us—His Word, prayer, praise, and the like. When we simply go through the motions instead of digging deeper daily with Jesus, is it any wonder why leading has become confusing?
So . . . no “four ways out of confusion” kind of post today. Instead, I’m issuing a clarion call to leaders who love Jesus (myself included) to shake ourselves from our slumber. To fill our lives with more of Him and less busyness, More of Him and fewer trivial pursuits. More focus on His voice and less distraction from the myriad of voices screaming for our attention.
If you’re a Jesus-follower who leads, even when the circumstances swirling around you are inexplicable and leadership has become stupefying, you can rest in this: You belong to Him. He has you firmly in His grip, and won’t let go. You’re not leading alone. Father God is with you every step of the way.
So . . . hang in there. Do not waver. Fall on your knees and pray. And be assured, God is at work in you and through you.
Rooting and praying for you,