Lead With Conviction
Lead with conviction. This is what I heard whispered as I sat in silence this morning, praying about some decisions and seeking direction. Leading with conviction is such a basic part of leadership, but I wonder if, in this society, it has become acceptable to have no firm conviction on anything, to just get on whatever bandwagon there is and cheer and shout. Everyone on that bandwagon will call you their leader and, well, it will feel great.
You will most definitely have the approval of man.
I was reading in the book of Daniel, though, and that was not the truth I saw laid out in his actions. From the get go, his life is in danger, yet he does not sway from the truth. I hear humility in his voice when he tells the king's officer that he cannot eat the meat and wine he has been commanded to eat (ch. 1). I hear humble conviction and firm faith in his voice and my soul is stirred.
I want to be like Daniel.
Perhaps it is trickier to lead with such conviction when you really don't see much that is at stake. Maybe when your life is on the line, things become a lot more black and white. I have nothing to worry about in this life, not compared to the actual, real trials some are facing in this world. My dead phone battery or coffee made incorrectly is not a real problem..not at all.
The thing is, I have to figure out how to lead with conviction while living a luxurious lifestyle. No, I did not use the word luxurious to exaggerate my point. If you make more than $30 grand a year, you are among 5% of the world's population in wealth. If you make over $40 grand, you rank up there with 1% of the world's wealth. I have a room to put my car in, food I don't eat, clothes I don't wear, and I waste money on absurdly expensive cups of coffee.
The word luxurious is an accurate word to describe my life.
I'm currently seeking God on that very thing. Not that I'm feeling guilt or shame for the life I live, but I am feeling the weight of responsibility. I have much, and so much is required. Perhaps this is the start of leading with conviction. Daniel was elevated to a high status after interpreting the king's dreams (ch.2) He was given gifts, made a ruler of a province, given a luxurious life. Of course, I know what is to come in later chapters. He will stand yet again for truth and he will face the scariest battle of his life in the face of a lion. So, Daniel proves that it is possible to live in luxury and lead with conviction.
He knew where it all came from to begin with.
I believe this is the start of conviction; understanding that everything coming through my hands is sent by God himself. He is entrusting me with much and giving me the opportunity to use it the right way. If I want to lead with conviction then I need to believe the buck stops with God.
The buck stops with God.
Whatever I possess, wherever I may find myself, God is my all in all. It is not my right as his follower to try and make him fit into my ideal. It is my duty as his follower to seek his way and live it. I don't mind, either, because he laid his life out for me..so he's proven to me that he can be trusted and that his way is best.
The world needs leaders..but not leaders that just know how to rally the troops or organize teams or make things happen. The world needs leaders that are humble enough to be led by conviction, to stand for truth and not sway because there is a group saying they've found new truth.
This is the challenge I feel from the Holy Spirit right now, learning how to lead with conviction. I want to honor every opportunity he gives me with a strong but humble voice. I want to glorify Him by speaking what is just, true and merciful. I want to be known not as a cool, trendy person who knows how to string words together but as a woman of faith that stands firm in truth with a gentleness born of the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived this very thing out in his ministry and that gives me hope. He was firm in his conviction, but he was full of mercy and compassion. He drew people to the truth with his beautiful stories, his miraculous signs, and then, ultimately, his perfect sacrifice.
I don't know what God will require of me. I don't really even know what tomorrow holds...but I know that what I believe today isn't going to change based on the situation. I want to lead with conviction whether I'm leading five or five thousand. God entrusts us with small things, gives us humble beginnings because we must prove our ability to stand firm. It isn't a performance thing or an earning his love thing.
It's a leadership thing.
God needs leaders he can trust. There are lots of so called leaders out there, but the big question we must ask is "Where are they leading people?" What is the end game of that so called leader's mission? I know my end game. I know the ultimate plan. Eternity is my mission and everything I do needs to point to the Kingdom of God that will one day come to the Earth again. I want to be someone God can trust. I want to show myself as faithful to his leading, not swaying in the truth, not jumping on bandwagons. I want to be a leader who serves, and a voice of conviction in my area of influence.
What is your area of influence? Where can you stand firm as a leader of conviction? It isn't just a "job" for those people in the lime light. Everyone is called to influence another, to stand firm in faith, to serve humbly...
to lead with conviction.