When the whole world is screaming, “DO YOUR THANG! CAN’T NOBODY STOP YOU! BE YOUR OWN MAN/WOMAN!” in comes God with His wisdom in Ephesians 5:21, “SUBMITTING TO ONE ANOTHER, IN THE FEAR OF GOD”! People overwhelmingly underestimate submission. People don’t know that being under authority is what helps you walk confidently in authority (remember the Centurion?). Of course, doing your own thing won’t kill you as long as you aren’t successful. But most of the people who were successfully derailed by success – from Megachurch Pastors, to Medal Winning Sportsmen, to Chart Topping Music Superstarts to Award Winning Movie Celebrities, to Long Lasting Politicians, Business Moguls, among others – for whom the blessing became a curse, had primarily one problem; absence of submission. It is lacking that objective person or people who genuinely love you, want nothing from you and are not beneficiaries of your success or competitors in your field, who can say; “you’re losing the plot” and you know in that moment they are right for they gain or lose nothing by telling you. Remember Prov 11:14, “in the multitude of counselors, there is safety”. #IChooseSubmission
So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer. Then Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.” And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him. (1 Sam 16:21-23)
We see God carving out a place for David in the palace, and not just any place. He wasn’t out with the guards at the gate. He wasn’t on the kitchen staff. He wasn’t even yet out with the army, fighting the king’s battles. All this would have been great but would not have served destiny’s purposes. God created an opportunity that would give him access to the innermost chambers: access to the king himself. This way he would watch and learn the ordering, the values and the business of royalty.
When God will prepare you for greatness, He will lead you to your own “palaces”. Watch and don’t trip up. The journey just began.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. Seated at home in the village that one evening and listening to the radio, I heard my name on the evening news. I was announced as the fourth best student in the sciences category in the national advanced level exams. Usually, a wave of disbelief first hits you when you hear such news. I wanted to hear it again, but this was radio, I couldn’t rewind! There was no social media or access to internet back then. Not even mobile phones! I had to endure a sleepless night until the next morning, when I took a taxi to the nearest town to buy a newspaper and confirm if I’d heard right. Indeed there it was, my name in the papers. That page of that newspaper has been in my wallet since then, to remind me of God’s goodness and where He got me from: in the village, in the wilderness.
You see, I had struggled in my A Level. In our mock exams, which are like the trials for the national exam, I had performed poorly, especially in the subjects that affected my choice of course for university. I had an O in Math! To compound it all, my mum (the only parent I had left since my dad had been killed when I was eight) passed away two weeks to the final exams. I now had neither the academic prowess to succeed, nor the peace of mind and steadiness of heart. I turned to God. I remember on the last day of exams, my sister had come for me and I rushed to the chapel prayer room to retrieve my jacket. As I ran out, the Holy Spirit told me to go back inside and give thanks; which is what I did. I had no idea about the significance of that moment at the time.
We see that in the Bible, David who later became king of Israel experienced some Kairos moments, and there is much to learn from this particular one:
Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by his son David to Saul. (1 Sam 16:19-20)
It’s interesting that all this was happening in the background without David’s knowledge. After being anointed to become king, he still went back to keeping sheep. It’s important that we understand that when God gives you a word or says something to you, it may not be that He wants you to quit what you are doing immediately and move on. Whatever vision God has placed in your heart, it most times involves waiting in your current job, your current location or whatever you’re doing for some time and trust that God is orchestrating your next move behind the scenes. Imagine if after being anointed by Samuel, David had immediately walked to the palace to ask Saul to resign!
So one day, he’s out there tending sheep and he hears someone whistling in the distance. They are searching for him on the backside of that hill. He recognizes the sound, for it is coded language when one is being searched for. “What’s the urgency?” He wonders. The last time someone came looking for him in the middle of the day, something significant happened. The prophet had visited and anointed him king. Was something significant about to happen again?
In your lifetime, you’ve probably had a few turning points: momentous epochs that altered the course of your life forever. We call these Kairos moments; where events seem to freeze in time. They could be positive or negative; your wedding day, the day he proposed, the birth of your first child, a call from the president, the loss of a loved one, a life altering accident, a really bad report from the doctor, or receiving those divorce papers. All these are life altering moments that we can never forget. David was experiencing one.
“You are going to the palace!” the search party broke the news.
