February 25, 2018 • Life for Leaders
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed… The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and care for it.
In the beginning, God creates the heavens and the earth. He organizes this earth, and ensures that everything is working and functioning properly. This great big God then makes humankind in his image and likeness and calls this first man Adam. As the first and original inhabitant of God’s vast world, Adam is a prototype, and much of his narrative serves as a potential model in contemporary times. For our purposes today, it is worth focusing on Adam’s role as the first human being to receive a vision or plan from God.
In the account laid out in Genesis, God plants a garden and then places Adam in that space to steward his creation. Essentially, God gives Adam a vision and employs him to work this vision. At this beginning stage, Adam has no team to manage or anyone he can delegate responsibility to. He has to be the first partaker of the work—exploring every inch of the garden and getting ready to give an account of all the plants, animals, and resources in it.
God’s plan and project for you will likely need to be staffed, but before that can happen, you must first learn how to work the vision for yourself. Consider Moses’s experience. Before the amazing Red Sea moment, and prior to his leading the Israelites through the wilderness towards the Promised Land, Moses first experienced a similar journey during his time in exile in the desert. Moses spent forty years of his life becoming familiar with the terrain that he would later lead others through. As the leader of the vision, you must take ownership by working the vision for yourself.
Many pastors will tell you that, at the beginning of their church planting experience, they wore many different hats. They were the ushers, the worship team, the collectors and counters of the offering, and they managed many of the vital functions of the ministry. Likewise, many business founders had no choice but to be the accountant, the HR department, the administrator, and the marketing team. While they might not have been the most skilled at these various tasks, I guarantee you that these leaders found this initial phase to be necessary and rewarding. When leaders learn to work their vision, they often appreciate the help that they receive later, because they understand the effort and work that must be done to execute the plan. If you are in a space where you are the only one working your vision, don’t be discouraged. Help is on the way! In the meantime, God has given you the perfect opportunity to explore every facet of the work that he has placed in your hands, so that you will be able to efficiently delegate responsibilities in your season of expansion. Once you have clarity and organization in your vision, it will be time to get to work!
God, I thank you that this is the season of manifestation for your body. Thank you that you will perform every word that you have spoken, and you will perform it through us. Now give us a mind to work. Move us from a place of dreaming to the place where we partner with you through our obedience to see your plans fulfilled. We ask all these things
in Jesus’s name, Amen.