Have you ever had someone make a reference to your potential and you wondered to yourself, “Who are you talking about? You don’t know me!” But somehow God allows people to see things in us that we often times don’t. I would imagine that Gideon felt this way. In the book of Judges we are told about Gideon’s story. The children of Israel are being oppressed and were in need of a leader to rise and deliver them. In Judges chapter 6:12 we read “When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”(NIV) I realize that the scripture doesn’t say “Leader,” but that is the implication. Israel needed someone to rise up and Lead.
I can almost hear Gideon as he asks, “Who are you calling a leader.” And I can almost see Gideon looking over his shoulder to make sure their isn’t anyone else behind him. You know the feeling when you are at Walmart and someone is waving at you and you don’t recognize them. You start to wave only to realize they aren’t waving at you. Gideon must have felt this way. He had never led anything before. I can only imagine in his high school year book he wasn’t voted Most Likely to Lead. Gideon felt ill equipped, but God had big plans for him to Lead His people. In Judges chapter 6:15 Gideon says ““Pardon me, my Lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”” (NIV) But after hearing this, and seeing signs from the Lord, Gideon steps out to Lead the children of Israel.
You and I have to overcome our insecurities in order to become the Leader we are called to be. We live in a world that tries to define how we think about everything from clothes we wear to the drinks we drink. Gideon struggled with his own insecurities. When God began to show Gideon His plan he began to make excuses: “My family is poor, and I am least in my family.” No doubt somewhere in Gideon’s life he had heard these insecurities voiced.
In our lives we face these voices everyday. The voices that surround us are always telling us what success looks like. We are constantly told how if we wear this brand of clothing we will attain certain results. If we drink this drink we will be able to hang out with these people, and the list goes on and on. With all of these voices in our ears and head it is no wonder that we feel insecure. There is an unrealistic definition of success being spoken in our lives on a daily basis. We often don’t feel as though we have lived up to the unrealistic measure of success and as though we will never be able to accomplish our goals as leaders.
So, Leader – yeah, I am talking to you – how will you overcome these obstacles? To be sure what God is saying to you as a Leader, you have to learn to shut out the outside voice. This is extremely hard to do, because these voices can almost seem like they’re screaming. There will never be a shortage of people who think they know better than you and what you should be doing. And while God puts people in our lives to help give us direction, most times what they say will just confirm what you already know you should be doing. You must know who you are no matter what others say or think. So, get to it! Start leading whether it is in a big way or a small way. Each step you take towards your goal as a leader puts you one step closer than you were yesterday.