This was a Kairos moment for David. The king needed his services and just like that, he went from the wilderness to the palace, though not in the capacity the prophet had declared, yet. Eventually he became king, but this was the opportunity for him to receive training at close range, about life in the palace and the decorum of loyalty.
I don’t know what promises, hopes, prophecies or dreams you are carrying. I don’t know what you are currently experiencing and how far your current experience is from the dream in your heart. For some, it’s so close, you can smell it. For others, it’s so far off, it even hurts to hold that hope or think about it. Whatever your situation, DO NOT GIVE UP! God is working behind the scenes and one day, just like me listening to that radio, or King David on the back end of that hill, the news will break and it will be your time; Your Kairos moment!
Remember, God is working, even when you don’t see it. Wait for it!
When we hear Ronaldo, we think football. When we hear Lewis Hamilton, we think Formula One racing. When we hear Tiger Woods, we think golf. When we hear Bill Gates, we think computers. When we hear Denzel Washington, we think movies. When we hear John Maxwell, we think leadership. When we hear TD Jakes, we think preaching. When we hear Patrick Bitature, we think business. When we hear Jose Chameleon, we think music (for the most part)! When we hear Madhvani, we think industry. When we hear Amos Wekesa, we think tourism. When we hear James Ogoola, we think justice and the law. When we hear Gary Skinner, we think church leadership.
What should we think when we hear your name?
Over time, as you live and lead in whichever industry you have been blessed to serve, your name will start to mean something. The thing is that we don’t have to leave that to chance. You and I can be INTENTIONAL starting today to leave a legacy; to forge the image that people will get when they hear our names. John Maxwell has said that, at the end of your life, people are going to summarize your life in one sentence. Choose it now.
Again I ask, what should we think when we hear your name? What images come to our minds? What emotions are evoked inside us, at the mention of your name?
Recently, a leading figure in the education sector passed on. Ideally, we should have been celebrating his contribution to education, as a person who started several schools and a university. However, after his death, it emerged that he had several children with several women, and there are accusations that some of them were students in his schools! His name should have been synonymous with education, but the revelations about his relational life and the scandals thereof have tarnished his otherwise great legacy. Now, whenever his name appears in the papers, in tabloids and on social media, it’s about relational brokenness, and not education.
What’s in a name? A WHOLE LOT!!!
Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.” (1 Sam 16:18)
Just look at those credentials:
- Skillful in playing
- Mighty man of valor
- Man of war
- Prudent in speech
- The Lord is with him
One of the weak things about our education system is that the more learned you become, the less you know. You are required to know more and more about less and less. As a result, you know less and less about more and more. As Dr. Francis Tusubira, the veteran Rotarian pointed out, in the earlier days, the artists and musicians were also the philosophers and lawyers and at the same time engineers and inventors.
Today, many kids are being forced to embrace the sciences vs arts dichotomy. It’s as if you can never be both a great scientist and artist. This has led to the development of skewed and unbalanced people. You find a guy who is an incredible engineer or software developer but has terrible social skills. As a result, he can’t turn his technical knowledge into a business enterprise, because in business, you have to talk to people!
I faced this same confusion while in school, although at the time, I was fortunate that the system was still flexible enough for us to explore. I was really good at Mathematics and Physics. I also had a peculiar interest in the English language. I’d do every crossword puzzle I came across, including uncovering all my classmates’ books that were covered by newspapers in search of puzzles. I was also among the best in Fine Art in my class. When it was prep time, I’d go to the library and read only history books or novels. I’d spend the whole time reading about the world wars and other stories. I also grew up in a musical family and was gifted in that area. Then one day, I was told I couldn’t do both art and music. I dropped music because I wanted to do art and become an architect. Now I am having to relearn the music.
The system may not have been good to you but you can redeem your situation. Start studying and reading widely. That may be the stuff that gets you into the palace to be trained. Lately, soft skills like decorum, dressing, speech, knowledge on social issues are becoming more and more critical for business success. A knowledge of the law is an added advantage. Go ahead and sign up for online courses and start learning some stuff. The Bookshops are also waiting. Like my good friend Sam Kisa says, you can survive on charm for exactly three minutes, after that you’d better have something to say.
