As Hurricane Frances bore down on the Caribbean, I was living in Miami. So many emotions go through you when you realize that all that you own, and have accumulated over the years, could be destroyed in a matter of hours. And yet, this Great and Mighty God we serve has allowed us to experience His presence each and every day to this point. And in that experience, there was no fear that day – only peace.
As we prayed with a friend the day before the storm, I found the Spirit of the Living God well up within me. I heard these words from my lips: “Lord, You are the Weather Man! Turn this storm and cause it to miss us here.” With faith that can only grow through a daily walk with our God, I found the Spirit within me responding to the world around me.
“I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” (Psalm 16:7–8, NLT)
As leaders, God has called us to lead. So many times God allows us to discipline ourselves to do the things that make for great leadership! Security in this life comes from intimacy with God. You have to be before you can do. You cannot lead people where you yourself have not gone! Long before the crisis occurs, the godly leader has been in preparation for the storm that will eventually come. When the storm passes through, it simply reveals the truth that lies deep within each leader. Spiritual convictions and depth are demonstrated in the midst of the gale-force winds of life! David shares three reasons why we can be joyful in the midst of life’s squalls.
- God guides us individually! God freely gives the information we desire when we seek His will and way in our lives. What’s more, He does so as our personal escort! He walks with us hand-in-hand, so to speak. (Deuteronomy 23:14; Joshua 1:5, 9; Hebrews 13:5) The more we desire His way, the greater the joy in His heart. As we ask Him, “Where should I go? What should I do? Who should I love? How should I share You and Your leadership with them?” God answers! And since we delight in doing His will, He offers us bonuses others could only hope for: Side trips that bring incredible pleasure are ours when God’s mission is our deepest desire.
- God instructs us personally! God gets so excited about our open heart that He can’t wait until the next morning to tell us new things, according to David. As I have seen this happen so many times myself, I know God loves to instruct us during the night. At my bedside is a stack of 3” x 5” cards for just such occasions! Since I remember so little from the wee hours of the morning, I write down what God shares with me and toss the cards on the floor for retrieval in the morning … often God talks fast and furious about what He is up to and instructs me in the way I should go. This is where the Christ-life yields incredible joys!
- God accompanies us constantly! David’s assurance comes from God’s immediate presence with Him. So often people say, “God feels far from me.” I often respond, “Why? Did you move?” God never leaves us or forsakes us. (Joshua 1:5, 9; Hebrews 13:5) When we want to be in God’s presence, we simply follow God’s command and, once again, we sense His presence …
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (James 4:8, NLT)
When the hurricanes of life finally do come, the Godly leader has already walked so long with the Almighty One that they fear no evil. God will stay right beside them and He will tell them what to do all along the way!
If you enjoyed today’s leadership post, you can read the rest of it in Dr. Smith’s book, Gathering Missional Leaders: Creating a Biblical Environment for Exponential Leadership Development. You can purchase the book by following this link.