August 25, 2009

Blind Leadership

In Luke chapter 18 we find a story involving the interaction between Jesus and a blind man. As I was reading this passage I realized that there were at least 10 different leadership lessons we could glean from the life of the blind man.

“As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."

He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?"

"Lord, I want to see," he replied.

Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.”

Luke 18:35-43

1. He positioned himself to receive. Rather than just sitting around and doing nothing because of his handicap, he was placing himself each day in a position to receive something to help him improve his quality of life. Some people want to experience the warmth and comfort of the fire without putting forth the sweat and effort to cut up the wood. The blind man’s daily effort is what placed him in position to receive his sight. As leaders we must understand the necessity of being in position to receive our vision.

2. He saw his opportunity and acted upon it. When he realized that Jesus was coming his way he committed himself to connecting with Jesus regardless of what he might have to do to make that connection. As leaders we must insist on a daily connection with Jesus to keep us on task, fulfilling the mission that He has called us to.

3. He called upon Jesus for help while acknowledging who Jesus was. Leaders must acknowledge who Jesus is as well as their need for Jesus presence and guidance in their lives. And leaders must call out to Jesus for His help.

4. He took the pulse of his surroundings. Even though he was blind, he had the presence of mind to check with those around him to determine who and what was causing the distractions around him. He used the gifts and abilities that he possessed to get the most out of his current situation rather than focusing on the things that he didn’t have. Leaders must always make sure that their focus is on what can be done with what is available rather than focusing on what can’t be done due to a lack of resources.

5. He refused to listen to and be shut down by public opinion. The blind man tuned out the noise of the crowd and refused to let them dictate what he could and could not do. Leaders must not listen to public opinion and refuse to let the cries of those around them change their minds or cause them to compromise their morals, vision, character, or destiny.

6. He persisted in adversity choosing to see HOPE through his need. He did not give up on his pursuit of Jesus just because of the crowds or his handicap. He persisted until he achieved what he had purposed in his heart to do. As leaders we must always commit to our dreams, purpose and vision; refusing to allow anything to distract or deter us from reaching the destiny for our lives.

7. His request was for vision. When Jesus asked him what he wanted he replied, “I want to see”. As leaders, we must always have a desire to see, to catch a vision and be able to see clearly how to share the vision, how to engage the vision, and how to complete the vision. And our request of Jesus must always be, “Lord, help me to see!”

8. He executed his faith. Once he made his request, Jesus said, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Leaders must exercise and execute their faith and believe in the mission, and the people that God has given you to accomplish the mission. It takes great faith to accomplish great things.

9. He followed the leading of Jesus in his new vision. Once he received his sight and Jesus moved on, the Bible says that the blind man “followed Jesus”. When leaders receive their vision they must be careful not to move out and begin to work the vision out of their own abilities and agendas. But rather they must make sure that they continue to follow Jesus and seek His will, plan, and resources for the completion of the vision. In doing so, a leader will insure his success.

10. He gave God thanks and praise for the vision he had received. After receiving his sight, he also gave thanks and praise to God for his vision. Leaders must always understand that the vision came from God and it is imperative that we remember to give God thanks and praise for the opportunity, strength and ability to receive and fulfill the vision of God in our lives.

As leaders we must be careful not to allow a blind man to see more clearly than we do. Our prayer should always be, “God, please give me sight that I might see!” Catch your vision from God and LEAD ON!

August 8, 2009

Who am I...

But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’ Amos 7:14-15

What do you do for a living? What kind of work are you involved in? These are questions that people ask of each other daily. They are attempting to get to know you--find out something about you. For some reason, they feel that if they learn what kind of profession you are in that it would give them some insight into who you are. Perhaps...and perhaps not.

What we need to understand more than anything else in life is this... We are not defined by our trade or profession. Our identity does not come from what we do for a living. Our identity comes from God and our obedience to what he has called us to do. Amos understood this concept. He realized that his ability to be who God desired him to be was not limited to the simple fact that his trade was a shepherd. His identity was tied to his ability to hear God's voice, heed the call of God and obediently DO what God ask. As a shepherd, men would have proclaimed that Amos was not qualified to do what God called him to do. However, Amos knew that if God calls a man to do something, then God will also prepare and qualify him to do that thing.

What about you? Does your profession or trade stand between you and what God has called you to do? Are you hesitant to be obedient because you feel that you are not qualified? GET OVER IT! What God calls you to do He will gift you to do! Step out and be obedient. Remember, you are a leader. Lead with diligence! Lead without hesitation! And lead with your lifestyle as an example! But whatever you do, LEAD! God requires it and the world needs it!