You can increase the value you bring to the market by increasing your knowledge base. You can choose to make yourself indispensable by being the most knowledgeable and therefore most valuable in your field. We choose failure when we choose ignorance. We see the apostle telling his young protégé these same things, saying, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2:15)
One of the challenges of our generation is people just not being good enough at something. Yes we want greatness, but we are not willing to work for it. David didn’t become a skillful musician by accident. He didn’t become a man of war by accident. He didn’t become great at speech by accident. These are things he worked on diligently for years without anyone seeing, and when the time came for him to be revealed, he already knew his craft. Nowadays, people want to hit the stage at the earliest opportunity. “Ready or not, here I come,” is the new mantra.
Can you honestly have the confidence to say you have become a master at something, anything, just one thing at least? Can you say you are on a journey to become an authority at something? Can you say you’ll soon be indispensable in a certain field of study or human endeavor? Or are you just stumbling through life, letting someone else determine your destiny?
A good friend of ours, Rachel Baalessanvu thinks that pylons (ask Google) with their high tensile cables are a most beautiful sight! This lady is so passionate and knowledgeable about power planning, transmission and distribution, I suspect it’s all she dreams about. She has made her mark quite early on and is an incredible blessing to the national Transmission Company and our nation. A person like that can’t hang around lacking what to do! Another good friend, Jeremy Byemanzi just oozes and drips Graphic Design. He and Ariho Kamara now run Nomad, one of the fastest growing advertising agencies in the region. What many don’t know is that Jeremy started working in his second year at university and bought his first computer, an iBook 500 while still a student! That was a real expensive piece of equipment back then especially for a student. He had to save for several months, denying himself the usual stuff people would buy at university, so as to get his hands onto the ultimate Graphic Design computer at the time, of course with help from his loved ones.
What are you going to do, starting today, to become indispensable in your field(s) of endeavor? What will you do to become a proven man or woman?
Adapted from Called To Greatness by Moses Mukisa
It seems to me that one of the worst two-word combinations in the English language is UNFULFILLED POTENTIAL! Studies show that most human beings use only about 10% of their capacities throughout life.
I was recently teaching at Harvest Institute, the leadership development school here at Worship Harvest when I ran into an epiphany-like ambush. I was having a great time facilitating when I suddenly saw it! I looked across the room and started seeing what these eighty or so people could become, while relating it to their current experience of life, and what the future might turn out to be for them unless something major shifted on the inside. When I saw the possibility of unfulfilled potential for even one of them, never mind for all of us in the room, I couldn’t handle it anymore.
I cried. No, I actually wept. Scratch that, I WAILED!!! I couldn’t believe what was going on! I had suddenly been seized by this vision of what people could become, versus what many of them would actually become. I wailed for their dreams. I wailed for our future. I wailed for their children; all our children. I wailed for that multi billionaire who will never see so much as a few thousands. I wailed for that writer whose hundreds of books will never be written and therefore read. I wailed for that musician whose thousands of songs will die inside. I wailed for that artist, whose works could influence millions, who is getting by in a job where they are not even gifted. I wailed for that pastor and evangelist, who was to lead millions to God’s saving love, but has settled for the pursuits of this world. I wailed for that business woman whose global business is still stuck on paper. I wailed for that political leader, whose message of hope and reconciliation we’ll never hear because they’ve chosen fear. I wailed for that inventor, whose technological idea will have to wait for a generation because they haven’t developed it. I wailed… for our country and our continent. A continent so rich and so endowed with resources, whose people have been reduced to beggars in their own land.
Can you imagine what God goes through, seeing billions of His children and all the great things they could become (because He created us to become all that), while we constantly choose a small life? That morning, having experienced that for a few people in a room, I had a renewed respect for God and what He is able to bear!
As John Maxwell pointed out, it seems like everything God has created is doing all that is possible to explore its full potential and reach the limits, except human beings. The tree in the forest is going to grow to the tallest it could ever be. The cat in the wild is going to run the fastest it could ever run. The vine in the garden is going to creep to the furthest it could ever creep. Everything seems to be reaching for the limits and testing the boundaries, except human beings, because God has given us the will to either reach our potential or simply exist. Unfortunately, most people have chosen to settle for less.
Most people will never have the influence they were created to have. Most people will never reach and help all the people they were created to reach. Most people will never make all the money they were created to make. Most people will never invent the things they were created to invent. Most people will never write the books, sing the songs, preach the sermons, run the businesses, change the communities, run for the offices… whatever it is; most people will never be all that they could be. As Myles Munroe used to say, the richest place on earth is the graveyard. In there you’ll find millions of unwritten books, unsung songs, unopened businesses, undrawn art pieces, un-invented machines, unlived dreams, unfulfilled potential.
