The Courage of a Leader
Nehemiah 2:20 (NIV) I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it” To read more, click here
It’s one thing for a leader to have a great vision, and another thing to fulfill the vision. One of the qualities every leader needs in order to accomplish the vision is courage.
Courage is the confidence to face whatever challenges one encounters with unwavering faith in God’s Promises and His Presence.
- A Leader is venturing into an uncharted territory—doing what one has never done before or doing something in ways that it has never been done. This task of pioneering is likely make them put them at a risk of rejection from some of their allies. But every leader must know that you cannot lead from a place of your comfort. A leader must always take risks by breaking out from the comfort zone. A leader must be ready to follow conviction of their heart—to do what the Lord asks of them. We live at a time when it is very hard (and sometimes dangerous) to live out Christian values at our communities, workplaces, or even schools. Leaders need the courage to do what is right and inspire their followers to do the same.
- Opposition (from Satan, from people). Satan’s work is to oppose and, if it were possible, thwart God’s purposes. There will be a number of hurdles, and roadblocks that a leader will have to reckon with. Some of these can be life-threatening. The enemy uses different schemes—such as discouragement, distractions, or even confrontation to oppose God’s purposes. Many times it may seem easier and more logical to give up and revert to the comfort zone. But exceptional leaders face life situations and leadership tasks with courage. They refuse to give in to Satan’s threats.
- Fear (doubting one’s ability to accomplish the task). Leaders also has to deal with their own fears such as fear of failure, doubting one’s ability to accomplish the task, guilt, past experiences. All leaders have giants they have to deal with like lack of resources, health challenges, and many more. Moses had to deal with his fears of inability to speak, fear of rejection, and fear of possible reprisal from the Egyptian Pharaoh.
What distinguished David from the rest of the Israel community (including King Saul) was that David decided to confront Goliath. I believe David was scared but he did not allow his fears to blind him from God’s promises. Nehemiah had to deal with his fear of approaching the Babylonian King with a proposal to rebuild the wall of God’s people.
Leaders chose not to listen to their fears but to act based on God’s promises. Why not fear? Because God is with me and God is for me. God has not promised us an easy ride, but He has assured us of His presence.
God’s Word to Inspire Us:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5)
Questions for Reflection:
- What potential fears do you have to deal with in order to be the leader that God wants you to be?
- What is your source of courage?
- What motivates you to keep going despite the threats?