Articles of Faith: Leading through Challenges

Elijah talking to God

This post is part of our Sunday Series titled “Articles of Faith.”
We investigate leadership lessons from the Bible.
See the whole series here. Published only on Sundays.

We all face challenges on our path to achieving our goals. 

  • But what do we do when we face challenges from specific people?
  • Do we run from it, hide from it, or just bury our head in the sand and ignore it?
  • Do we still do this even though we have been destined to succeed?

Fleeing from Adversity

A great illustration of this is the prophet Elijah.

  1. Elijah performed many miracles in the name of God in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  He stayed loyal to God even though other people had begun to worship the false idol Baal.  However, during his greatest test, he failed.  When Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah, he fled for his life.

Not only did he run, but he hid from God in a cave on Mount Horeb (I Kings 19.)  Elijah was experiencing a moment of loneliness and despair.  Even though his name means “The Lord My God”, he felt alone and hid his face from God.

It is common for us to have fear. Fear is a natural reaction to significant or unexpected challenges when they arise.

It is also common for a leader to feel threatened by others, especially when they have been successful.

Someone Always Has Your Back

But, true to his greatness, God proved that he is always there for us.

But God did question Elijah…

“What are you doing here?”

When you reach this moment of despair and helplessness, ask yourself this same question.  We don’t belong in this situation.  We have been anointed by God and already proclaimed victory over our situation and circumstances.

It is during this time, God will show his greatness to us.  It is not through a significant event (moving mountains, earthquakes, etc.)  Only a gentle whisper was the indication of his awesomeness.

During this time is when we need to be the most quiet and still.

Just as it is important to lead vocally, it is equally important to know when to sit in silence and just listen.

There will be people in our life that have always given us sound advice, but we may have chosen to ignore them.  It’s the message that they may have for us during this time that may uplift us out of this situation.

Humble Servants Listen

God told Elijah to go back and perform specific tasks.  At this moment, Elijah showed his true leadership quality…he listened.  Because he listened to God, he not only performed more great miracles, he also developed another leader who would eventually take his place (Elisha.)

Through his humbleness, he once again became great and ascended to Heaven.

Maintaining humility during this time will make sure that people are willing to help. As stated before, listening to a few wise words may be the key to pulling you through to victory.

The Leader’s Reaction

Being a leader is not easy.  The bible says that people and principalities will rise up against you.  However, when this occurs, we must remember the following points:

1) Stop: 

Our first reaction is to react.  But the most important reaction may be to just stop.  Reacting without thought may be more harmful to the situation.

2) Listen:  

Take a moment to go into a quiet place and listen to God.  God is always there for us.  He leads us through walking with us, or, carrying us.

3) Move:  

Now do what God has called us to do.  Don’t just sit there listening. God has giving us direction so now move on and keep leading according to his word.

How did you handle challenges from other people?  How did you keep control of your team and objectives?  What was the reaction of the challenger?


Chadwick Taylor is CEO of KONKERER Leadership
He develops servant leaders through individual development and workshops

Email Website LinkedIn Facebook Twitter | (313) 617-2474

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  1. Give Me Your Last Meal | YOU DECIDE on July 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    […] Articles of Faith: Leading through Challenges ( […]

  2. Chadwick Taylor on July 31, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks for the reference. Very good article.

  3. […] Articles of Faith: Leading through Challenges ( […]