All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.
This reminder from Michael J. Bobak is something every leader must continue remember in order to respond to new realities.
Abraham's potential in God began to show forth, after he responded to the new realities he was called to pursue, outside the comfort zone of his country home and family.
It was a challenge laid before a seventy-five year old man. The period many would have resented such a calling.
Beginning a new journey at seventy-five, after many years of being used to a particular way of life, vocation, people and environment is easier analyzed than demonstrated.
But Abraham knew by faith that all progress with God takes place outside the comfort zone.
He departed as God commanded with just one thing, his faith.
When you check the life stories of other leaders who became mighty in the Hands of God, something common to all of them is the response of faith that is willing to leave comfort zone behind.
If our lives will also count for God in our generation, we must always be ready to respond to growth outside our comfort zones.
Your credibility and credentials to become an inspirational influence on others, who want to learn from your life to obey God with their lives, requires the things that happen to you outside your comfort zone.
I have discovered that those who are always afraid to respond to the demand of progress outside the comfort zone loses the vital part of their growth - the fulfillment of their God-given dreams.
They don't eventually live their dreams because they have lived all their lives in fear.
Roy T. Bennett says, "You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone."
The mediocrity of comfort zone has become the chain holding many great potentials down from becoming what God desires.
You must stop making excuses to stay in your comfort zone.
Glassman once said, "Fear and anxiety many times indicates that we are moving in a positive direction, out of the safe confines of our comfort zone, and in the direction of our true purpose."
Don't let fear and anxieties turn you into an expert of excuses making. I have also realized in my brief walk with God that fear and anxiety sometimes doesn't mean that you are getting out of God's will.
They may actually be signs that your comfort zone is being challenged. But when you respond with faith, you will experience the required peace.
Don't stop too soon!
There are still untapped possibilities within you waiting to be born.
John Maxwell once said, "It is your duty to find yourself."
I usually see this word as a challenge before me to ensure I don't settle for less than the best of God for my life and others that I have been called to lead.
Some of us have stopped too soon. We have stopped challenging ourselves to growth. We have stopped living and leading intentionally.
Not that we have stopped working, but our work seems not to be connected with a driven purpose again. We have not stopped leading but our leadership is not fueled by the clarity of vision that gravitate us towards leadership in the first place.
One major assignment I have been given is to ensure that leaders remain in their purpose. The truth is, when we lose our purpose, we have lost the vitality of our assignment.
So, when I said don't stop too soon, it is not that you have stop physically. It may simply be that you are no longer full of passion, purpose and purity of the Spirit in your assignment again.
Let me quickly share with you pointers that you are stopping too soon and how you must be challenged to find yourself - your effective and excellent self in your calling.
1. Resentment of another man's achievement
Have you ever felt so intimidated about the progress others are making and you begin to feel envious, cutting yourself off and refusing to learn from them again?
There are those who have rendered themselves ineffective because they are no longer measuring their progress by their purpose. Their concern has become how to work, lest someone's work prove greater than their own.
Please be careful of this. It is a pointer that you have lost touch with the realities of your calling and assignment.
Whatever someone else is doing for God must be celebrated and embraced, but should not drive you to resentment.
Don't let another man's achievement become a tragic trap of purposeless pursuit and engagement for you.
2. Refusing to Think things Through
Create time to think more. We have become more doers than thinkers, now in our generation. We speak more, we think less. We do more, we think less.
The art of meditation on the Word of God and over our assignment has been outrun by the bid to get things done.
When you stop thinking, you have stopped in the most important aspect of your assignment. Create time to think more.
Be bold to welcome new change.
Every positive attitude towards change makes you a champion of it rather than a victim.
Someone said, "Change can be scary, but you know what's scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing."
It was Jim Rohn who said, "Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change."
Every genuine response to change brings personal growth. This season, we are going to see more progress in the midst of all forms of challenges confronting us if we will be bold to say yes to new change.
There is a wind of change blowing presently. It is not a contrary wind. It is the wind of the Holy Spirit.
Those who allow this wind of change to carry them in this season will be rising above what looks like a limitation. They will be positioned in the midst of the impossibility where the Holy Spirit will give them the ability to do the impossible.
