What to Do… When You Don’t Know What to Do

Recently, Steve Robinson joined Trent Dunham on the Decisions podcast and shared leadership insight we hope will empower and encourage you in times of crisis.

As a leader, you will inevitably be confronted with uncertainty.

There are times when a crisis hits, and with it comes a realization that things are never going to be the same. You’re in a moment of intensifying pressure and you just want to go back to what is familiar. You want to go back to where you felt safe.

But in every crisis lies an opportunity.

Take for example the nation of Israel after having escaped bondage in Egypt. They were trying to navigate how to move forward while wondering if they should just turn back. It was a crisis moment!

And in that passage out of Exodus 14, we find four things God spoke to Moses. We can use this direction as a decision-making grid for leaders:

  1. Fear not!

Fear is natural. There’s a reason why we read the phrase ‘Fear not’ 366 times in the Bible!

We have to remember that we’re not just living in the natural realm – Moses was in the midst of a spiritual battle. The enemy of our souls wants to take advantage of these moments of crisis. He wants to exploit us, paralyze the mission, and get us overly preoccupied with ‘what ifs.

So how do we practically do this?

As for pastors and leaders, the issue is not getting bad news. It’s whether or not that bad news captures your attention and affection. If you meditate on it, you will be paralyzed. There is a preoccupation that comes with unhealthy fear and it can easily become an obsession.

At that point, the fear is controlling your decisions and you are no longer relying on God. So if you’re wrapped around the axle of fear from a specific issue, relationship, or challenge, take it to God. Then ask for the discernment to walk in faith through it.

2. Stand still.

According to God’s Word, ‘standing still’ is not passively resigning yourself to your circumstances. It’s actively standing in a posture of faith, holding to the promises of God.

There’s a famous poster of a football player named Mike Singletary. It’s a close-up of his face as he waits on the line and he knows that at any minute the quarterback is going to say, “Hike!” And when he does, Mike is going to make a beeline to whatever his assignment is in that moment. You can see the whites of his eyes because he is so incredibly focused.

In the same way, as a leader, part of not getting washed out to sea with your problem is that you have to stand active, waiting for a door to open. You’re waiting for the guard and the tackle to split so you can fill that hole. There is anticipation and an expectation.

3. Hold your peace.

Today, people are more agitated and hyper-vigilant than ever. Holding your peace is simply knowing that God is fighting your battles for you. It’s recognizing that the sovereignty of God is in control of your life. It’s holding fast to God’s Word and memorizing it. This preparation leads to spiritual maturity and that gives us a sense of peace in those moments of crisis.

When God opens a door for you in the midst of a crisis, are you composed in a way that is communicating peace to the people around you?

4. Go forward!

The Bible never gives us an exit strategy to go back to where we came from. The children of Israel could not turn back because there was nothing for them there. So we conquer the fear aspect through the power of Christ because we know that God is fighting for us. We can’t do it on our own.

Before the sea parted, the children of Israel stepped forward. That’s so important! We often think we have to wait for all the stars to align in order to move forward. But the truth is sometimes you just have to do it afraid.

Fear not, stand still, and hold your peace. Then, go for it.

Take some time from a leadership perspective to do a self-evaluation when it comes to these four steps. Is there a situation in which you are living out of fear and not out of the confidence you have from God?

Don’t look at your circumstances, instead, look to God. And if He tells you to step up, do it in faith. As you do, you’ll be like the man with the withered hand in Mark 2. As he stretched out his arm, it became whole.

It’s God’s initiation… and our participation.

For more leadership insight into what to do when you don’t know what to do, check out the Decisions podcast episode, How to Pivot in Crisis with Pastor Steve Robinson.

+ More Insights from Dunham+Company: “Knowing Who You Are = Knowing What to Do

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