Noah is raising three sons. He’s a righteous man, blameless in his community, and walking in the steps of his Creator. God invades his space one day and announces that the world is going down. Suddenly Noah finds himself constructing a giant life preserver and then out on the high seas. God initiates, Noah obeys, and the planet is saved.
Gideon is cowering in a winepress, beating out his wheat; it’s the last place the Midianites will look for a guy trying to survive. Suddenly a messenger from God appears and refers to Gideon as a mighty warrior. Gideon attempts to sidestep his calling but ultimately ends up becoming general of a small army. God initiates, Gideon responds, and a simple act of obedience rescues an entire nation from the oppressive Midianites.
Moses wakes up one day to the reality that he’s been strategically positioned for the deliverance of his people. Taking things into his own hands, he kills a slave driver and appoints himself leader of a nation. Moses’ leadership lasts for just a moment however and suddenly he’s hightailing it for the desert. Forty years later at a burning bush, God initiates and Moses’ dream finally becomes a reality; this time on God’s terms.
David is tending sheep. Anointed one day by God’s representative Samuel, David is suddenly thrust toward kingship. God initiates, David submits, and years later after many harrowing escapes, David aspires to what was promised.
Isaiah is worshiping when suddenly he gets more than he bargained for. Seized by his imminent fate, Isaiah cries out, God intervenes, and Isaiah is spared. God then initiates a call (“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”), Isaiah responds, and a Messiah is foretold Who will take salvation to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6).
A young lady is simply minding her business one day when an angel appears and announces that she will bear the Son of the Most High. God initiates, Mary complies, and the world has never been the same since.
Saul is on a mission—one he fervently believes in—when suddenly God invades his space through a blinding flash. This prompts a 180-degree turn in Saul’s heart, tipping a domino that will result in the Gentile world coming to Christ. Again, God initiates, man responds, and Gospel shock waves reverberate around the world.
God is the Great Initiator. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). And according to two Old Testament authors He also sustains us in the middle (Psalm 55:22, Isaiah 46:4).
This is the ultimate perspective that should impact every aspect of our leadership. Not “kudos to us” but rather “kudos to God.” The Psalmist reminds us that, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1a). God invades our space to call, equip, empower, and direct us in our sphere of leadership for the sake of His Kingdom.
Leadership is not about us. It is not about us striking out on some journey and equipping ourselves with certain skills to fulfill our purposes. Rather, God invades our space to fulfill His purposes for the world.