They will have ideas that are too lofty for ordinary minds to conceive and they will be empowered, enabled, and encouraged to birth these great ideas.
Those who respond to this wind of change blowing presently will have wisdom to lead difficult places and to lead difficult people. They will have the depths broken up before them. It will be evident that there is a supernatural dimension and direction working in their favour.
We are presently in a prophetic season when it is not going to be about those who are the forefront of leadership, carrying out exploits. The wind of change that is blowing will cause some people to start causing waves from the back seat.
They are not known and they are not recognized by those who are expected to help them. But they are going to rise in the power of the Spirit, demostrating the influence, impact and power of God.
The new realities of this season will not accommodate those who are simply pursuing self gain and glory. They will become irrelevant. Only those who are hungry and desperate to see the Kingdom of God expand will thrive in this season.
Please get positioned to flow with this wind of change. It may take you out of your comfort zone but the chaff in you will be blown away for the real substance to emerge.
Whatever it will cost you, let the wind of this change carry you into the realm of what God is doing this season.
Be motivated by what is yet to be. No matter what we have witnessed so far, what is yet to be is still the greatest reason for our hope.
The Scripture says hope that is seen is no longer hope. In other words, God wants us to be motivated by what is ahead, the things yet to be.
This is how to also become hope motivated leader. Hope motivated leaders have hope that GOD has not done all He wants to do.
They live in anticipation of what is yet to be. They believe that the best revival, transformation, exploits, Church growth, social redemption and manifestations of God's beauty are yet to be experienced.
Abraham and other patriarchs of faith were motivated by the substance of what they hoped for.
If they were not motivated by what is yet to be, many of them would have died unfulfilled, frustrated and devastated.
But for them, the realities of what they saw ahead motivated them to respond in faith to the realities of the moment.
They became powerful by the motivation of hope through faith.
Are you also motivated by what is yet to be?
Do you look forward with conviction that the best that God wants to do through you is yet to come?
No matter the pressures, barriers or the challenges of the present realities in your life, be motivated by what is yet to be!
Leaders who are motivated by hope have the two characteristics I want to share below.
1. They are willing to give up the present gain in order to secure the greater gain of the future.
Whatever looks like achievement or gain now is nothing compared to what God has prepared ahead for you.
Today's success can become the enemy of tomorrow's significance.
Those who are motivated by what is yet to be don't allow the success of today to rub them of the significance of tomorrow.
They are willing to sacrifice the present in order to secure the future in God.
2. They are Convinced of the Ability of God to do the Impossible
Leaders who are motivated by what is yet to be succeed because of their conviction that God is able to do the impossible.
Everything we have seen or heard that God performed through others is nothing compare to what He is still able to do.
This should be our CONCLUSION if we are ready to succeed in God. Our CONVICTION of GOD'S ability to do the IMPOSSIBLE must be unshaken.
Father, give us the conviction of Abraham in our walk with You.
Work hard at becoming a better you this month. The better you become as a leader, the better things and other people become around you.
If there is any desire, desperation and diligence that leaders put into their work, it is towards changing things, situations, organizations or people they lead for the better.
But things will be different all together when we realize that the labour towards changing a situation becomes less burdensome, and highly rewarding when we focus on working hard towards our own personal change.
This is a worthy labour and commitment.
The most tedious and profitable task that must consume us as leaders in this present time is unreserved commitment to personal change.
Becoming a better you is not going to answer to a wish.
It is not even primarily a decision of engaging in personal development activities.
It is more about facing the task of putting off things that makes you less of your best in order to respond to everything that will call forth the best in you.
Let me call your attention to some key factors that can help you become a better leader.
1. Abide in Your Calling
Every leader who obeys the instruction of the Holy Spirit through Paul in first Corinthians 7:20 will become better and lead at the best level.
"Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called."
The Greek word translated abide is menõ, which means 'to stay in a given place, relation or expectancy.'
It has to do with the discipline to continue, dwell, endure, being present, remain, stand or tarry in your calling.
Becoming a better leader who will respond correctly to new realities needs the discipline that will not drift, but stay committed and occupied in the specific vocation you have been called to.
