“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
In a corporate and secular world, being a leader is seen as the epitome of what it means to succeed. We slog and work it out hoping to reach that climax of being the BIG BOSS. But what does it truly mean to be a leader, especially in a Christian context?
Being a Christian leader means, first and foremost, seeking God before anything else. Being a leader is about checking in with God on a daily basis, asking Him to give you wisdom and courage in dealings with your staff, co-workers, finances, suppliers and/or challenging customers - with compassion and integrity.
I know for myself, leading comes naturally; I have always been someone who thinks outside the box, a non-conformist, a doer and an action-taker. And sometimes that do-it-all spirit in me forgets about God and that He is the one ultimately in control; not me.
Sometimes I feel that if I search long enough and hard enough, God will magically reveal what He wants me to do and I’ know exactly what I was supposed to do in any difficult moment in my life.
But here’s the kicker:
We are never meant to ever know God's will for our lives.
I’ve found that whenever I seek wisdom from trusted companions, pastors, and others I respect, I tend to hear the similar message; that I need to find God's will in my life. But I think the truth is we are never meant to ever know God's will for our lives. I feel that God's will isn't some corn maze or some bull's eye target or some mystery that we are supposed to solve.
God is sovereign. He knows exactly what I am going through the moment I start to worry or feel overwhelmed by a decision I have to make. He knows the exact moment when I need His help and insight.
The great thing about God is that he knows us intimately, inside and out. He doesn't desire us to be burdened by the act of trying to discover His plans for us ahead of time. God doesn't expect me to figure out His plans or navigate His things perfectly to reach an end goal. He desires for us to trust him completely in all our twists and turns of life.
An unknown life leads to faith in a known God.
So when we can't figure out what God's plans are for our lives or how to lead in His will, this is when God wants us to trust in Him even more.
The fact is, God knows our plans better than we ever will, and His plans for us are the best: Jeremiah 29, verse 11 - “For I know what I have planned for you, says the Lord. "I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope".
God doesn't want us to know everything ahead of time—what He has planned for us. It would be like reading a very good book, and skipping right to the end to find out what the ending is without reading everything in between. God wants us to do life with him, figure out our plans alongside and with Him every single day of our lives. This is the thing that God desires most; a relationship with us that leads to full trust and faith in Him.
God's ultimate plan
God's ultimate plan for us is to trust in Him and not lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3, verses 5-6). 1 Thessalonians 5, verse 18 reads, "In everything, give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". God wants us to be confident in our decision-making, that is why He gave us free will.
It is also in God's will to make every decision in His name and to glorify Him in everything we do. God made every single one of us unique, blessed with different gifts, talents, abilities, desires and passions to allow us to make a complete decision with what we want to do with our lives. As Hebrews 13, verse 21 reveals: "….equip you with every good thing to do His will, working in us what is pleasing before Him through Christ Jesus".
Therefore our true calling is in this: "That our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfil every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 1, verses 11-12).
Clarissa Yates is a columnist writer for Christian Biz Australia. She seeks to encourage others to seek God in all things and through her own life as a work-at-home mum. She resides in Perth, WA with her husband, two daughters and runs her own online shop at http://www.hookedinabox.com.