That was not the response I had anticipated to what I shared in a small group: “I feel like I have come to the end of myself in leadership. I feel like I’ve done what I can do.” Ensuing unexpected comments of “That’s a great place to be,” and “Good, that’s where you should be,” didn’t console the flesh either.
I am very thankful that God is teaching me to “Think twice, speak once.” In those silent moments of trying to “Think twice” before responding to this exchange, another member wisely added, “We don’t lead out of our resources. We lead out of God’s resources.”
Taking a moment to “Think twice” again, the Lord gently revealed to me that I am not doing Him any favors leading in my own strength. Perhaps it reflects my independent, stubborn self-will, but there is something in the flesh that nobly wants to help God out – to do God a favor – to stick up for God – to pick up an offense for Him… like He needs my help. Unfortunately, I believe that is that same “noble” thinking that prompted Peter to cut off the ear of Malchus when Jesus was arrested.
Here’s what I am learning. If I lead out of my resources... the boundaries of my capacity to lead are marked by whatever skills I have and, frankly, the trail of my “nobility” ends up littered with the relational carnage of severed ears. But, if I lead out of God’s resources, “He sets my feet in a spacious place” [Psalm 31:8] wide open to the limitless possibilities of an omnipotent and omniscient God equipping me to do what He has called me to do. I believe the same is true in other areas: If I parent out of my own resources… if I serve out of my own resources… if I love out of my own resources… if I _________ out of my own resources… you fill in the blank!
So how do we take that step from our resources to God’s? Surrender. The best way we can be of use to God is to surrender all of ourselves to Him. For God to do what God wants to do in us and through us, we need to surrender to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to equip us to do what we otherwise couldn’t do in our own strength.
Think for a moment about Mary in Luke chapter 1. After the angel prophesied to her that she would bear the Son of God, she asked, “How can this be?” Gabriel answered “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.” Mary’s responsibility in the face of all that was prophesied was not to try harder, but to instead surrender to the overshadowing of the “dunamis” power of God: to be enveloped by God’s ability.
Perhaps you have come to the end of yourself and to the end of your resources. Would you daily invite the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, power and knowledge [Isaiah 11:2] to overshadow you, equipping you to do what God has called you to do? Let’s live out that declaration, “Behold, the servant of the Lord. Be it unto me according to Your Word, O God.” Let’s watch and see what God will do.
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