2. Develop Your Gifts
Developing your gifts becomes a necessity when you learn to abide in your calling.
Becoming a better leader means you have decided to play to your strength only.
You refuse to spend your energy involving in the works which you have not been gifted.
But you keep learning how to hone, improve and use your gifts more effectively in the areas of your calling.
Abiding in your calling and developing your gifts will bring great turnaround, not only to situations, organizations or people you lead, but to your personal development as a leader.
Father, Make us more fit for Your assignment!
Mind retraining is highly essential whenever we need to respond to new realities of life.
I have witnessed how some people have bounced beyond the realities of challenges that could have made a shipwreck of their lives, families and ministries through the renewing and retraining of their minds.
Most times, the new realities simply means a call to uplift and upgrade our thinking.
This upgrade means our minds are retrained to process life, not just the way circumstances has handed it down to us, but the way God made it to be.
When we understand this important principle, we will learn to respond to new realities without fear, anxieties and worries.
Mind retraining leads to peace that helps us to develop the confidence that can bring out the best in the new realities before us.
Because my calling is basically to help leaders fulfill their purpose, God has been calling my attention to the ongoing battle many leaders are facing, the battle of inner peace.
One of the things I'm learning about how to deal with this battle, which I have been sharing with other leaders is the necessity of developing a deliberate discipline of choosing where to focus their minds.
This is what mind retraining means. Learning to set your mind on the supernatural, the things above the present realities that you can see.
The state of our inner lives per time is a definition of where we choose to focus our minds. If we want to live above the present realities, our minds must be redirected and be retrained to perpetually focus on Christ.
"Be Anxious for Nothing" is a word that came from a leader who retrained his mind to focus on the realities beyond his physical condition.
Paul showed that a leader must concentrate his focus on God. He must quit fellowshiping with negatives but commit only to positives.
He must endeavour to speak words that will build his faith capacity rather than echoing the voice of doubt.
Developing such discipline can't be achieved by a default. It has to be mastered by learning to retrain the mind constantly through prayer and the word.
Father, help our minds to fully stay on You.
New realities opens up new opportunities to those who learn to see them.
Whenever there is a shift of any kind, including shifts that comes with difficulties and adversities, they come along with new opportunities for us to fulfill our purpose.
But most times, we see problems than those opportunities that God presents to us in the new realities.
Because there is time for every purpose on the earth, new realities could also be alerting us that a purpose is set for accomplishment.
New reality is the time for specific purposes and assignments. This is why we must respond and not just react.
In every situation, God wants to establish a purpose which has been set in eternity, but needs to be discerned by man.
I see the new realities of the world today as another prophetic time that God's leaders must respond to a new assignment, task and commission prepared ahead of time for us in this season.
We must not allow our circumstances to blindfold us. God has a purpose for this time, and whatever this means for your calling, ministry or organization, your response is what will bring Glory to God in the new realities the world is facing.
I will discuss five important reasons why discerning purpose this season is crucial to our fulfillment as leaders.
1. Purpose stands the test of time
The constancy of purpose makes it powerful at all times. No matter the pressures, purpose always prevail.
So, when we look for purpose in new realities and pursue it, everything will work out for our good.
2. Purpose is Proactive
Proactiveness is responding to new realities of life or ministry with the sense of decision and responsibility.
It is to believe that we are not people who wait for things to happen to us, but rather to make things happen through the power of the Holy Spirit.
And this is what discerning purpose is all about.
3. Purpose is a Viewpoint
Those who see opportunities to advance the cause of God in new realities uses the discerned purpose as the lens.
Purpose is a viewpoint where opportunities can be clearly captured.
4. Purpose is an Enbaler
We don't just see opportunities in new realities through the lens of purpose, but it also enable us to fulfill the purpose.
5. Purpose is a Guide
When purpose becomes our viewpoint and enabler, we will have ease of movement in facing the demands of new realities that will help us to make the difference that God is calling us to.
So, the challenge before is to focus more on fulfilling God's purpose for this hour.
Father, Help us to fulfill Your purpose for this time and always.
New reality is part of life. But the question is, are you ready for the new realities?
