RETURN TO COURAGE

by Ryan Berman – Leadership Now
 
COURAGE is what gets you from here to there. But it’s not courage or risk. It’s courage and risk. They work together. “Those who are risk-averse are inadvertently courage-adverse,” says Ryan Berman author of Return on Courage.

It is a balancing act. “If courage is the accelerator, then risk is the brake pedal. You need them both to drive a car, but you can’t press them at the same time or the car won’t work.” So how hard should you hit the gas? How important is it that you change?

Why courage? Why now?

Because companies are perishing at an alarming rate. Fifty-two percent of Fortune 500 companies from the year 2000 are now extinct. This is due primarily because the market has changed and we are afraid to do what we need to do to change with it. Qualcomm’s Roger Martin told Berman, “Everybody who’s involved in trying to resurrect what existed before, those people die…. You have to stop doing the thing that right now is making you a ton of money. You have to start shifting, and that puts the current income at risk.” And that takes courage — a lot of it.

What is Courage?

Berman defines courage as acquiring knowledge, building faith, and taking action. All three elements have to be present for there to be courage. Knowledge and faith without action is paralysis. Having faith and taking action without proper knowledge is reckless. Acquiring knowledge and then taking action is just not enough; it’s playing it safe.

Courage is a daily decision that anyone can develop more of. It’s not a reckless action done without thinking because courage should always begin with knowledge.

Central Courage System

What we need is a Central Courage System. “The Central Courage System is a process that your team can repeatedly turn to for guidance. Once it has been established and implemented, you can lead with your system’s values, purpose, and point of view. The Central Courage System teaches us how to make bold, swift decisions.”

The Central Courage System is represented by the acronym P.R.I.C.E.: Prioritize through Values, Rally Believers, Identify Fears, COmmit to a Purpose, Execute your Action.

Return On Courage

Prioritize Through Values

Determine and then prioritize the values that matter most to you and your organization. And then by living these values, they become your organization’s “best friend, something your team can rely on during every decision and offering regarding your business.” Courageous decisions are easier when you have prioritized your values.

Rally Believers

The job of leaders is to create believers. “To do this, you must surround yourself with others who rightfully buy in to the values, purpose, offerings, and people of the organization.” Respecting your team, positive reinforcement, repeating and living your message helps to build believers.

Identify Fears

“Fear chokes us up and holds us back. Fear shackles us to the status quo where we feel secure and convinces us to avoid controversial action and hard conversations. Fear fuels paralysis and empowers unwanted procrastination.” So we have to address our fears head on—our industry fears, product fears, service fears, perception fears, and our personal fears. Author Brian Krans wrote, “Fear is the thief of dreams.”

Commit to a Purpose

Your purpose is your reason for existing. “To pick a purpose is to make a choice. What is your brand willing to commit to or sacrifice to make sure your purpose succeeds?” A worthy purpose must be truthful, purposeful (Not a call to action, but a call for action), emotional, and differential.

Execute Your Action

Without taking action, you, of course, go nowhere. When executing, you are either executing on a new offering or a new message. Either way, your mission “is to give people just enough information on your product or idea that they will persuade themselves.”

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THE PRICE

By Ronnie Loyd

Will you pay the price? Who will be that man? Who will be that woman? Will it be you? Will it be me? How will we know if God has put His divine hand on us to be part of this massive outpouring of His Spirit in our time? Again, I say the only way I know that we’ll be quiet and attentive enough to hear God’s voice is through the godly disciplines of fasting and prayer. Only when we experience the depth of God and His love will we be able to rise to the newness of life.  But it will be necessary to pay the price, just as we will always pay a price for something that is lasting and worthwhile. Paying the price will cost us some conveniences.

To fast means to deny ourselves what is common, normal, and necessary-food-for a period of time so that our minds will become sharp, our hearts softened, and our spirits receptive to what God has to say to us. The price is great but worth it. Why? God promises to fill the void that the absence of food creates; He will pour out His blessings and satisfy us in a way that food neither can or will.  Without this intentional, heightened spiritual focus that comes from humbling ourselves in God’s presence, we will be doomed to face the future timidly, defensively, without prayer, and without serious motivation. But when we have been in the presence of the Almighty God and have taken our directions from His heart, we will have the wherewithal, the strength, the desire, the courage, and the confidence to face the future boldly, without fear, and without compromise.


