James 4

The trouble with self-reliant leaders

islandSelf-reliant leaders are relying on limited resources.

I became a self-reliant leader over time, and in so doing, I was dependent upon limited resources. I had not really learned to rely on God and others.

The self-reliant leader is, first, not dependent upon the Holy Spirit. In his book Lion and Lamb, Brennan Manning wrote, "How vast are the resources of His power open to us who believe in Him!" This self-reliant leader is not resembling the gospel of Jesus Christ which has said all of this vast power of God has been available to you to depend upon.

Secondly, the self-reliant leader relies on limited resources in his lack of dependence upon others. Self-reliant leaders lead in isolation from others, and pride is the reason for all our isolation. Often those who lead alone find an interesting resistance in their heart and lfie. Perhaps they blame it on Satan, but that resistance is not Satan; it is God. For "God resists the proud, and he lifts up the humble." (James 4:6)

Great leaders are not self-reliant. They learn to rely wholly on God and also on others for strength.

Living life in the dangerous mist

The life of faith in Christ and being lead by Christ is risky. Doing ministry is risky. Parenting is risky. There is no way for you to avoid risk in a life of faith and trust in Christ. Trust requires risk in order to be defined as trust. There has to be a step out on to nothing in order to land on something.

That is difficult for our time-bound human minds to really get around. We assume we have no time for the risk on the incredible call God places on our lives. But as Christians, we are not products of time. We are products of eternity and that is a reality we need to reminded of from time to time.

But in James 4 we are told, "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a a little while and then vanishes."

We are reminded that all the things you build in your precious time are passing. Your entire life and everything you wrap your life up into is a vanishing mist.

That project you have invested so much time in? Mist

That entire ministry you built from the ground? Mist

How big is your church now? Mist

How is business lately? Mist

How is employee and costumer satisfaction? Mist

That relationship you think is (and may be) "the one"? Mist

That child you have wrapped up your entire life into?

That... That... That...

None of these things are wrong or unimportant. They are simply mist.

It is important to remember this when we consider what keeps us from living life with a faith and trust in Christ that may not fit into our perimeters for how life should work or play out.

We cannot continue using a misty world's indicators as to whether or not we are successful.