A Time of War


As leaders, we’ve been told that we need to remove ourselves from the minutiae of the details and position ourselves at 30,000 feet, to gain a better vantage point from which to look at the world around us. The thinking is that flying any lower doesn’t provide the bird’s-eye view we need to see things clearly.

I’d like to propose something different. No, I’m not suggesting that we should lose altitude. As a matter of fact, I want you to consider that maybe you are not flying high enough.

You see, the higher you fly, the farther you can see and the more context you get. Sure, you might lose sight of certain details, but the understanding of the bigger context that you gain may outweigh the loss that you’ll experience.

I have come to believe that God is calling us even higher as leaders, to gain visibility on things we couldn’t see before, to provide us with context crucial to understand how to position ourselves in our generation.

In Isaiah 46:9-10 God declares something that provides us with insight to gain the ultimate bird’s-eye perspective we need to lead effectively:

I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”

As church leaders, we tend to believe that we as a generation are the center of the universe, that both the past and future revolve around us as the epicenter. The world revolves around us!

But this is actually far from the truth. When God declared “the end from the beginning” and “what is still to come,” He wasn’t just thinking about us.

God doesn’t limit Himself to an isolated segment in time, a generation. Rather, He looks at human history as a whole. In His view, our generation is merely a link in a chain of events that pushes creation to the end.

You see, there are things that are “still to come” for each generation to do. It’s each generation’s purpose to manifest new things that will bring us closer to the end. It’s our responsibility as leaders to recognize what those things are and to lead our generation to manifest them in the context of who we are in history. The word that has been declared from the beginning pushes creation forward consistently, as an invisible force, into new things that are not yet done. God’s spoken word pushes creation forward all the time into new things.

We can’t escape it. We must yield to it as leaders! And so what we will leave behind must be different from what we inherited.

The only way to see who we are supposed to be is to fly higher—not to just see what we are to accomplish in our lifetime, but more importantly, who we are in history and what role we ought to play in our part in manifesting the things declared from the beginning.

Gaining a higher altitude will inevitably provide us with a perspective that will show us both the need as well as a road map to innovate and reform in our lifetime, rather than to simply maintain (and many times strengthen) the status quo. Our only option is to innovate and ignite a reformation that causes us to advance.

Once you come to peace with the fact that innovation is our only option, you’ll start seeing the concept throughout the Bible over and over again.