Most people live their whole lives thinking about when crisis will be over, but great leaders simply position themselves to respond to new realities.
We must develop the capacity to recognize and reorganize for new realities in our lives.
Sometimes, just like what the world is facing now, new realities happen so fast in a way that alters almost every aspect of life.
But whatever happens in the world as new realities, whether positive or negative, we believe more in the greater, deeper, higher and supernatural realities that exists in Kingdom of God.
We are Kingdom people and must know the nature of this Kingdom. It is a Kingdom that cannot moved!
Really, this should get us excited, expectant and encouraged in the new realities that is calling for our response presently.
Whatever new realities means to you in this season, there is just one demand that is before us, and that's our response.
The response that is willing to move away from the past, and willing to shape the outcome of the new reality to what will bring out God's best in you.
Most times, the difference between crisis and opportunity is how we respond to the accompanied realities.
Leadership is about learning how to shape the future through the present reality.
Leaders don't deny or run away from new realities. They simply respond to shape its outcome for good.
In the next few days, we will discuss how we can get directly involved in responding to any new realities in our lives and assignments.
As we increase in capacity to respond to new realities, we will be better positioned to help those we lead to move from being victims of circumstances to creating new circumstances.
Until we respond to any new realities, we cannot influence it. We can't create the desired realities out of the undesirable.
The good news is that, no matter the price of responding to the new realities that any crisis brings, we have the all time Answer and that's Jesus.
Through Him, we are confident of influencing the earthly new realities with the heavenly unchanging realities.
Father, we acknowledge that the Kingdom is the LORD'S. Teach us how to bring Your Authority into the present reality of the world situation.
If we are going to be leaders in Christ, our business must be the same as Jesus' - My Father's business.
In our day-to-day living, one of the temptations we are going to be confronted with is the struggle to dance to the music that people promotes.
There will always be a test in one form or the other to lose our originality and become the clone of others.
In fact, this is the state of so many of us today. We are no longer speaking as the voice but as echoes of another. We see it as something offensive to be different in who and what God has called us to be.
The sense of insecurity that tells us to follow the trend is what we constantly obey. We are afraid of being challenged to be about our Father's business only.
We still want to do both, just like those we have met ahead of us have yielded themselves to being the sons of Joseph and sons of God at the same time.
Although, there is a time to be called the son of Joseph. But a time comes that we must know our business as leaders and to also make others to recognize it.
What is your business in leadership?
Has it been clearly set before those who follow you in Christ, what you are all about?
Are some people still doubting whether you are about Christ's mission or other missions?
Is there any conviction about your life, the one thing your life and leadership takes up as a focus?
Does it clearly reveal Christ and Him alone?
In Luke 4:22, we are showed how all bore witness to Jesus and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"
Let me point to you few things that shows what the business of your life and ministry is all about.
I will mention one point today and discuss others in the next devotion, if the LORD wills.
Convictions of Outsiders about Your Life
Recently, I told some leaders that people may not love you. But when your life commands evidence of Christ, they cannot ignore you.
This is important. Don't seek to be loved but seek to live a life in Christ that cannot be ignored!
Do you know that our daily lives, especially among those who are close to us, passes a message of conviction about who and what we represent?
That's why, no matter the crisis or pressures, we must live both in private and public with one single definition of what we stand for.
And I pray, this will be Christ.
Father, we ask that You will help us to stand for You in all circumstances without compromising our commitment!
Clarifying our 'why' and focusing on it is the key to success in whatever we do. Nothing seems difficult as it looks after the essence has been clarified.
If we are going to find fulfillment and get the best out of what God has committed to us, it is essential to know who we are and what our ministry or business is all about.
I once read about the first telephone company in the United States called Bell Telephone and how the organization fired one of the staff, Theodore Vail in 1890 when he dared to ask top management, "What is our business?"
It was after a decade when the consequences of the lack of an answer had become apparent that Bell System recalled Theodore Vail.
At this point, they had drifted into into a severe crisis that the government threatened to take over.
This happened because they refused to face the reality of clarifying the essence of their business.
But when Theodore Vail was called back, he gave them an answer they proudly missed a decade earlier.
