Yesterday morning, my Bible reading plan led me to Luke 4, to the story of Jesus in the wilderness just prior to the beginning of his public ministry. Yes, the time that he was tempted and relied on scripture to resist those temptations. It’s a passage I’ve read time and time again, as I suspect you have too. But something struck me this time that I wanted to share with you, our 4Sight community of leaders.
See, what I’m hearing from so many of you is that this current season feels like wandering in the wilderness.
No clear direction to take.
More difficult than you thought it would be.
A longer road than you’d hoped for.
Relief is nowhere to be found.
As leaders, we are often tasked with going first. We go first in seeking vision and direction for our teams. We go first in defining the values that guide how we work toward our goals. We go first in difficult conversations others avoid. We go first in inviting others into the potential we see for them.
Going first is sacred work. It’s the privilege of leadership. Good leaders won’t ask someone to go where they aren’t willing to go first. It protects those we lead. It provides them the on-ramp and practice they need to be steady before they are responsible to take the first step for those they lead.
Going first is also lonely. And scary. It’s uncertain and untested. It feels risky.
But I want to encourage you that, when you feel like you’re going first–like no one has been where you are–someone HAS been there before. Jesus walked in the wilderness. He knew what it was to be hungry, thirsty, and tired. He knew what it felt like when pride sought to creep in. He knew the temptation to control and think His way might be best.
Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”
You can go first for those you lead because Jesus went first for you. He dealt with temptation with the truth of God’s word. And He overcame it. You have access to His strength and His empathy.
I often encourage you to “lead yourself well to lead others better.” Perhaps today, this weekend, or sometime soon, you can find an opportunity to pull away as Jesus often did. To root yourself in truth so that you’re equipped to go first in the wilderness you’re facing.
Keep leading well!
Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group
Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.
Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.