Prepared to Final
Leadership that blesses the people and honor God comes through obedience to God. The focus must be Obedience as the great influencer.
One of the titles of a story in my workbook, Servant Leadership NOW – Stepping Up Your Leadership Call,” is called “Obedience – The Great Influencer.” In servant leadership, you are called to be obedient to the agenda of God, for God knows the way we should go. To become vexed or fixated on the iniquities (vices) of man, his lack of integrity in order to be man-pleasers, and do man’s unrighteousness, is unwise. What do I mean by that? While we live in this world, servant leaders are called to listen to the voice of God. Spend more of your energy in the knowledge of the Truth that will lead to peace and godliness. This is an uplifting thing to do.
The voices of those who are in opposition of the Truth, should not be louder than the voice of God. Psalms 24:8, “Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. That is your coach.
I tell of the story of Saul, in my book, as an example of one who turned back from following God (I Samuel 10:11). Saul turned away from following God. It is most important that you walk in righteousness and mercy that honors Truth.
Contrary to what many people believe that they are in charge, the Scripture reminds us that “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”
You would think that this would give some people pause as to how they act and react to others; unfortunately, it does not. For many people, they are on a “run-away-train” of destruction, and sadly, they are enjoying the ride. For others, it is bothersome, terrifying, and gripping to the natural eye to see some of the things that people are willing to do for position, power, and money. God is not silent on these issues. In fact, He warns that we should seek those things above – The scripture says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).”
So, I choose to dwell on those of you who are engaged in working out your own soul salvation – your race. What does that mean? It means that perhaps you are one who is trying to make sense of this world, trying to be righteous in the sight of God and not man. First of all, remember the world is our temporary home – it is not our permanent residence. Do good; live peacefully with all men as much as possible.
You are not a sprinter. You are a finisher. It is said that there are ten different types of runners. You are in the category of THE VERY SERIOUS RUNNER. The very serious runner is in it to win it. Your goal is kingdom driven. Remember, the race is to the one who holds out to the end. You are going the distance from the starting line to the finish line.
You have been preparing for this race. Yes, preparing to run. How did you prepare for this race? You have been equipping and conditioning yourself for the hard fight. You know it has not been easy. But you remind yourself, put on the whole honor of God. What things do you have in your toolbox? What has caused you to move forward in the past when obstacles come? What has prepared you THEN, can prepare you NOW. You stripped yourself of things that weighed you down. Strip yourself of those things that will weigh you down NOW. Even if you trip, in this race, you get up and refocus.
Let me leave you with this story of another coach who lived among us, Coach Vince Lombardi. In his “Will to Win” speech, Lombardi told the story of Olympian Sifan Hassan, an Ethiopian born woman of the Netherlands, to his followers. The story meant something because it is not that she won gold medals; it was how she ran her races.
During a women’s 1500m heat, she experienced a runner’s worst nightmare: she tripped and fell, losing valuable time while dropping well behind her competition. But, without hesitation, Hassan got back on her feet and began sprinting as fast as she could, not allowing her mishap to affect her focus or concentration. She passed 11 runners along the way, relying on her preparation, training and conditioning to surge her comeback and ultimately win the race.
Green Bay Packers Hall-of-Fame Coach Vince Lombardi said this, “The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win. Most people have the will to win. Most people enjoy winning and all that comes with it. The people willing to put in the hard work over the time required to prepare to win are far more rare.”
What Lombardi saw in Ms. Hassan, was the desire to keep going. The one thing that Ms. Hassan had done was condition herself for winning.
“Winning, Lombardi said, is not a some time thing, it’s an all-time thing.” “You don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all of the time.” Preparation to win is connected to obedience – on the condition that you are obedient to God – you will final. Although you all down, you get up, and compete – continue to run the race.
Hassan possessed the will to win, the pursuit of doing things right all the time. Those who do anything to win are NOT winners – to demean, hurt others, are NOT winners. They may gain medals, but that is not what them winners. The pursuit of doing things right all the time makes you a winner in the sight of God. You influence others by being obedient to God.