Monday, October 22, 2012

Inadequate Leaders: We're Not Alone

While rewatching “The King's Speech” recently, there was a part that stood out to me in ways that hadn’t before.

Photo from
The movie is about Bertie, aka. King George VI, a stutterer who was confirmed as the new king and would be taking over from his brother who relinquished the throne. When it was official that he would becoming the king, the weight of responsibility was overwhelming and Bertie, crying, exclaims: “I’m not a king! I’m a naval officer, that’s all I know!”

Tears filled my eyes. I could relate. Sometimes God calls us to do some crazy things that we feel insanely inadequate to do. Positions that are far bigger than we feel capable. Opportunities that make us feel sorely inadequate.

When Joshua took over leadership from Moses, God had a message for him: “be strong and courageous”. The torch had been passed and Joshua’s fear was evident. I can imagine Joshua saying, “I’m not a leader of Israel! Sure, I’ve helped Moses and led in other ways but that’s all I know”.

And so, God has been saying the same to me. Before, I was a part of God’s vision for others but now, God has passed the torch to me. As much as I can cry out “I’m not a teacher! I’m not a school administrator! I have no idea how to start a school from the ground up! This is not what I know!”, God’s plans are greater and bigger than my own.

As I've told God how I don’t know what I doing, feelings of inadequacy rise along with insecurity. In my weakness, He is seen. My security and adequacy must be in Him alone. Anything else would result in arrogance or self-reliance.

In my fear and trembling, God has continually encouraged me to “be strong and courageous” but not in me. I can’t find my strength and courage in myself, because, well, it’s not there. I must look to Him to find strength and courage. My fears stem from seeing the challenge and only relying on my own limited resources when instead, I need to rely on the unlimited resources that God has. Easy to say and yet, so difficult to do. I’ve been discovering that the greater my trust in the Lord is, the less my fear is. He truly wipes away our fears.

When Joshua took over, God began to do miracles. With the Promised Land sprawling before them, God said to His people: "love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Joshua 22:5). As they were setting up their new lives, they needed to live those lives with a focus on God.

As God started telling me “no” to jumping back into my old ministry here, I was confused but now can understand why. He has given me these months as a gift.  After years of wandering, God has brought me here, to this Promised Land.  As I look to live here all the days of my life, I need to live with that focus. This is a time to intensely learn language but also to intensely learn more about Him; a time to strengthen and deepen relationships here. This is a time of preparation that God knew I needed. As I set the foundation for all the days of my life here, it must be set so firmly in Him.

As I step into this huge vision from God, I have to rely solely on Him. What He has called me to is far bigger than I could ever dream of much less do on my own. On my own, I'm inadequate and incapable. It is my loving God who goes before me, is right by my side and who guides me along the way. 

Pray for me that I daily put this trust in Him and not myself. While you're at it, pray for all of the leaders in your life. I have this odd feeling that I'm not the only one battling with this.