Momentum (Christ – centred, Spirit – empowered, Mission – focused)
I have always believed that leaders need to lead from a place of authenticity. In other words, they had better be real in how they live and in how they lead. For me, part of being authentic is expressing areas of my life in which I feel a level of vulnerability. One of those areas is faith. I have found myself in a strange dichotomy when it comes to the issue of faith. In my leadership role, I have a growing and audacious faith.
I feel a holy boldness when I think about the impact that our churches can have in the next decade, and I am willing to lead the way with passion and resolve. However, in my personal journey, I am often plagued with doubts, fears and worries. For several years, our family has felt the sting of a myriad of crisis situations that have left us vulnerable and, in some ways, emotionally numb.
Many of these crisis moments seem to be direct attacks of Satan designed to discourage, distract and immobilize us. Every one of them is targeted toward an area in which we are extremely delicate and easily wounded. Each one of my daughters has gone through very challenging experiences in which the intensity of the attack feels relentless and overwhelming.
At times, we feel like we are barely hanging on. Personally, I have wrestled with some health issues that have left me bewildered at God’s plan for my life. A few months ago, I was going through a particularly difficult time and actually ended up in the hospital overnight. My family stayed with me as long as they could, but after visiting hours were over, I was left alone.
I felt a dark, thick cloud of despair starting to descend over me. The level of discouragement was rising, and I was feeling hopeless. I grabbed my Kindle and turned it on, hoping to find some relief. I was shocked to find that it opened to a book that I had been enjoying, several chapters ahead of where I had been reading. (Kindle does not do that). I read these words:
“Beloved, we greatly miss the discipline of life and the victories of faith if we do not watch for God in all the hard places that come to us day by day, and learn to rise from these to our sublimest victories, to take the stones of stumbling which the devil puts in our way or throws at us and build a tower with them which will reach to heaven. If you want to meet God this week you will find a hundred places awaiting you where you can either surrender to difficulty or trust your Father for victory and go forward with thankfulness and praise” (A.B. Simpson).
I was stunned by the accuracy of this word from God to my soul. I sat for a long time pondering these truths and finally acknowledged that I have consistently surrendered to difficulty rather than trusting the Father for victory. My first inclination was to say to myself, “You can do better! Be stronger…be a man of faith!” The minute I spoke those words, I was defeated in my spirit. I wanted to, but it just wasn’t within me to muster up more faith. Then it hit me… Christ has the faith and he lives in me.
The faith that I need is already available as a gift from the indwelling Spirit of Jesus. I need simply to surrender to Jesus and declare, “It is your faith, not mine, and I take your faith and depend upon it to be mine.” In fact, I have concluded that my faith is not the issue. The issue is surrender, the ability to acknowledge that my faith will never be enough, but that Jesus has everything I need. The stones still come, but Christ in me, the fullness of his faith, is helping me to build a tower. How about you?
“We have nothing of our own, and even our very faith is but the grace of Christ Himself within us. We can exercise it, and thus far our responsibility extends; but He must impart it, and we simply put it on and wear it as from Him” — A.B. Simpson
Please find the original version in C&MA website