A couple days ago I suggested a leadership paradox leaders face: trust God or trust others? Although both Ezra and Nehemiah were both men who trusted God, each took a different route in a leadership decision.
Similarly, leaders face another paradox. Do I act upon the Spirit’s promptings to make a decision or should I use my brainpower and plan before I make a such a decision?
Scripture seems to indicate that both these paths can be correct.
When Jesus spoke about the cost to follow him he said these words. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? (Luke 14.28)
Yet, Jesus also counseled those who faced persecution with these words, But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matt. 10.19-20)
So, which is it. Do I plan for the future or do I walk into it by simply trusting the Holy Spirit?
I believe we must include both paths to most effectively lead.
Just as God gives each of us unique personalities, I believe he gives each of us a particular bent, or groove we tend to more easily fall into. I tend to over-plan, probably because I have an engineering degree. My wife, on the other hand, tends to receive promptings from the Holy Spirit much more often than I do.
I’ve discovered that being married to someone opposite to me helps me maintain a healthier balance. Every leader should welcome those unlike him or her into the decision making process.