So much of leadership is inspiring and vision-casting our teams to ‘take that hill for Christ’; to enable those we lead to see beyond their fears and insecurities, and to instill within them a belief that we can accomplish more than we thought possible.
And sometimes God is quietly telling us to stay right where we are… to NOT take that hill… to allow God to fulfill His purposes precisely through our inaction.
The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel both warned the people of Judah NOT to resist the conquering Babylonians. While other false prophets were whipping the people up to go to war with the Babylonians, God’s true prophets were saying, “No. Wait. Don’t resist. Don’t fight.”
Why did God deliver this warning? Why did He have to tell His people not to fight?
1. The urge to take action is not always God’s plan.
This is not to say that as Christians our leadership should be passive. Far from it. What Bill Hybels calls the “bias towards action” is a critical piece in the leaders arsenal. But so is discernment. So is discretion. So is a listening ear toward heaven to understand God’s greater purpose.
2. God’s timing is not always in alignment with our timing.
God had a time-table for the deliverance of His people. It was to be a 70 year ordeal, during which time God would be teaching His people some important lessons. And sometimes God still uses timing we don’t understand to fulfill His purposes.
So, as leaders what do we do with this? We live in the tension between our ‘bias toward action’ and having the patience to wait on heaven.
For leaders, leading through this tension is one of the most challenging, and most important, skills we will ever develop.
How do you know when to ‘fight’, and when to wait?