Don’t allow the full experience to be robbed because of fear and anxiety! Don’t allow lies and deception of the enemy to cause you to live and act out of fear and worry! Don’t allow yourself to live in fear, but rather, grab a hold of the truth, grab a hold of the hope, grab a hold of the love and move forward courageously and boldly to complete the work that God has called you to do! Allow your faith to help you work through the fear rather than allowing the fear to drive your work! Don’t allow yourself and those you are leading to be held back and robbed by fear! That is the devil’s plan and scheme. The devil’s plan: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Jesus’ plan: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Let’s be overcomers! Let’s overcome fear with faith! Let’s overwhelm fear with love! Let’s remember that Jesus has already won the battle and so we don’t have to fear, we can learn from our past – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and press onward to the higher calling on our lives! Not that we won’t have challenges and problems, because we know that we will. God’s Word tells us what Jesus said: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Today’s devotional (Character Of A Great Leader – Day 7 of 7) speaks into this truth. It provides us Bible reading that speak into the truth in additional to the devotional content itself.
Today’s reading starts with…
1And Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. 2Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”4So Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand men on foot, and ten thousand men of Judah. 5And Saul came to the city of Amalek and lay in wait in the valley. 6Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart; go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7And Saul defeated the Amalekites from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword. 9But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.10The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11“I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.” And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the Lord all night. 12And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.” 13And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” 14And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” 15Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.” 16Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Speak.”17And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. 21But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22And Samuel said,“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,as in obeying the voice of the Lord?Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,and to listen than the fat of rams.23For rebellion is as the sin of divination,and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,he has also rejected you from being king.”24Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.–from 1 Samuel 15
Do you realize what fear could make you do? Do you realize what can happen if you take things into your own hands rather than waiting for God’s direction? Do you realize the impact it can have on the rest of your life if you allow fear to make you do something you shouldn’t have done? Do you realize that the devil will try to use fear and condemnation to keep you from being everything God planned and desired for you to be? Who will you allow to rule your actions? your words? your thoughts? Will you align to God or will you align to man? Will you complete the work that God calls you to do? Will you do it His way? Consider David who going into almost identical battles still turned to God (not assuming he could just go, or just do it the same way) and ask Him what he should do.
8When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went out against them. 9Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the Valley of Rephaim. 10And David inquired of God, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up, and I will give them into your hand.” 11And he went up to Baal-perazim, and David struck them down there. And David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like a bursting flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. 12And they left their gods there, and David gave command, and they were burned.13And the Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley. 14And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 15And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 16And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer. 17And the fame of David went out into all lands, and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.
–from 1 Chronicles 14
Don’t assume! Put all of your hope and trust in God! Do it his way! As Jeremiah says – God’s plan for you is good! God’s plan is to give you a hope and a future!
Today’s devotional (Character Of A Great Leader – Day 7 of 7) speaks to it this way…
“Great Leaders Don’t Lead out of Fear”
Fear of failure is a huge factor in the way we lead and follow. There is this notion that all failure is bad. In reality, unless we are willing to overcome the fears and be okay with failure, we will never know the opportunities set before us.
Past success, playing it safe, and fear of trying something new were the main culprits in Kodak’s demise. Kodak, an industry giant, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2012 because it focused so much on protecting its film business that it completely ignored the opportunities brought by digital photography (which, by the way, was pioneered by Kodak’s engineers).
All of us face fear. None of us are exempt from it. Whether it’s fear of economic loss, fear of negative public opinion in the face of failure, or fear of losing our prestige, position, or power, fear is real and is very present.
Jesus knew the grip that fear would have on us, and He addressed it head-on. He told us not to fear losing material possessions. He told us not to fear others when they mock us for doing what’s right. He told us not to fear doing or asking for what others say is impossible. He told us: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).
As you evaluate the way you lead others, is fear a factor?
Maybe you don’t hire people who know more than you for fear of losing your position. Maybe you’re afraid to dismiss someone who is hurting your organization because he or she is a friend. Maybe you are afraid to face real issues plaguing your organization because some of them may be directly linked to your leadership. Or, maybe you are afraid to do the right thing because it would impact your bottom line, so you’d rather look the other way and ignore the improprieties as long as the numbers look good.
Whatever “it” is, know that fear will prevent you from becoming the person and the leader you want to be.
Jesus, though confronted with fear beyond what we can imagine, endured the cross, knowing that any suffering paled in comparison to the glory that awaited Him on the other side.
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–from Character Of A Great Leader – Day 7 of 7