The Leadership Journey – Letters to an Intern

#3 – When God calls you to do something, don’t focus on what you can or cannot do, but focus on what he can do through you.

A good driver’s training instructor will stress the importance of focus as he/she prepares the young driver. If you keep your focus straight ahead, the car will typically move straight ahead. But if your focus begins to wander, the car will likely wander as well. We see this all the time with drivers on their cell phones, talking or texting – and the car begins to drift. Focus is really important in life and in leadership.

God was about to do an amazing work by delivering the Israelites from 400 years of bondage in Egypt. In Exodus 3 the call comes to Moses to be a part of God’s incredible plan. Before Moses could lead in this great task, God wanted to make sure his focus was in the right place.

It appears that Moses lacked confidence and he gave excuses for why he could not do what God was calling him to do.

Moses: “But I am a nobody. Who am I that I should go against Pharaoh?”
God: “I am a somebody and I will always be with you.”
Moses: “But I don’t know what to say.”
God: “Tell them the Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.”
Moses: “But what if they don’t believe me?”
God: “I will give you all the power you need.” (God gave Moses three powerful signs.)
Moses: “But I don’t speak well.”
God: “I will give you words to say. Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord?”
Moses: “Please, send somebody else!”
God: “I will send Aaron to help you.”

Ryan, when we focus on ourselves, our own gifts, strengths, limitations or liabilities we will never be able to fulfill the leadership responsibilities that the Lord gives us. Ryan, what excuse or objection could ever stand up to the promise of God’s dynamic presence and power? If God is calling and sending you out to be a part of His redemptive work in the world – and reassures you of His presence and power – what’s to stop you?

This encounter that Moses had with God seemed for the most part to set Moses’ focus on God and not on his own ability or lack of it.

Moses became a good leader because he learned: “When God calls you to do something, don’t focus on what you can or can’t do, but focus on what he can do through you.”

Ryan, you will find that God’s call on your life will take you places where you are over your head. God doesn’t make mistakes. He loves to stretch us so that our focus, confidence and dependence is on Him not us. As you begin your leadership journey, I am in the last stretch of mine. I can tell you honestly, I have spent the last 40 years “over my head,” but God has been faithful in His presence and power. I would not have wanted it any other way.