He told them: "Our business is service, not telephones."
It was recorded that Vail's response to help Bell System clarify their essence eventually brought radical innovations in their Telephone's business policy.
It was infused into every employee training, advertising and other public relations engagement what they represent.
That shift revolutionized their business as they knew who they were and what their business was all about. It is not telephone, our business is service.
I think this generation need the likes of Theodore Vail in the Church, Organizations, Politics and Government.
We need Purpose Reminders like Theodore who will boldly confront us with the same matter, "What is our business?"
Do you see the need to ensure such clarity in your life, family, business or ministry?
Perhaps you have done this, but do you ensure everything about you and your organization revolves around the essence?
Looking into the life and leadership of Jesus, this clarity made Him to stand out and to accomplish His mission gloriously.
Jesus knew why He came (Matthew 1:21). He understood the essence of His mission in a discoverable, describable and deliverable manner.
Jesus never drifted into non-essentials.
Temptations to always drift into non-essentials abound, when we don't fight to clarify and constantly focus on the essence of what and why of our lives and leadership.
It is essential to know who you are and the clear purpose you stand for!
Father, Please give us a more accurate understanding of who we are and help us not to drift from this!
Focus on your why.
Why are you a leader?
Why are you in ministry or business?
Why are you a husband, wife, or parent?
Why are you doing what you do?
Your why can have many faces, but clarifying your why and focusing on it is one of the best ways to fulfil your purpose no matter the odds against you.
Coming to terms with your why is unraveling the essence of who you are and what you are called to do.
One of the reasons for quick failures in leadership is losing touch with the essence of what you do, not just the assignment itself.
Part of the secrets of leadership success that I have seen in most successful leaders is the ability to focus on the essence of their assignments no matter the crisis.
In the real sense, it is not what we do that shapes our lives, but the essence of what we do.
When many of us understand this important leadership principle, we will remain standing and strong no matter the crisis that comes to challenge us.
How do you measure your progress?
Most times, we become so discouraged, disappointed, or dissatisfied because we measure our progress by countable things.
But when we learn to focus on the essence, the why of what we do, we will discover that numbers are never the standard by which God measures our success.
Your progress is measured by staying faithful to the very essence of your assignment.
If many of us will return to make Jesus and Jesus alone, our standard and focus of our assignments, the unnecessary agitations, worries and burdens about what we call success will be taken away.
Jesus succeeded because He focused single mindedly on the essence of His work.
He operated with a clear definition of His assignment!
Think about it: Why does your ministry exist?
Sometimes we think this is simple, but it is not as simple as you think.
The reason it seems your assignment looks complex, the basic cause of your insecurity and the feelings that you are not fulfilled is not because of the challenges you are facing. It is because you probably have drifted from the 'why' of your assignment.
I will share in the next devotion how clarifying your 'why' will greatly impact your life, family, organization or ministry in the midst of crisis.
Father, help us to always remain conscious of the essence of our lives and leadership!
Don't be something less than you can be!
Step out in faith.
There is no time than can be best for you to make a difference with your life, except God's time.
When all we wait for is the time when there will be no crisis, the time when everything is working as planned, then we will end up not becoming all that God want us to be.
I have a rule that guides me over the years and God has used this to teach me some unforgettable lessons about faith in Him.
No matter the situation, the odds against me, lack of resources, support from others or any limitation around; there is always a way to keep moving forward in the purpose of God for my life.
Although, the challenges may reduce speed, cause delay or make results unsatisfactory. But no matter the situation, progress in fulfilling purpose must not stop.
We must not allow crisis, adversities and challenges to shift our focus from pursuing our God-given vision.
If you are going to fuflill purpose, you must act like Jesus in crisis. His approach is something everyone of us must keep to heart in order to achieve our goals no matter the odds.
In a time as this when a leader's effectiveness is going be put to test, the time it seems we are all beginning again, we must respond with the approach of Jesus.
Here is it.
Avoid trying to accomplish too much or fight battles on too many fronts.
This is one ignored secret of Jesus' response to fulfillment of purpose.
Focus on what you are enabled to do per time. Make use of the resources available to do what you can do. Refuse the temptation of spreading yourself too thin in order to accomplish what you are not able now.
