We recently finished our annual Church Conference: Supernatural, and during this conference, I had the honor of meeting with young leaders from all over the United States for a one-day roundtable forum. I spent the day encouraging them and sharing the wisdom I have learned from being in full-time ministry for almost 25 years. I began the day by talking with them about self-leadership because I believe our ability to lead ourselves is the determining factor for our success and longevity in ministry. We have to understand that before we can lead others effectively, we must lead ourselves.
Historically, when you look at the landscape of leadership over the history of the church, we have seen many wonderful men and women of God. These were people who ministered powerfully throughout their lives, only to be undone by stumbling, and it always breaks my heart when I hear about it. Let’s be honest. We are actually prone to “falling.” We all have a bent in us for something. That’s why we need a Savior. That’s why we became Christ followers. Somewhere in our life’s journey, we recognized that we needed His grace! But, tt is especially devastating when a church leader falls, and the greater their influence, the greater the confusion, hurt, and disillusionment.
Proverbs 25:28 says, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city—struck down without walls.” In Biblical days, the only protection a city had was its walls. Without walls, the city was vulnerable to hostile takeovers. Without walls, there was inadequate protection. The walls brought security and the greater the walls, the more difficult it would be for an enemy to get in. Civilizations invested great time and wealth into securing the borders of their cities. For example, Jericho was an impenetrable city. Jericho was secured by an inner wall and an outer wall. The walls were so thick, people built homes in them! The protection around Jericho was so great that no human army was able to take the city—notice I said, ‘no human army.’ It literally took an act of God to invade the city!
This is what Proverbs is warning us about: fortifying the city of your life—recognizing that you have an enemy that wants to destroy you and taking the necessary precautions to safeguard your marriage, your home, your family, your ministry, and ultimately, your legacy.
have it destroyed in a moment of weakness.
You can spend a lifetime building a great work of God only to have it destroyed in a moment of weakness. The first safeguard is to be self-aware. The biggest mistake we can make is to think we don’t have vulnerabilities. The second mistake is in not knowing specifically what those vulnerabilities are.
If you locked me in a room full of cocaine for 8 hours, when you returned to check on me, the cocaine would be untouched. This is not an area of vulnerability for me. I have no desire for it. It has never been appealing to me. If you locked me in a room full of alcohol, when you returned, the alcohol would be untouched. These are not areas of vulnerability for me.
However, I have rooms of temptation. I’m not going to share the specifics, but I know what they are! I know and acknowledge that I have weaknesses. I know what those weaknesses are. I have admitted those weaknesses to my wife and my close friends, and I have built “walls” around myself to protect myself from attack. The walls are self-awareness, honesty, and common sense!
So what is that one thing that could destroy your integrity? What is that one temptation that could undo a lifetime of serving God? What is the potential legacy destroyer in your life? It is not important that I know what that is for you, but it is absolutely critical that you do! If you’re not sure, take some time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the areas of vulnerability in your life. Ask Him to help you safe guard what you have been given. My heart is to see this generation of godly leaders excel and finish strong, and I believe with the help of God’s wisdom and grace, we will!
Don’t miss part two of this blog when I reveal the keys to leading yourself and how to maximize the process of self-leadership in your life. Also, please leave comments and questions below—your thoughts are important to me!
Also, please leave comments and questions below—your thoughts are important to me!
Expanding God’s Kingdom,