I know we've been all out of whack about posting our devos due to various trips over the holidays, but God keeps telling me that we need to keep this up and remember why we started it in the first place!
So, with that being said, I'm going to download into you all and remind you all of what it means to be a leader. I'm going to post a new aspect every day as the Lord reveals to me what He wants to be said (in addition to the other devotional posts), as this has been on my heart for over a month now. Today, I start with the basics...
Definitions of lead according to Merriam Webster:
-to guide on a way especially by going in advance
-to direct on a course or in a direction
-to serve as a channel for (as in a pipe)
-to direct the operations, activity, or performance of
-to take charge of
-to go ahead of
-to be first
Obviously, the word “pioneer” automatically jumped out at me when I read the definitions of lead, so I did a bit of dictionary referencing and found…
Pioneer: one of the first to settle in a territory. Originates from “foot soldier”.
As a verb, pioneer means to open or prepare a way for others to follow.
Ok, now I know we’ve heard Pino’s ‘Pioneer’ song, along with ‘The Narrow Road’, but we’ve also heard his ‘You’re An Army’ countless times on Sunday nights…
The term foot soldier sent me on a tangent.
When you’re walking down a path that has yet to be traveled, you have to wrestle through the brush and branches to make the way navigable, correct? And this clearing out process is by no means an easy feat. You sweat, you ache, you tire, you thirst. But you keep on going, because you have some crazy passion inside of you to know what’s ahead. Not only are you paving a way for others to follow, but you’re walking on a narrow path that few will ever choose to follow.
Bear with me here…
A foot soldier is defined as “a person likened to an infantryman especially in doing active and usually unglamorous work in support of an organization or movement”. A soldier’s job is to kill the opponent, to win the war essentially. But the battle field is a gross and gruesome place. The only way to conquer is to press on and fight harder, because the second the soldier gives up, he gives up his life and victory. The soldier also looks out for his fellow soldiers, stepping in when a friend is in need. Then he goes back to his task of combat.
What exactly is the whole purpose for an army to set out into battle? They have an opponent trying to defile their mission, right? And by winning battles, the army clears the way for its people to do what they were called to do…
Therefore, not only are we leading warrior pioneers on a narrow road, we are the descendents of and ancestors to leading warrior pioneers on a narrow road (mouthful, isn’t it?). An army went before us to defeat an opponent so that we could settle into new territory. An army will come after us to continue the attack on the enemy that continually tries to ruin the destinies of the nations. But what are we doing as the here and now army? As the here and now pioneers? As the here and now leaders?
Are we fighting the devil (brushes/branches and enemy) with our God given weapon (sword) with all that we have? Or do we say “I’m starting to get tired and sweaty, and I’m hungry and I just don’t know what to do anymore” and start to give up because we don’t see the immediate results?
I’m telling you, we all have been granted the ability to fight and pursue and press on because we are all children of the King, the Mighty Warrior. We are mere reflections of Him. He came when no one else did. He fought with blood when no one would. He did not give up or say that the job was too hard. He was not discouraged or run down by the lack of enthusiasm or participation or attendance. He looked for hungry seekers. He looked for the soldiers who would rise up and fight with Him to defeat the enemy. He came so that we would be victorious in every battle, and yet we walk into our battles acting as if we’re already defeated.
HE was the ultimate pioneer. HE is our narrow way. HE is our mighty warrior. HE is our leader. HE took the keys and gave us the victory. HE came and HE conquered.
It’s time for us to dust off our swords and start acting like the soldiers we are. It’s time for us to get up off the dirt path and start clearing the way again. We may hit rocks and hard places, but that’s when we turn to God and ask for help. That’s when we turn to the person next to us and ask for help. We may be clearing different paths, but we’re all going in the same direction. We may all end up in different ministries, but we’re all working for the same God. We are an army. We are not separate entities or individuals operating to our own accord. We are one body under God. One nation under God. And we need to start acting like it.