There is a difference between impossibility and inability. There is nothing impossible with God, but the other side is the ability, enabling and the resources to do it now.
God gives us abilities for the things He wants to do through us at the appropriate time.
Many have misinterpreted what Jesus meant about Greater Works than these you will do. Greater works, not because we are going to be more powerful than Jesus or surpass His exploits.
The greater works because Jesus was limited in His physical movement to accomplish all that He needed but now works in us through His indwelling presence.
Jesus did not struggle to reach the entire world in His three and half years of bodily ministry. He focused on the scope of His present ability. He did what He was enabled to do and waited to move into the wider scope at the appropriate time (See Acts 1:8).
Father, We know You supply abilities for every purpose You want to accomplish through our lives. Keep us opened to what matters per time!
The demand of the hour is not for the experts in knowledge. It is for the experts in kneeling.
God can do the impossible if He finds those who will press into the unchanging power of prayer.
Jesus proved to us that crisis will always be in the world as long as we are in the world. But the joy in this is that, He has overcome, not just crisis but the world itself.
How then can we be overcomers as Jesus has promised us?
Our strength to overcome is nurtured, developed, activated and resourced by time spent alone with God.
Jesus faced the biggest crisis of all times, but the strength to overcome was released as He devoted Himself to prayer.
We cannot afford to look for strength to overcome the world that has already been put under us outside what Jesus did.
For as He is, so are we in this world. We can only prevail, by the same power He was given to prevail, and that's prayer.
The litmus test of a leader's spiritual character, ability and passion is his prayer life.
Great success that we are going to make for God as leaders will not come from our skills, but from our secret place of agonizing in prayer.
Our victory is not about the things we do outside. Victory is gained in the secret place of prayer.
Let us strengthen our secret place. We can't be stopped in achieving what God has called us to do until we have been stopped in our prayer lives.
The secret of success in a leader's life is prayer. When there is no failure in our prayer lives, we will lay hold on what Jesus has overcome for us. But don't forget how He did it. Prayer is the secret.
Failure at prayer can make no success in any endeavour for God!
Your prayer closet is your energy asset.
When we see prayer as the most important aspect of our calling, our priorities, decisions, planning, and actions will be sanctified.
The value a leader places on prayer is what determines the quality of grace that will flow out of his life.
This is how to act like Jesus in crisis.
Let the Holy Spirit make out of you a prayer addict.
You will see more of God's Power at work as you devote yourself to Him in prayer.
Father, heal our ailing and failing prayer lives! Restore, revive and rekindle the flame of prayer in our lives!
Jesus came for the crusade of change.
His single message revolves around one thing.
The need for change into the unchanging Kingdom full of lasting benefits.
He challenged people to see the new that has arrived, the new Kingdom of Heaven.
He called people to respond to change so that they might experience positive change in their lives.
His call to change is not just for a people but the entire world.
Jesus came to change the world.
He did not advocate for local transformation. The focus is to save the world.
But nothing will happen except there is a change response on the part of the people.
We all have the same assignment like that of Jesus!
The call to change is our single task.
Community or Church change.
Our crusade of change like Jesus is also wholistic.
It is basically and ultimately a Kingdom shift.
It is a call to radical transformation of culture.
It is an invitation to the new that will affect the now but ultimately transport the present into the future.
Sometimes ago, Myles Munroe said change transports the present into a future that demands a response.
That's exactly what Jesus fought for. He demanded for a response on behalf of those who will benefit from the new normal.
This is where crisis lies. The greatest crisis is not a pandemic, loss, political slavery, spiritual apathy, sickness, poverty and many more.
The greatest crisis is non-response to the challenges and opportunities that change brings.
But every time we react negatively to change, it hurts more than what any crisis can do.
The demand of responding to change means we don't allow the pace of change happening fast on the outside world to be more faster than the change happening inside us.
The change that Jesus brought to us begins from the inside and then works to influence the outside.
In such a time as this, let us labour more as leaders in calling people to change within, so that they can handle, respond, and transform change around.
In every moment of our lives, we must not just have sense of timing but we must allow this to regulate and determine the course of actions we take.
