The one thing about leadership that most leaders fail to learn and which explains why so many leaders fail is this...Leadership demands constant sacrifice. Leadership is an ongoing process, not a one-time I made it to the top. The circumstances change from person to person, but the principle doesn't: The true meaning of leadership is sacrifice. 

We are all called to leadership in some capacity. For men, we are called to lead our families and love our wives as God loved the church. For women, you called to lead your house. But how effective are you really? Most men struggle leading their families and the divorce rate proves the lack of loving your wife as God loves the church. Most women strive to be a virtuous woman but like men fall short. So what is it that causes to fail in this area of effective leadership? I think we get so busy pursuing life that we never stop to evaluate what price we are willing to pay to become more effective. I know in my own life I went years pursuing a goal at work and although I desired to have a better family life, my family life suffered because I never stopped to consider that the price for a better family would mean sacrificing time from my work goals. I loved my family, but found myself growing bitter and resentful towards my family because in my mind I was leading...providing for my family by the fruit of my work. 

Like most of you I found myself in a tug-of-war contest between my job and my family. My wife wanted more time, my kids wanted more stuff (because that is what they were used to in replace of my time) and I wanted to be the best provider I could be. And this battle of between family and work caused a lot of heated arguments. You may be in this exact situation in your life. The good news is there is an answer...

A quick look at Moses' life shows how God molded him into an effective leader. Consider how Moses was able to give up so much and make such great sacrifices without growing bitter at God. Yes, without growing bitter at God. God is always the last you grow bitter at. First it's your spouse, then your family, then your employer, then yourself for allowing yourself to get into the situation, which ultimately leads to being bitter at God. What made Moses willing to return to Egypt as God's servant after he had enjoyed the best the country had to offer? His understanding of the law of sacrifice. Moses understood A Leader Must Give Up To Go Up. 

Here is four things about Moses understanding of the Law of Sacrifice. 

1. Moses understood as a leader he was not alone with God. Moses had an opportunity to spend 40 years of his life alone with God  when he was exiled in Midian.  Moses' time of reflection had enhanced his ability to hear and recognize God's voice. So when God appeared to him at the burning bush, he knew it was him. As a leader you have to take some alone time. You will never clearly hear God's voice if you are too busy listening to all the other voices crying for your attention. Don't force God to send you to the desert to get your attention. 

2. Moses was honest with God. By the time Moses met God at the burning bush, no trace of his cockiness remained. He knew his weaknesses and humbled himself before the Lord. It's easy to fall in to the arrogance of leadership...The look at me I am in charge attitude. It's this attitude that drives a wedge in the our ability to lead and creating an impact. Who wants to be follow arrogance? A clear understanding of your weaknesses and being humble is the only you can increase in your leadership. It is impossible to sacrifice without humility. 

3. Moses was hungry for God. God has to be first in our life. You will never effectively lead anybody if you are not first being led yourself. It took Moses four decades in the wilderness to desire knowing God. It is impossible to be self-reliant and hungry for God at the same time. 

4. Moses was broken by God. God does not force his will on anybody. He didn't force his will on Moses and he won't with you. Like Moses God is waiting on your willingness to come to him. Brokenness involves two things. 1) Removing inappropriate pride and self-reliance and 2) building a healthy God-relaince. God taunted Moses's self reliance in the desert, but to create trust God had to break Moses's fears. God is trying to the same thing with you. 

You may be feeling like your in wilderness right now and it may be that God is trying to break of you fear. 

-Fears concerning Yourself. Doubting your value. 
-Fears concerning God. Fearing who God might be.
-Fears concerning Others. Fearing how others will respond to you. 
-Fears concerning Ability. Doubting yourself. 

It wasn't until Moses willfulness was broken, his fears overcome, and his purpose reaffirmed that Moses finally placed himself in the hands of God. Moses learned that life is filled with trade-offs - but you can trade up only if you have some to sacrifice.  If you desire to lead your family better... if you desire to lead yourself better...if you hope to find and fulfill the purpose for which God created you, then you must have to give.

What do you focus on in your marriage? Your rights or your responsibilities? So many of us find ourselves focusing on our rights. It's all about what we want, what we disire and expect from our spouse.  Our unmet expectations is often the source of our greatest conflicts. My wife isn't living up to what I expected of her.... my husband has let me often I hear statmentst like these from couples whose marriages aren't living up to what they each expected it would. How about you? Is your marriage living up to what you dreamed. Is it meeting all your expectations? Notice how questions like these cause us to think and spotlight our desires and not those of Jesus.

Here's a question... is your marriage living up to what Jesus wants? The fact that there is next to no difference in the divorce rate of "Christians" and "non-Christians" is appalling! So why is this the case? Because our marriages don't reflect the compassion of Christ...instead they embody the conflict of Satan. Marraige quickly becomes all about me and less about what the other person wants. We are quick to anger and slow to forgive and forget...and it's because we lack the compassion and humility of Christ.

Here are some thoughts from Philippians 2:1-11

1. How do you encourage each other in the marriage? Show me a man that is encouraged by his wife who thinks he can do anything, and I will show you man that can conquer the world. On the flip side, show me a woman who is not lifted up by her husband, and I will show you a woman who is defeated. Christ has got to be the center of your encouragement in your marriage for your marriage to make it. PERIOD!

2. How do you fellowship with one another? Are you spending more time away from your wife and talking about your wife to your friends than you are her? Women, are you spending more time at your prayer group talking to them about your husband instead of talking to him? Men, what have you placed as priority in front of your wife? Women, are you children top priority over your husband? Just because you may be a mother doesn't mean you stop being a wife. God first, Husband & Marriage second, Kids many marriages are destroyed because of the priority of the kids have become first...Let me just ask this you really want your kids to grow up in a broken marriage so they can learn from your example? Is that the priority you want for your children? If your marriage is going to make it you have to fellowship with one another. Jesus own words...where two or more are gathered in my name I am THERE...

3. How much compassion do you show? The real question is how forgiving are you...or do you hold your spouses mistakes over their head? Do you create an expectation of your spouse that they can't never live up to and thats why it seems they are always letting you down? Here is a reality check. If you were to stand next to Jesus would you be mistaken for his twin? NOT AT ALL!!! You are not that great! Humility creates compassion. Remembering how you have been forgiven causes humility. If you marriage is going to make it you need to have the compassion and the forgiveness of Christ as your focus.

4. Are you seeking your ambitions or your spouses? At the end of the day most marriages look like person has given up his or her dream for the other person. They put their ambitions on the back bunner, and here's the reality...most people will hold resentment as a result. Men... 9 times out of 10, your spouse is not that interested in watching you do something like fishing or playing video games. She may say with a smile on her face she is...but she is BORED out of her mind. don't want to want to do the dishes. When both spouses are seeking each others ambitions its amazing how those ambitions seem to open up to Jesus. Your spouse is your help mate and you have a purpose that Jesus has set before you. Always remember that.