Being a leader, whether in the marketplace, church, home or community is a trust given to you from those who have chosen to follow you. As a leader, you impart to those under your care, who you are, so what you see in them is actually a reflection of who you are as much as it is who they are. Many politicians, pastors, leaders, managers, coaches, parents look at those who are following them and get frustrated with the follower, rather than examining themselves as the leader. We multiply who we are! So, if you don’t like what you see in those following you, it is time to look at who you are, rather than complain about who they are, and watch how things change.
Ownership is a mark of leadership. If you can take ownership for the nation or organization you lead, the church you oversee, the family you are a part of or the marriage you are in, you will realize that to be a successful leader is to be a person who takes ownership of both successes and failures. Many times we do the dance of dysfunction and then wonder why we are not advancing, having success or seeing the increase we desire. It all starts with taking ownership, recognizing as the leader in any given situation, you set the atmosphere that others who have given you the privilege of following them, adhere to.
The media, for example, is an amplification of the leaders they follow, so whether you watch the more liberal CNN, the more semi-conservative FOX, listen to the extremely conservative Rush Limbaugh, or the MSNBC version of politics, you will hear a bent toward an agenda. One of the challenges most Americans have is we listen to opinions and either agree or disagree, we do not engage in the discussion, seek out the truth, or ask questions that lead to deeper understanding. It is a lot like penguins, they find all their food on the surface, even though they are aquatic animals that can dive deep into the waters for different food.
Since we are on the subject of penguins, did you know that they used to have wings, but over time they evolved into flightless birds, so they have the appearance of wings, but they can’t fly. People love to watch penguins, they are cute, fun to document, and make movies about, but they are birds that used to be able to fly. Who or what, over time caused their wings to become flippers, even though they look like wings? Sounds a lot like what political correctness has sought to do to Americans.
This is why it is critical to know your identity, exercise your authority and fulfill your destiny (Luke 15:22). You were created to be an eagle, you have wings, you need to fly. Many people are frustrated because they are eagles wearing a tuxedo. They know they were created to fly, but from politics to the pulpit people have pandered to you as a penguin, rather than empowered you to be an eagle. Fear is the root issue of why people want you to stay a penguin. Jesus said, “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering” (Luke 11:52). Jesus is not afraid of you being powerful, that is why he was a leader that provided leverage for his disciples, He was not a lid on them.
Leadership is trust that demands humility, which is a continual listening, learning, and loving. The more you lift up those who have chosen to follow your lead, the more their updraft will lift you up, for this kingdom is one of lifting up, not tearing down and the last time I checked, the national bird of the United States of America is an EAGLE! It’s time to stop playing politics with penguins and to start empowering eagles in every area of life.
Number 23:19-20 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; When He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it.”
God has blessed America, He has declared it blessed, so He cannot curse it. Judgment is not a curse, it is a blessing, for judgment brings us back into the original pronouncement of blessing. Israel experienced God’s judgment on more than one occasion, because they forsook the Lord their God and began to worship other gods. But the Lord never cursed Israel, nor did He remove His blessing from them.
Once a blessing has been pronounced it cannot be removed. So, judgment is not a curse, but a blessing to bring us back into our correct alignment as a nation. No one can curse us, for God has already blessed us.
Now, part of the judgment is going to reveal God’s thoughts about our value of materialism. We spent when we were supposed to save; we built buildings, when we were supposed to build people; we chose hierarchy, when God was asking for humility; we listened to man, when we knew we were supposed to listen to God; we have hurt people, rather than healed people; we refused to die to ourselves; this is why we are being judged. We have called the truth a lie; we have agreed with the enemy and we have created a problem that only God can fix.
Judgment is imminent, because most people are living as though God approves of them; they are leading like God is proud of them; actually they are unaware of what is really going on.
We watch the news, but we don’t see the signs or hear the warnings. We believe we are blessed, under grace, free from the law, so we can do whatever we want. Isaiah was right when he said in verses 9-10 of chapter 6, “Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.” Our lack of repentance is the proof that we cannot see, hear, or understand. We honestly don’t believe we’re doing anything wrong.
It is going to feel like it came suddenly, out of the blue, but actually, the Lord has been wooing us for years, drawing us for decades, calling us for centuries, but there has been a refusal to repent. He will be justified in His judgment, but oh how I wish we would wake up before He has no other choice. I hear the alarm sounding, I see the people sleeping and I want to do something, say something, but most don’t want to hear, that is why He is keeping some hidden until they are ready to listen. God wastes nothing, He uses everything.
Judgment precedes restoration…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning…in wrath, remember mercy.