Leaders lead. This is a true statement about leadership that transcends time, place, and position. Leaders will lead in every situation, whether they know it or not. Through their actions, their words, their facial expressions, and even their body language, they are consciously and unconsciously showing everyone around them how they should follow.
How do I know this is true? How do I know if I’m even a leader?
One of my mentors once gave me a simple answer to this question: “If people are following you, then you are a leader.” Time and experience will show that when people follow you, they are constantly watching what you do. How you respond to your surroundings from day to day is exponentially more defining about who you are as a leader than what you weekly teach. Therefore, if you are going to lead successfully, you must prepare yourself to embrace each day. This allows you to welcome every moment, taking on the responsibility of leadership as a blessing and not a burden.
If people are following you, then you are a leader.
Leadership is a choice! Certain choices that you make will set you up to win the morning and win the day. Here are four simple choices that will help you win your mornings and lead with strength throughout your day!
The operative syllable in this word is “pre”. A powerful passage in the book of Job says, “Prepare your heart to serve only God. Lift your arms and pray to him.” (Job 11:13)
Notice how the passage does not say “post-pare”. Yet, you may have experienced many “post-pare” moments in your life when you wished you had prepared for an event beforehand.
Since the heart is the center of life and the source from where life flows, you should prepare your heart for life before you live it! If you do not prepare your heart before the day begins, you will often find yourself serving something or someone other than God. You might find yourself serving yourself, your spouse, your kids, your friends, and coworkers throughout the day instead of God. It is good to serve all of these people, but it is important to understand they are not God.
On the days you don’t prepare your heart, you’ll find yourself doing a lot, but getting nothing done. This is because you’re going through the day using your own power rather than God’s. At the end of the day, “post-living” will always lead to regret and cause you to wish you’d taken the time to prepare. But, when you wake up and prepare your heart to serve God only, by His power, you will serve all those people out of your service to Him. Not only is this more powerful and impacting for you, it is more powerful and impacting for others. Instead of ending your day in regret, you’ll end your day rejoicing in what God did! You’ll “lift your arms and pray to Him” just as the passage from Job says, with your heart full of thanksgiving!
2. Get Low
Start your day on your knees in prayer. Before you stand up to step into the day, surrender it all in submission to God. For a believer in Jesus Christ, submission is the key to success. The Psalmist says, “Exalt the Lord our God! Bow low before His feet, for He is holy!” (Psalm 99:5)
When you get low, you assume a posture that acknowledges God’s honor of power.
When you take time to bow before the Lord, you confess that He has the power of life and death over you and acknowledge that while He has the power to snuff out your life at any moment, He doesn’t. Therefore, your life is His. He has spared you, saved you, and set you up as an heir to His kingdom, not just as a mere servant! When you get low, you assume a posture that acknowledges God’s honor of power.
When I think of kneeling in prayer, I am reminded of the words, “I touch the sky, when my knees hit the ground.” When you begin each day getting low in complete surrender, remembering that your life is in God’s hands and offering it to Him, He will give your life back with greater meaning, purpose, and influence!
3. Power Up
Everyone is energized by something! I like to think of everyone as a rechargeable battery with only a finite amount of energy.
The truth is, you need to be charged up as you spend your energy each day. Luckily, God has given you several sources to power up, so that you can plug in to His will every day! I personally find that after I spend time in prayer, it helps me to read my Bible and take a walk, meditating on a sermon podcast or worship music. We can even see this example set forth in scripture by Moses who would daily, “take the Tent of Meeting and set it up some distance from the camp. Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” (Exodus 33:7, 11)
Moses knew the best way to power up so the people he led could plug in to his leadership was simply to be in the presence of the Lord. This always changed the condition of Moses’ heart, and it radiated in his disposition (literally, his face shone with the presence of God). Just like Moses, we know that if we’re going to power up, we must position ourselves in God’s presence. Only then can we be ready to plug in and supercharge every situation we are called to lead throughout our day!
4. Give It Away
We are now ready to receive the day that God has given us, looking to see how we can give it away to others. We do this by personally celebrating all that God has done. “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24)
When we rejoice over what God is doing in and through us, it encourages our spouse, children, friends, and co-workers who will begin to rejoice with us! So, as we celebrate the day, others will join in and the rest of the verse becomes possible: “We rejoice!” Energy, enthusiasm, and power are contagious; they are spread through smiles, encouraging words, hard work, and faith-filled prayer. Those are four things that you will have in abundance as you give it away to those you’re called to lead, who will in turn give it away to others!
Leadership Is A Choice
This is a simple formula for living successfully. Remember, leadership is a choice! Certain choices that you make will set you up to win the morning and win the day, the week, the month, and the year, establishing a lifetime of victory and reliance on God. To sum it all up, prepare your heart to serve only God and He will multiply your leadership and influence!