But thank God that YOU who is reading this are not like most people. You are different. You are uniquely gifted. You are walking this journey of life with a positive stance. You want to explore the possibilities. You are choosing a life of purpose as opposed to an accidental one. You are going to be all that you were created to be. You are DAILY doing something to push you to your destiny. You won’t let all that stuff on the inside of you get to the graveyard. You refuse to die an unlived life. You are FULFILLING YOUR POTENTIAL!
My life’s vision (for now) is to make ten million disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ…
I can almost see you reacting like that! I’m getting used to those reactions when people hear my vision. Please understand that even I sometimes still do react like that when I hear myself say it. There is just a sense of disbelief about it. Like, how can that be done? Well, if your dreams don’t scare you, then they are too small!
I recently had the opportunity to speak at Mavuno Church Hill City, the Home of the Fearless. I was in good company as we talked about how we can fearlessly step out and influence our generation for God and for good. I of course dwelt on the subject of discipleship and mission.
A. WHY DISCIPLESHIP?
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Authority & The Kingdom
First of all, Jesus commissioned His disciples to an urgent and important mission of discipling nations. He starts by declaring how all authority both in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. He then did something unfathomable; He passed that authority on to His disciples and all those who would follow in their footsteps! This predicates two things:
- That the rightful use of Christ’s authority is the making of disciples. In other words, when we use Christ’s authority outside the context of discipleship, we are actually abusing it! If someone came to me and said, “Mosze, all this ten billion shillings has been given to me. Go therefore and look for a great building in Naguru and buy it for us to set up our office”. If the first thing I do is buy a plot in Bulindo, just because I have money, then I’m abusing the authority and trust of the person who gave me the money.
- That the making of disciples is actually the only possible way we are going to see Christ’s Kingdom authority permeate the world. Thus far we’ve tried just about everything except that which Jesus exemplified and commanded; making disciples. It’s slow and messy. So we’d rather have crowds of converts and fans of Jesus (and His leaders), than a handful of disciples who are going to multiply and bring Kingdom influence. We are adding instead of multiplying.
The Vision For The Nations
Secondly, we see that Christ’s vision and scale is the discipling of whole nations, not just individuals in those nations. Yes, we must start with individuals, but just like Abraham’s personal relationship with God became the relationship of a whole nation (Israel) with Him, so must it be with us. Whole nations should be learning after Christ and how to live out the true Life that He has given to those who believe on Him. In other words, Jesus wants to cease to simply be our personal Lord and Savior and become our national Lord and Savior. His vision is for nations, but we have reduced it to fit our methods that cater for only crowds, however big or small those crowds are!
B. HOW DO WE PULL THIS OFF?
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2)
Faithful Men and Women
Let’s say there are two people God is calling, who are going into ministry to create impact. One person starts leading 100 people to Jesus every single day, nonstop for the next thirty years. That will be 36,500 people per year, which will lead to 1,095,000 converts over thirty years. No breaks, no holidays, no weekends, no sickness, no job… just full-time evangelism.
At the same time, another person starts discipling 10 people with a 50% success rate in three years; meaning only five of them will grow start discipling 10 people after three years. They do the same and they too have a 50% success rate. This person is going to focus on only ten people for the rest of their lives and hope that five of them start reaching ten people in three years and that carries on to the next ten and the next ten and the next… This person keeps their job, needs no ministry headquarters or even hectic finances to make this happen. They simply use the resources and relationships they already have. Now, watch the math of multiplication…
Now let me ask you two questions; How old will you be in thirty years? Secondly, how many people reading this are actually able to lead 100 people to the Lord every single day? Let alone ten… ok one! But, how many people reading this can actually commit to ministering to ten people where they live, work or play, consistently for three years until they too are able to try it out for others? Possibly many of you. Moreover we are including the possibility of 50% failure! It is evident that you will reach many more by focusing on a few. That’s what Jesus did and that’s what we must do. As Mike Breen has asserted, building a church does not guarantee that you’ll make disciples. But, making disciples guarantees that the church will grow.
So, you’re wondering how you can have lasting impact in our generation? Be Fearless.
Go. Make. Disciples.
You don’t need permission (Christ Himself already commissioned you). You don’t need a title. You don’t need a theology degree. You don’t need to quit your job. You don’t need a big budget. You don’t need ministry headquarters.
You only need Obedience, the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit, to start where you are.