The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”

Genesis 12:1

 

Two people hiking up a tall mountain.Walking with Jesus Christ is a faith-filled journey. Accepting the gift of salvation—a sacrificial act we were not around to witness—ushers believers into fellowship with a God we have not seen and often struggle to hear. The Bible encourages us to make faith a lifestyle. We are urged to walk by faith and guaranteed that we go from one level of faith to the next. In fact, it sometimes seems that the prize for one successful act of faith is a greater testing of our faith.

Abraham’s narrative is not only an example of faith, but also of leading by faith. It would have been easier for Abraham to take the leap of faith by himself. After all, if he failed or misunderstood God, he would be the only one to suffer the consequences of that error in judgment. But when Abraham left his country, he was leading his wife, nephew, and both of their households to an undisclosed destination. This means that Abraham may have had to endure questions regarding his motives, his capability, and even his sanity by those who followed him. Even worse, Abraham was unable to answer basic questions such as “where are we going?” or “what is the point of this journey?” or “what will we do when we get there?”

If I may be honest, as a leader, I struggle with leading by faith. I don’t always mind the faith trials that are just between God and me. At least in these scenarios, my losses are directly tied to personal calculations that I was willing to absorb—I knew what I was getting into. Leading by faith can feel overwhelming because the decisions we make in faith have very real impacts on the people who follow us. If only I could dwell in a space exclusively for me and God! But that wouldn’t be leadership. Our faith doesn’t live in a vacuum.

I sometimes detest that my faith walk must be publicly displayed and that it bears impacts on others. But maybe that’s God’s point. Perhaps God is trying to teach leaders how to lead by faith despite the numerous unanswered questions and our inability to trace God’s hand at work. It might be that God uses these moments of vulnerability as moments of inspiration for those who follow us—transforming how they live by faith in their own journeys. Transformational leadership calls for living by faith, leading by faith, and inspiring others to do the same. Obey the directions you receive from God, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel. Keep leading by faith anyway, especially when all you have is his voice and what can seem to be a lack of tangible evidence that you will succeed. Your followers may not understand, but your faith steps today are seeds of inspiration for their future paths. Be free to lead by faith.

PRAYER:

Lord, help our unbelief. Teach us how to use the faith you have already given us. Give us the boldness to accept the next faith challenge in your grace and power through us. Let our steps of faith serve as seeds for those who look to us for guidance and leadership. And when all is said and done, we pray that you alone are glorified. In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.

 

Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentaryAbraham’s Faithfulness Contrasted with the Faithlessness of Babel (Genesis 12:1-3)