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The Way God Raises Up Leaders

  • Charis Hillman Brown Vice President, Marketplace Leaders
  • Published Dec 15, 2014
The Way God Raises Up Leaders

I wish dreams happened on our time table, I really do. However, dreams seems to come to fruition at the junction of years of hard work, practice, and opportunity (God’s timing). Often there will be many false starts before there is a true start. I think all of this is designed to keep us in a place of trusting God - not in trusting outcomes, circumstances, or people.

There are many things that need to happen for a dream to come into being. Many of them happen behind the scenes, when no one else is looking. Character, discipline, and doing what we say we will do is a big part of this. Also, finding a way to really serve others, meet a need, or “scratch an itch” so to speak, is another big component. Our purpose is connected to someone else’s purpose.

One night while watching The Voice, I heard Usher give one of his protégés’ some very good advice: “Work hard, so that when opportunity comes, you’ll be ready for it.”

Too many of us wait for the opportunity to get started. In actuality, our entire life is an opportunity to get started.

Many leaders in the Bible didn’t start out “great” - they started out average. After David was anointed to be the next king of Israel, he went back to tending sheep. After Joseph had his dream, he was thrown into a pit, and then into prison - for many years. Jesus was 30 before He began performing miracles - the miracles that culminated into His life’s purpose.

I have always had a side passion for music. I have often thought to myself, “If I really wanted to be a musical artist, it wouldn’t matter to me if I ‘made it’ or not. Being able to do the craft would be enough.”

But, of course, one always has to pay the bills.

48 Days creator and founder Dan Miller wrote an interesting post the other day about pursuing your dreams vs. getting a real job. He described a question he received from a young woman about whether she should keep painting (her dream) and barely getting by, or if she should get a job in the insurance industry in order to pay the bills (and be able to afford a car). His advice to her? Go get the job, because the time spent on your dream will become that much more precious. And you won’t be living out of the “starving artist” mentality - begging people to buy your craft.

So what happened? She got the job, got a great new car, and her painting on the side turned much more profitable than she could have imagined - just by working on it part time!  

Sometimes the answer is not “either/or” - it is AND.  God wants to see that we can be faithful with little so he can entrust us with much (Luke 16:10). This “rub” - the stress between where we are, where we are called to be, and the circumstances in between is what will mold us, shape us, and challenge us to get to the next place. But we shouldn’t be foolish with our dreams - find an area where you can practically serve someone else to earn a paycheck while working on your dream on the side.  

“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.”  -Proverbs 12:11

God honors us when we honor Him by being responsible. A pastor I heard once said, “I always advise people to have a job, no matter what it is - even flipping burgers at McDonalds. When you move, God moves.” And so here is the rub - “are you willing to do whatever it takes?” 

Charis Hillman Brown is vice president of Marketplace Leaders, a ministry that equips believers in the workplace. She is author of an online devotional TGIF for Next Generation.

Publication date: July 18, 2013