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About theWriter:
Shannon Ayers

Trained as a process engineer, mother of five and serving as a church secretary and children's ministry director, Shannon helps break down Godly principles into usable and encouraging steps. Her heart for the Lord is huge and apparent in all she does. Her wisdom and clarity of truth adds even more to her writing.



Leadership by God's Example

By Shannon Ayers

On my first day of leadership training for a women’s bible study, I can admit I was feeling SCARED TO DEATH. I was thinking to myself:

“What have I done?”

“I can’t lead; I’m not the type!”

“How could I have said yes to these nice ladies?”

“That’s it… they were so nice that I temporarily lost my mind and agreed to lead or teach or something.”

One of the best leaders of all time started out with the same doubts, confusion, and feelings of inadequacy. Do you know whom I mean? Yep, Good Old Moses. Remember the conversation with the Burning Bush? When God invited him to join Him in freeing the Children of Israel? His first reply was: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt ?” (Ex 3:11 NKJ)

Indeed, who are any of us that we should be given such great responsibility in the kingdom of the Lord?

But listen to God’s tender and patient reply to Moses: “I will certainly be with you.”(Ex 3:12 NKJ) That is still His answer to us today. He will be with us. God has called each of us to a very special mission. He has carved out this task especially for you and me even before we were here. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”(NIV) Rest assured, God has had it all worked out for a very long time!

And yet you say, “I can’t get up in front of people, I get all tongue tied. What will I do if someone asks me something I don’t know?”

Yep, Good Old Moses had the same concern: “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”(Ex 4:10 NKJ)

But God said, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

If God has already prepared the task for each of us, He has surely provided the words to say and the process to use. But still you say, “I’m just plain scared to do it.”

Good Old Moses was, too. He said, “O my Lord, please send someone else to do it.” (Ex 4:13 NIV) At this point, God did get a little upset: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. …So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God.” (Ex 4:14 , 16 NKJ) God can even provide someone with strengths in our areas of weakness to help us in our tasks. He has a special blessing waiting for each of us, but it comes only as we are willing to step out in faith, trusting in Him that He has called the right person for the job.

As many of us to accept the calling of all sorts of ministry leadership, perhaps we still have some doubts and fears about what might arise. How will we juggle the ministry, families, school, work, carpools, quiet time, Bible study, phone calls, and so much more? Remember that the God of the universe is with you. He can schedule all your time so that you do everything that needs to get done. Someone once said, “God gives us all the time we need to accomplish all the things He needs us to do.”

Remember our buddy Moses with all the doubts up front? Let’s look at some of the obstacles he had to face in his “pre-assigned” task and how God provided in each circumstance. For example, how would he get the Israelites and Pharaoh to believe that He was for real? God caused Moses’ staff to become a snake upon the ground, his hand to become leprous and then healed as he placed it within his cloak, and water to become blood as Moses threw it upon dry ground. He performed even more miraculous signs as Pharaoh continued to oppose and refuse the God of the universe: frogs, lice, flies, diseased livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and finally, the death of all the firstborn, both human and animal.

Remember the words of Jesus: “if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt 17:20 NKJ)

Next, how would he lead this vast people out into the wilderness? Again God demonstrated His sufficiency, “The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.” (Ex 13:21 NKJ) Next, Moses had to face the problem of crossing the Red Sea as Pharaoh’s army closed in behind him? There seemed to be no way out; and yet, God parted the Red Sea and the Israelites walked across on dry land. Not until the last man, woman, child, livestock, and wagon had stepped from the bed of the sea, did God close up the rift in the water, thus drowning the entire Egyptian army! He provides the perfect signposts to lead us, and the perfect route as well, even when the obstacles seem insurmountable.

How about fatigue?
Some times you just give out. Your get-up-and-go just seems to get up and leave and it’s all you can do to stand up. Moses faced that one, too. He had to stand on top of a hill with the rod of God held up high in his hand while the army of Israel fought the Amalekites. “And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.” (Ex 17:11 NKJ) Talk about pressure! This is one time when your fatigue could be life-threatening to a great deal of people! But, again, God provided. He gave Moses helpers, assistants, friends who came along side of him and physically held him up. “And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” (Ex 17:12b-13 NKJ)

Perhaps you wonder, “How can I take care of all the details for each and every one of these sheep in the fold, the people I am asked to minister to? There is only one of me and I just can’t get to all of them!” Moses tried to be everybody’s personal teacher and judge and he nearly wore himself out. He thought he had to do it all for everyone. God sent him some Fatherly advice through his earthly father-in-law, Jethro. Moses was spending day and night judging the disputes amongst the people. When Jethro saw this, he said, “The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you…”(Ex 18:17 -19 NKJ). He proceeded to advise Moses to teach the people the law, then set up “courts” made up of honest men who would judge for the people. When these men could not judge the case, they would then bring it to Moses.

This was the groundwork for our system today of progressive courts. We don’t have to know everything and be everyone’s everything. We can’t do it all ourselves. God will provide each of us with trusted friends who issue godly counsel to help us see when we are taking on too much. Gather around you godly friends and hold each other accountable for your time and your words and your actions.

What about that long trek through the desert and the problem of feeding the entire Israelite nation each and every day? How does one person answer the multitude of grumbling, complaining, starving faces before him? (Sounds like pre-dinner time at my house!) God, however, provided water from a rock and manna from heaven and droves of quail each and every day. As punishment for refusing to enter Canaan, they were forced to wander in the desert for 40 years until the rebellious generation had all died. At the end of the sentence, Moses remarks, “Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn on your feet. (Deut 29:5b NKJ) Even such trivial, yet necessary things as food and clothing, He has already thought to provide for us. Jesus said, “If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God , and all these things shall be added to you.” (Luke 12:28-31 NKJ)

What about vision - that is, plans and goals and dreams?
How can I lead them if I don’t know where I’m taking them? God gave Moses a vision of the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. It was such a powerful vision, that they carried it with them for 40 years as they wandered through the desert. Do not be anxious on that score either. For your heavenly Father has the vision of eternity in both eyes; and He will share it with you in His perfect measure, in His perfect time. The vision God shares with you today could be the wave of the future!

And finally, what about when I have to move on?
What happens if we get transferred or retired? What will happen then? Moses was called home before he crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land. His time was done in that ministry; but did God allow it to fall apart because of the absence of one man? Oh no! God’s Plans are perfectly laid. He always has another servant volunteer that He’s bringing up behind each one of us. Moses was concerned for the Israelites when he found that he would not be allowed to lead them all the way into the Promised Land. “The Lord said to Moses: ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; set him before Eleazar the priest and before the entire congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight.’” (Num 27:18-19 NKJ) If He has called you out of a particular ministry for whatever reason, He has already begun rising up your replacement.

So, you see, you are in good hands … the BEST hands. So let us not be concerned about this choice we have made to serve the Living God. He is more than able to see each one of us through this year. He will grow us up, stretch us till it hurts, and bless us immeasurably. I am convinced that there is no happier place for a servant of the Lord to be than right in the center of His will. He has called us, we have obeyed; therefore, that is where each of us resides. So relax, God has it all under control! Sit back, enjoy the ride, and let’s see where HE wants to go!


Copyright © April 25, 2000 – Shannon Ayers. All rights reserved.
(Originally shared as a devotional for Community Bible Study - North County, St. Louis, MO.)


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