There is a demand on us as leaders to know when it is appropriate to make a move that will advance our assignment and to know when we ought to wait.
One of the ways to be a leader who can discern the times especially in the time of crisis is the visibility of the happenings in the world.
We must be acutely aware of the happenings in the world and see how any of these relate to our God-given purpose, calling, assignment, ability and passion.
This is how to walk in the day light when you cannot stumble because you can see by the light of the world.
In acting like Jesus in crisis, this is one of the outstanding ways Christ approached His assignment. He was not moved by crisis but sees what looks like crisis as the light of the world that shows the need of His purpose.
Jesus usually seize the moment that others see dangers to carry out His assignment. This occurs because He sees differently.
He knows the difference between walking by day and walking at night. And crisis to Christ is not the night, but night is when there is no need, demand, or purpose for fulfilling God's purpose.
When we understand this, we will learn to define crisis differently and we will also be able to confidently advance the assignment God has called us into in spite of crisis.
Wherever you can find your purpose, no matter the prevailing barriers, you cannot stumble because that's your day time.
Failure is only a consequence of purposeless move. Purpose is your guiding light. It is a pointer that you are needed. It is a reminder that you must move to carry out your assignment in order to make your mark.
Purposeful move protects you in crisis.
Even when the disciples were afraid and decided to call the attention of Jesus to the plan of Jews to stone Him, He responded with confidence and assurance that wherever purpose guides, there is no danger of defeat and destruction.
Do you allow God's purpose to guide you or crisis?
Yesterday, we discussed about the importance of acting like Jesus by living according to priorities in crisis.
Setting and living by priorities will also help us to understand something very crucial in dealing with various issues and challenges in our lives and leadership.
The Spiritual Sense of Timing.
That's exactly one of the greatest benefits of living your life by priorities.
The sense of timing gives us the power to walk at God's pace. We walk with God by getting in step with what He is doing in us and through us.
Spiritual sense of timing helps us to know the shifts taking place in the realm of the spirit that we won't ordinarily be able to discern if we don't get our priorities right.
Jesus proves this over and over again in His few years of earthly walk with God.
He demonstrated that sense of timing is the most important thing in our lives, whether in crisis or comfort.
He refused to allow circumstances to affect the pace for every aspect of His life. And that's what positions Him to get clarity from the Father in tough times.
The strength that overcomes every trial and temptation flows from living at God's pace.
Do you live and lead at God's pace?
Recently, I told a group of people that when we learn to respond to Jesus in every situation, the yoke He gives us is easy and His burden that we carry is light.
I mentioned to them that easy does not mean without difficulties. It simply means grace to bear any difficulty.
The easy yoke of Jesus is useful for our good and better because of the wonderful things it works out in us.
Whenever we also choose to respond to Christ's pace in every situation, what we find is Grace to bear all things and even to overcome eventually.
In the midst of challenges that surround us, as we learn to align ourselves with divine pace, we become used to acting on divine instructions, and not because of glaring obstructions.
One of the things that can make a difference whenever we face crisis is our understanding of priorities.
In fact, I discovered that crisis will either reset, reorder, reveal or refocus our priorities.
But the truth is, everytime we are faced with crisis, whether short or long-term, our priorities will either help or hurt us. And this depend on the choices we try to make in the midst of crisis or after.
Things that are important and must be done before other things are what defines priorities.
Crisis of any kind comes to reinforce what defines our priorities or to reform the things that ought to define our priorities.
Most times, our challenges and difficulties are not so burdensome as our personal weaknesses in getting priorities set out.
Since our priorities are mainly expressed by our actions, it is important that we don't just act, but to first examine our priorities in whatever affects our lives and leadership.
This is the reason we have so much to learn from Jesus concerning how to define things that are mostly important no matter the crisis we face.
Jesus is fully an embodiment of setting and getting priorities right. If we desire to know what is most important to our lives both in season and out of the season, let us look to Christ.
There are few things we can remind ourselves of, concerning acting like Jesus by setting priorities right in crisis.
1. Know the Law of the First Thing First
The first thing, whether in crisis or comfort is GOD and our alignment with Him. Understanding and keeping to this high level of priority will make a big impact on our lives.
