To lead your generation, you must be willing to take on what everybody else is running away from.
And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. (1 Samuel 17:48-49 KJV)
For days Goliath rant against the armies of Israel, there were veteran soldiers in their ranks, Saul was a warrior in his own right, but none of them could take on the challenge posed by Goliath. None was willing to take on the philistine! That was until a rookie step into the scene. And so, enter David. It was a big challenge, but he had conquered similar foes in the past, drawing on the strength of his experience which were borne on total dependence on God, he face Goliath with confidence and came up trumps!
This singular act change David status and gave him the lead over his generation! The narratives soon changed:
"And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousand. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, they have ascribed unto David ten thousand, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? (1 Samuel 18:7-8 KJV)
Indeed, Saul was right from that moment on David became the leader of Israel. Saul had the position of the king, but it was David that had the influence of leadership! Suddenly every young man wants to be like David, even Saul son, Jonathan, would not let David go, he entered a covenant with him.
‘And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.’ (1 Samuel 14:45)
What you are willing to take on that others are running away from is what gives you the lead over your generation!
Leaders takes on more responsibility
Leaders takes on more sacrifice
Leaders take on more challenges
Leaders takes on more problem
Leading your generation means you are willing to take on what they are running away from. It means you are willing to take on more sacrifice, go beyond the average and expected.
Nelson Mandela took on apartheid in South Africa
Martin Luther King took on racial discrimination and injustice
Jesus took on sin. ‘He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.’ (1 John 3:8)
Everyone who led his or her generation in one capacity or the other were willing to bear more sacrifices, problem and responsibility for their generation, sometimes to the point of laying down their lives. This was the path Jesus took, He laid down his life for the cause he was called to.
‘Therefore, doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (John 10:17-18)
How did the least apostle become the lead apostle? 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 tells us how Paul 'labored more than them all'. Yes, he enjoyed spiritual favor but all came on the platform of spiritual labor. His success and leadership all came on the platform of the sacrifice he was willing to make. At one point he said, ’I count all but dung for the knowledge of Christ'. He was beyond his peers. Even the foundation Apostle Peter confessed that there are some things Paul teaches that 'are hard to understand. He was beyond his generation!
To lead a generation, you must be beyond it. To be beyond your generation you must be willing to take on more sacrifice responsibility and challenges. What you are willing to take on that others are running away from is what singles you out from others!