When 12 spies were sent by Moses to explore Canaan, 10 of them returned with a discouraging report. They saw a land with powerful people and large fortified cities, and strongly discouraged the people from entering the land. Caleb and Joshua saw the same land differently and strongly encouraged the people to go up and take possession of the land. Twelve people had sight but only two had insight.
INSIGHT is a critical quality that characterises great leaders and the decisions they make. It separates leaders from followers and great leaders from ordinary leaders and can be defined as perspective, intuition, vision and discernment. However, insight can be compromised by logic, precedence, fear, legalism and traditions.
Jesus was a person of insight and often saw things that others did not see. The religious leaders of His day sent spies to catch Him out in something He said, but “He saw through their duplicity.” (Luke 20:23) On another occasion we read, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” (Mark 2:5)
Leaders possess INSIGHT which causes them to see……more than others see further than others see before others see and deeper than others see.
Leaders are not defined by their title or qualifications but rather by their ability to influence a group of people to achieve a particular task. To do this they possess a number of qualities, one of these being their insight that causes them to see things that others don’t see.
EXAMPLES OF INSIGHT
1. PERSONAL INSIGHTS
Leaders see :
a.) The Way God Shaped Them
Leaders are readers of themselves and find their calling as they understand their spiritual gifts and personality and what God has put on their heart to do. They see a destiny that has been entrusted to them and also a legacy that will follow after them.
b.) Their Strengths And Weaknesses
They serve in their strengths and recruit to their weaknesses. They understand that insight includes having a correct perception of themselves.
c.) Their Need For Mentors
They identify gifted and qualified people who can help them get to the next level in their leadership journey.
d.) The Cost Involved To Achieve Their Calling
They are not surprised by the price they will need to pay to achieve God’s purposes for their lives. They discipline themselves to prepare for the challenges they know will be ahead of them.
e.) The Seasons Of Life That Come Their Way
They realise “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven….” Ecclesiastes 3:1 Consequently, leaders respond to the seasons of their lives (some unexpected) with timely insight and confident trust in the God who is leading them.
2. GOD INSIGHTS
Leaders see :
a.) What The Father Is Doing And Saying
They don’t establish their own goals, rather like Jesus, they can say, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working……I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself. He can only do what He SEES HIS FATHER DOING……” John 5:17,19
b.) What They Can Achieve With God’s Resources
Leaders are not limited by what they can do with their resources, rather they see what they can achieve with God’s unlimited resources. They know that God’s will done in God’s way will never lack God’s resources.
c.) The Sovereignty Of God
They see God purposefully at work in all the experiences of life, good and bad. (Romans 8:28) Paul didn’t see a prison as a place of captivity, but rather a mission field where “what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” (Philippians 1:12)
d.) The Eternal
“For we fix our eyes not on what is SEEN, but what is UNSEEN. For what is SEEN is temporal, but what is UNSEEN is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
e.) The Kingdom of God
They have a vision of the transformation that God can make in a community when they pray for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done, when they see the new creation that those in Christ can become.
John Maxwell writes, “Leaders have the ability to step back from what is happening at the moment and see not only where they are and their people have gone, but also where they are headed in the future. Leaders see everything with a leadership bias, and as a result they instinctively, almost automatically know what to do.”
We grow in insight as we transition from seeing reality from a human perspective to reality from God’s perspective.
In Part 2 of this article on INSIGHT, I will identify the way that leaders view PEOPLE and view their MINISTRY.