No matter the pressures, Jesus is never driven by them. The Father's Will characterized how He responds to issues.
2. Prioritize on Purpose not Pressures
How Christ responded to the news of Lazarus' sickness showed His sense of priorities in crisis. He knew there was a high priority problem but there was also a higher priority purpose.
Jesus gave the latter a priority. He knew something we must never ignore that, when you prioritize on purpose, every problem will work out for your good and God's Glory.
Whenever there is crisis, inner richness and peace becomes more important than other things.
Great leaders don't joke with the state of their inner lives because they know that true strength flows from the inner being of a person.
But achieving this requires a deliberate practice of solitude. This is the ability to constantly withdraw from the external noisy world and connect with God in your spirit.
Effective practice of solitude always give birth to freshness, renewal, refocus, rejuvenation, revelation and restoration.
Renewal in solitude is one of the visible patterns in the life and leadership of Jesus. This was how he retained His focus, faithfulness and fruitfulness in spite of all the crisis that characterized His ministry.
Renewal in solitude is one of the master secrets of Christ. Of course, this practice has been existing before Christ came. Many philosophers who lived before Him practiced it.
But how Jesus practiced solitude is absolutely different from the common practices.
Solitude to Jesus is not about separation or desire to be in your own presence and enjoy your own company.
The focus of Jesus in the practice of solitude is the Father. It is a deliberate separation or desire to be in the presence of God and enjoy God's company.
This is true solitude that was established before the fall in Eden. The power and purpose of this is what Christ lived out before us.
As a leader, you must practice the discipline of renewal in solitude and lead others to do likewise.
Jesus did not just practice renewal in solitude alone. He brought His leadership team into this practice.
But apart from the multitude, the leadership team and the core leadership team of Jesus, He practiced solitude alone.
Do you engage in this practice? How often and consistently do you seek renewal in solitude?
Please note that solitude is not loneliness. It is not a feeling. It is not just about having sense of isolation.
Solitude is a purposeful act of creating an undisturbed environment, atmosphere and condition when you can quietly connect, pray, observe, listen and gain clarity of God and what He has for you.
Solitude is simply your inspiration centre. It is the place you can truly be inspired to generate strength and depth needed to handle the pressures around you.
We are always going to face moments in our lives that we must decide what deserves the allegiance of our focus.
Each time we must move forward in our journey with God, we will first be confronted with the ability to choose what will be our drive in all situations.
Are we going to allow crisis, obstacles, persecutions and challenges to drive us away from carrying out our God-given mandate or we are going to be driven by our mission for Jesus?
Our response to this will always make a difference in our action towards crisis.
Also in this, Jesus is our Perfect model of what ought to drive us through moments of crisis. Whether crisis or comfort, Christ is driven by neither, rather He is driven by the mission the Father sent Him to fulfil.
Acting like Jesus in Crisis means we have also become like Christ who is not deterred by crisis or delayed by comfort.
When you're acting like Jesus, you are completely sold out to carrying out your assignment whether that means crisis or comfort.
You are not bitter by crisis or bound by comfort. All that matters to you is fulfilling your cause with joy.
Even when it comes like a deluge, you can still say to crisis that none of these things move; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the Grace of God.
This is a mission-driven life that cannot be battered by crisis. Paul became the leader who acted like Christ in crisis. He was too moved by his commitment to Christ than to be moved into forfeiting his assignment because of crisis.
What about you?
Do you allow crisis to move you?
Is your life dear to you than the ministry, vision, purpose and the gospel of the grace of God you have been raised up to testify in your generation?
Jesus showed us an example during His greatest hour of trial in Gethsemane, how we must respond in times of crisis. The will of the Father must be our drive no matter the cost of fulfilling it.
When we learn to act like Jesus in this manner, crisis will always work out the fulfillment of our purpose.
I have always wondered how differently things will be turning out if many of us commit to acting like Jesus in crisis.
Whenever we are faced with any crisis, we should never see it as something peculiar, special or strange.
One of the consolations for leaders in any situation is the availability of workable model that can be followed to tackle uncertainties of the present.