I’ve talked to lots of church leaders over the past several years…leaders who have big dreams, huge plans and unbelievable passion; however, often times I will see some of those same guys a year or so later and those plans and that passion isn’t what it once was…instead it has been replaced with doubt and discouragement.
What changed? What happens? I believe there are two things that cause this transition…
#1 - Fear
All too often we allow the fear of “what might happen” trump the fact that God is Sovereign.
Now…I honestly believe that there is an element of fear to any dream/vision that comes from God. I never see in the Scriptures where He calls people into a safe, predictable environment where the outcome is known before the person ever has to do anything. (If you believe you can accomplish what God has asked you to do…then you probably didn’t hear from God!)
However, that “fear” that we experience should drive us to dependence on God…not discourage us from making an attempt at “the impossible.” As I’ve said before…extreme desperation leads to undeniable revelation. AND…in my experience God always reveals the “WHAT”...and then usually reveals the “HOW” step by step.
I don’t want to live a life where I get to the end of it and think about what might have been…and I am LEARNING to fear God (which simply means holding HIM in the highest regard) rather than man and/or circumstances.
#2 - Frustration
I don’t know about you…but I seem to get frustrated pretty easily. (Especially when driving…wow…let’s not even talk about “road rage” right now!)
What is sad is that I’ve seen frustration derail some amazing leaders (and it’s done the same to me a few times as well.)
You know the drill…we get a white hot vision from the Lord, we begin to discuss and plan with the leaders He has placed around us, we pray and plan like crazy and begin to draw out how we believe He wants us to fulfill what He has so graciously given to us. We establish a step by step plan…
And then within months or even weeks our “well thought out plan” completely falls apart.
The mistake we make in this is to begin to believe the vision wasn’t from God…when it most cases it isn’t the vision we need to question but in actuality its the execution of that vision that is the problem.
When our plans fall apart it is often God trying to get our attention so that we can continually come to the understanding that we need HIM and HIS leadership.
God often allows us to experience times of frustration right before an unbelievable breakthrough. Check out Acts 16:6-10…Paul KNEW God has great plans for him…he keeps trying and trying until BAM…God lets him know in an undeniable way what He wants.
I’ve personally discovered that frustration is often God’s way of reminding me that I am just not that good…and I need Him and His Spirit way more than I need my systems and strategies.