Sometimes you just have to shut it down. Shut out the background noise, shut out the many voices (including your own), trying to convince you to do this, do that; go this way or that way – and get alone with God to hear Him.
As a candidate, it is hard not to be persuaded by polls and popularity. But you can't go by what you see, but what you know - that no matter how much things may appear to be out of control, God is in control. Every enemy, negative article, post or tweet had to pass by him to get to you.
He will at times allow circumstances to get out of control to show us we aren’t really in control of anything.
If you don’t read anything more, know this with certainty – no one – regardless of their title or position is more powerful than the God who saved you and loves you.
God alone controls the times, the circumstances and every single person. No one is wealthier, more powerful or more influential.
There were many nights as a candidate for city council that I coudn't sleep; worried about what bomb my opponent or those in their camp would drop next.
Looking back on it, I could have gone to bed. Why? Because just as God is shelter in the storm, He also is the ultimate bomb shelter!
Don’t let people sway you, scare you or threaten you. Don’t allow the politics of politics to get you off your game or social media posts to intimidate or shame you.
And whatever you do, don’t let the need to please, appease or impress be overriding factors in how you run your race and position your message. Be true to yourself. You will hear the word "transparency" bantered about alot. You may even glibly use the word yourself. But transparency is an inside job.
You can't be transparent with people until you are first transparent with yourself. Otherwise sooner or later you will sell yourself out. And if you sell yourself out, selling others out will come easy.
As a follower of Christ, God assures us that no weapon formed against us will prosper. He doesn't promise that your opponent or those in their camp won't form a weapon against you, they will; they just won't be able to cash in on it at your expense (i.e., prosper as a result of it).
Don’t be intimidated by rivals and bullies. They can’t harm you or move you. If God has purposed you to win, they can’t even defeat you.
Plan. Pray. Work. Plan your campaign. Pray for God's guidance, favor and grace. Work hard. Do this not just at the beginning, but from day one, each and every day.
You need two teams - a campaign team of experts and a prayer team who may not know anything about politics, but they know how to reach God. Plan your work, submit it to God, work hard and trust God to do only what He can do. He can change people's minds and hearts toward you for good.
What God has spoken over your life and over this race, nobody can change or reverse. You have to trust Him enough to believe that He has you, because He does!
It is sometimes difficult to believe and trust God when we can’t see His hand and all we can see is the hand of our enemy at work against us.
Daniel saw the same. His own people came against him and lied on him. Some of yours will too. David experienced the same. His own son tried to steal his office. Moses was opposed by the very people God sent him to deliver.
It comes with the territory. None of what you are experiencing or will negatively experience is new. Every leader chosen by God to lead has gone through pain, heartache, darkness, betrayal, lack and doubt.
But in order to make it across the finish line, you have to experience all of these to grow in faith and become the leader you've been ultimately destined to become.
You're not there yet. And no matter how long you have been a leader, even if this isn't your first run for elected office, it is a new run. Each new run brings new lessons to be learned and new enemies to fight.
What is so bad about so much of this is that many will forget the struggle. Yet it is the struggle that God sends us through, carries us through, and brings us through to remind us on the other side of victory that it was Him who brought us through.
The struggle is designed to strengthen you. Remembering the struggle and how God brought you through will prevent you from the temptation to snuggle with those who were nowhere to be found when you were in the struggle to make it. God was.
Never forget the struggle. It will keep you humble and grateful. And when you are humble you won't tumble and when you're grateful, you will never become greedy. Arrogance (the opposite of humility) and greed (the opposite of gratefulness) are historically, even today, the two major reasons for ever leader's downfall.
If we follow the way of the world we will get the way of the world. But if we follow God, we will make a difference in a world so desperately in need of hope and light where people see nothing but despair and darkness.
The struggle strengthens you.
As a public leader of faith you are that light. You don’t have to shout you’re light. Light doesn’t announce its arrival.
If the room is dark we just flip the switch or light a match and darkness gives way to light. It has to. And when we show up as city council people, mayors, police chiefs, judges, city managers, directors, county clerks, district attorneys... darkness will give way to us. It has to.
The problem however is this - we aren't afraid or ashamed to be light around other light, not so much around others who walk in darkness.
That's why we are not seeing a change in our culture and in government. We go along to get along even if going along is wrong.
No need to quote Bible verses or make any public service announcements that you’re a Christian. Just shine even when the light isn't on you. And as you run and if God gives you victory, don't be ashamed to let your light shine.
Make a difference and not just make out to be just another politician. You are not that and we have enough of those.
You will distinguish yourself as a leader by well you follow Christ, not follow the crowd.
Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established. - Proverbs 16:3
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Published on Monday, April 8, 2019 @ 4:31 AM CDT