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HOLINESS IN ACTION

ToBy Ronnie Floyd

A missionary in India was once teaching the Bible to a group of Hindu ladies. Halfway through the lesson, one of the ladies got up and walked out. A short time later she came back and listened more intently than ever.

At the close of the hour, the leader inquired, “Why did you leave the meeting? Weren’t you interested?” “Oh yes,” The Hindu lady replied. “I was so impressed with what you had to say about Christ that I went out to ask your carriage driver whether you really lived the way you talked. When he said you did, I hurried back so I wouldn’t miss out on anything.”

So my question to you and to me are these from an unknown poet:  What would He find, should He come just now? A faded leaf or a fruitfulness bough; A servant sleeping, and idle plow; What would He find should He come just now? What would He find should He come tonight? Our garments soiled or spotless white; Our lamps all burning or with no light; What would He find should He come tonight?

The privilege of living in the presence of God is open to every believer. Yet many of us settle for remaining outside of the Holy of Holies, satisfied to grow weary and old in the outer courts of the tabernacle. What prevents us from entering this gateway where power and breakthroughs are occurring? It’s not the character, nature, or actions of God, but the darkened veil of our own self-worship, a self-life that has not been carried to the foot of the cross.

When we pray and fast, our lives become positioned to encounter the holy God.  When we encounter Him, the veils are lifted and the liberty begins. Breakthroughs occur because of God’s power moving in our lives. That is holiness in action.


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HOLINESS LEADS TO INTIMACY

By Ronnie Floyd

When we begin to experience the holy presence of God that comes through fasting and prayer, intimacy begins like nothing we have ever experienced before. Intimacy with God is a lifestyle. If it is to do its work, it must change us from within and cause us to review and alter our behavior in the heat and torment of our days.

Intimacy with God changed Moses on Mount Sinai when he prepared to give God’s Commandments to His people.  Intimacy becomes a reality when you and I say, “That’s me, Lord,” to the question posed by the singer of the Psalm: “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessings from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior.” (Ps. 24:3-5) Intimacy with the Creator means baring our hearts to the Farther, allowing Him to see if there be any wickedness in us. And how quickly the verdict will read. But it will be read with love, with encouragement, and a prodding for us to return to our families, our work, our schools, and our churches as different people because we’ve been in the presence of God.

Intimacy with God begins with periods of long quiet listening, only later to become a conversation where we ask Him, in His timing, to repair the terrible breaches in our relationships, to reveal our improper motives, to bring healing to our lives, to remove our spiteful spirits, to help us speak words of kindness, and to learn to express unutterable joy for the flash of flame that now blazes in our hearts from having been in His presence.

Prayer and fasting move us into moments of self-examination spiritually, resulting in encountering our holy God personally. When we will begin to see lifestyle change occur in us due to this, we move to the kind of spiritual breakthroughs where intimacy with God occurs. Please know, standing in awe of the holiness of God will lead to an intimacy with God so special that your passion becomes living in obedience to God.

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“I MYSELF WILL HELP YOU,” DECLARES THE LORD

Isaiah 41:1-20

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I myself will help you.” Imagine Him saying, directly to you, “It is but a small thing for me, your God, to help you. Consider what I have already done. What? Not help you? Why, I bought you with my blood. What? Not help you? I have died for you-and if I have done the larger thing, won’t I do the smaller? Help you? That is the least I will ever do for you; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began, I chose you. I made my covenant for you. I laid aside my glory and became a man for you; I gave up my life for you. And if I did all this, I will surely help you now. 

In helping you, I am giving you what I have already bought for you. If you had need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it; you need little compared to what I am ready to give. It’s much for you to need, but nothing for me to bestow. Help you?  Don’t be afraid! If there were and ant at the door of your barn asking for help, it would not ruin you to give him a handful of your wheat – and you are nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all – sufficiency. I will help you.”

Oh, my soul is this not enough? Do you need more strength than the omnipotent one?  Do you want more wisdom than the Father possesses, more love than He is able to display, or more power than His spirit gives? Bring your empty pitcher here! Surely this well will fill it. Hurry! Gather up your shortcomings, and bring them here – your emptiness, your afflictions, your needs. This river of God is full for your supply; what else can you desire?

My soul go out in this strength for the eternal God is your helper!


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