Mentoring Leadership

The Fence of Pride, Arrogance, and Ignorance

5.29You might be the one to…step into the role, accept the position, complete the task. Yet you might not be the one.

Why do you say yes or no to something?

We build fences that keep us from walking the very ground God intends us to cover, because we’re too proud, arrogant, or ignorant to consider, acknowledge, and accept where God wants us to go. We tear down fences that are intended to keep us from walking the ground God doesn’t intend for us to cover, because we’re too proud, arrogant, or ignorant to consider, acknowledge, and accept where God wants us to remain.

It’s God’s job to build and tear down fences, not ours. Anytime we do the building or tearing down, we should be cautioned to attend to where we are and where we should be.

We think we should be able to decide where God wants or doesn’t want us to be. We even try to convince others we know where they should or shouldn’t be. If there’s a gap in what needs to get done, we think we know who should step up, because (1) someone has to step up or else it won’t get done, or (2) we see how the person and the task would perfectly fit together. Even if what we assume is consistent with God’s direction, we need to ask for his instruction first. Jumping in to provide a quick fix might seem to fix the problem, but if it’s not the way God wanted it to be fixed, another problem will soon follow. What seems to fit to us isn’t always God’s best fit. We can have God’s confirmation in less than a blink-of-an-eye…and when it doesn’t come that quickly, we’re wise to patiently wait.

On the other hand, we can excuse ourselves from responding by saying we’re waiting on God’s instruction when we’re not fully committed to hearing God’s instruction. We’re fairly certain we’re not supposed to respond, but we’ll wait it out in case God says differently. But are we actively waiting or passively waiting? There’s a difference. We always need to be active in our relationship with God, no matter where and at what pace he has us.

What fences are you building or tearing down on your own, apart from God’s instruction?

Looking across many situations, I have to admit I’ve probably torn down more fences on my own than built them, but a particular fence-building project has stuck with me. As I was serving in the small group and women’s ministries at church, a group of women approached me in search for a particular type of Bible study. I understood what they were asking for, but I also knew what they specifically wanted didn’t exist. We could piece it together, but it wouldn’t be a comprehensive study. They ask if I’d write it.

I laughed.

Several weeks later, they asked again. I didn’t laugh this time. Instead, I made excuses. I didn’t have the time, I had never written a Bible study, and, “Besides,” I claimed, “God hasn’t called me to write it.”

When they asked again a few weeks later, I was a bit annoyed. I decided the only way I’d get them to quit bugging me was to appease them by praying about it. I asked a couple friends to pray about it, assuring them I was certain I wasn’t supposed to do it, but this was a “just in case” prayer.

Within 24 hours, I knew I was wrong. I was supposed to write what later became the Pure Purpose Bible study.

I built a fence where it didn’t belong.

Whether you think you’re too good or not good enough to do something or whether you simply don’t recognize something that’s supposed to be on your radar, be cautious. Be sensitive to God’s leading. He wants you to walk every step of the territory he has purposed for you. Don’t explore where you shouldn’t be or place limits on where you should go.

After Lot left, the Lord said to Abram, “Look all around you—to the north and south and east and west. All this land that you see I will give to you and your descendants forever.I will make your descendants as many as the dust of the earth. If anyone could count the dust on the earth, he could count your people. Get up! Walk through all this land because I am now giving it to you.” (Genesis 13:14-17)

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