I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
We believe 2018 must be a special year of God in our lives as leaders. Often we become so centered on what we must do to succeed that we forget what He does through us so we can succeed. In our first two blogs for this year we have seen 2018 as the year of God’s presence when He delivers us from fear and the year of God’s power when He overcomes all that overcomes us. Now, in this last of our first three-blogs for 2018, we see it as the year of God’s provisions when He acts to meet some of our greatest needs in very intense ways.
God offers us three provisions we desperately need if we are going to lead in today’s world. We need strength from Him, we need help from Him, and we need to be upheld by Him. When we have these three provisions from God we become His kind of leaders no matter what opposition we face or how many people we lead. Isaiah learned this through leaders such as Moses and Joshua, and that’s why he taught Israel and us about God’s role in leaders’ lives through his prophetic word.
God directs us to be strong no matter what we face, whether we must be alert or brave or bold or firm, which were the very traits God called Joshua to have as the newly appointed leader of Israel (Dt. 31:7, 23). The biggest mistake we make as leaders is to try to sustain ourselves rather than rely on God. Elohim is the Mighty One of strength who is always on our side, even when we try to take over life in His name. Many leaders seek to use their own strength to do God’s will and fail every time. Such a decision is very costly, but God stays where He was when we leave Him to act on our own. Though our departure will cost us, He remains available to us when we return to Him.
Remember this: never try to strengthen yourself because He alone is strong, our only source of strength. Life will always be greater than we are and more than we can overcome, and God knows this even when we forget it. When you feel you must take control of life to protect yourself and prove your leadership, He will let you go, but He will be waiting to restore you when you come to the end of yourself.
While God strengthens us to endure, realize that He also helps us to be productive. When we return to God and cry out to Him for help, He supports us, stands with us, and stabilizes us as His leaders. He rarely solves our problems as quickly as we desire, and sometimes we struggle with why He takes three-or-four years to resolve a struggle we never wanted in the first place. Many times we don’t understand how life gets greater when we grow, even when our business shrinks, or our ministry loses ground. When our struggles leave scars we cannot hide, those we lead don’t see our failures but God’s faithfulness instead and discover that as He is the strength of our help so He is the strength of their help, the One who is for them even as He is for us when we trust Him.
Just as God strengthens and helps us, so He upholds us. He grasps us, grips us, and sustains us when we are weak and desperately depend on Him. He teaches us to stand when we struggle and gives us courage and perspective, especially when we face opposition and we lack the wisdom we desperately need. And He does this with His righteous hand.
God’s right hand is His almighty hand, the instrument He used to deliver His people from danger, the source of hope and confidence for His leaders and His people in times of overwhelming need. The power of God’s right hand strengthens His people to do what He alone can do as He acts through us when we trust Him. God’s right hand assures us that He is for us, He is faithful to us, He acts through us, and meets the needs of our followers through us. Our weakness is the means of His awesome strength.
As leaders we have no fear because of God’s presence, we are not dismayed because of God’s power, and we have no needs because of God’s provisions. This can make 2018 the greatest year of our lives as we trust Him for His enablement. We will have overwhelming times when we are overcome by struggles we face, enemies we battle, and weaknesses we wrestle. Yet, God will strengthen us for these struggles, sustain us through these battles, and support us in these weaknesses.
As Winston Churchill said so well, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is courage that continues that counts.” God’s presence and God’s power will lead our success to even greater success and our failure to resurrection if we have the courage to trust Him for even greater and greater provisions in 2018.