June 15 2012, 7:00 am | Bill Elliff
As a leader, I have often told the men I work with there's one thing I really would appreciate them avoiding: I don't like to be surprised. It puts me at a severe disadvantage if I am caught off guard about some plan they've developed, problem they've encountered, or decision they've made. I don't want to micro-manage that issue (that's why we've hired them), but I want to be properly informed about things I need to know about so we can work well together as a team and lead our people effectively.
How can you be a man who knows everything he needs to know, when you need to know it?
Jesus was facing Calvary. He had spent the night in the Garden of Gethsemane communing with His Father. In fact, Jesus prayed without ceasing. He was in constant communication with His Father. He needed this because he had laid aside His omniscience and was functioning purely as a human.
Because of this communication, when the soldiers came to take him to his death, he was not surprised.
Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” (John 18:4)
How in the world did Christ know "all that would happen to him"? Prayer. Apparently the Father knew that His Son needed to be armed with this information to function effectively and so, like the perfect Father He is, He told him.
The beauty of this knowledge is seen in Jesus' response. When faced with the most frightening, debilitating moment of His life, Jesus was not in the least afraid or taken aback. He was not flustered or worried. Instead of running or hiding from this challenge or defending Himself, the Bible records He "came FORWARD." No retreat, but a calm embracing of this next chapter of His life.
Why? Because He knew.
Jesus, when He lived on earth as a man chose to lay aside His rights as God and so He didn't know everything. As a child, for instance, He had to “grow in wisdom” (Luke 2:52). When speaking of the end of the world, He said, "But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." (Mark 13:32)
In our shared manhood, Jesus illustrated that He did not know everything, but he knew everything he needed to know when He needed to know it.
Ever leader makes the decision every day if he is going to lead out of his own limited knowledge or God’s. Will he lead with his plans or the Father’s? I'm not to judge, but it seems to me that most of us pray very little. We make lots of plans and choices. But do we commune with God enough so that He can tell us all we need to know to move forward successfully? Do we miss God's timing? Abort His direction? Do we ignore His subtle prompting to take time, to pray, to fast, to listen?
If I find myself in a situation that I am so surprised that I am fearful, worried, immobilized, retreating it may be that the culprit is my lack of listening. God knows what I need to walk in faith and always provides what we need to trust Him.
I wonder if there’s something coming tomorrow that God needs to prepare you for today so that you can “move FORWARD” in faith?
Order Bill's books here including "The Child of 10,000 Names" and "WhiteWater".