Author Archives: Brandon

Developed or Discovered?

I work with leaders from the age 13-60.  Many of them want positions of authority.  Some have had a lot of leadership experience and some none at all.  The most successful leaders are not the ones that are fighting for position but those who are quick to learn and ask a lot of questions.  They are concerned with being developed.

I am 31 years old this year.  I am reviewing my 20’s and I would do a lot different.  There were times when I tried to prove myself so I would be discovered as a great leader.  Those times were always full of conflict and insecurity.  Then there were times when I was all about being developed, not striving or proving anything.  I recognized my need for growth huge in this time.  I found mentors and leaders who could help me.  I did what they said whether it made sense or not.  I grew a ton! Also, leadership opportunity came my way. 

Jesus was God’s son and Jesus was about 30 when He started his ministry.  Why not 18 after all he is God in flesh.  Joseph was 30 when He was promoted 2nd in command of Egypt, before that he was a slave in Potiphar’s house and a prisoner in a political prison. David was about 30 when He was finally given the role of King of Israel.  All of them had been given a dream years before that. God waited until they were developed before they were given position. 

Can you imaging being Jesus at 25.  You know who you are and the mission you have been called to and you have to wait.  From age 12 – 30 we have one verse.

Luke 2:52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.

Weird thought isn’t it. Jesus had to grow in wisdom and favor with God.  Jesus needed developed.  Even at 30 he is saying my time hasn’t come.  Can you imagine Mary?  She has a virgin birth, and I am sure everyone believes the engaged pregnant woman saying she has not had sex.  She wants her son discovered for who He is. 

Joseph has a vision of greatness. He tell his family who you would hope supports his dreams, and he gets sold into slavery by his brothers.  If Joseph is to one day lead an Egyptian amy being in the caption of the guards house, in charge of everything in the house.  Maybe God is up to something.  If farmer boy is going to be 2nd in command of the greatest nation on earth, learning politics in a political prison doesn’t seem that far out.  As a prisoner, Joseph is put in charge of the prison. Slavery and a prisoner would not his first choice, but he was developed into who God wanted him to be. 

You might feel stuck in obscurity and that you have not been discovered yet in the dream that God has for you, but God has a tendency to test his people in the place of obscurity to see if they will be humble and be developed or just whine about their circumstances.  God has GREAT THING planned for you life, but He wants you focused on being developed so He can trust you being discovered.  Who is further in the journey that you need to have mentor you?  What job do you have you need to do your very best in?

Recklessly obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Burn the Boats

In 1519, Hernando Cortez convinced 500 soldiers and 100 sailers to go fight for the largest treasure in the world.  This treasure had been fought over for 600 years and no one was able to overcome the natives.  Hernando talked to the men about their lives after they would have the treasure, but he knew that would not be enough.  The natives were great fighters fighting for their homes and lifestyles and his men were fighting for money.  He knew he needed to motivate his men.  So when they arrive on the shores of the Yucatan Penin­sula, he says something crazy… “Burn the boats.”  They arrived on 11 boats that were not burning off the shore.  “If we go home, it will be on their boats.”  Talk about a new motivation for success.

That is what in must have felt for Elisha when Elijah the famous outlawed prophet show up to Elisha’s every day scene of oxen butts.  He was a farmer plowing a yoke of oxen and he was 12th in line.  Dust, dung and oxen buts was a daily scene.  However it is safe and predictable.  One day he might work his way up to the lead plower.  Elijah shows up and throws his mantle on Elisha’s shoulders and just walks away.  This is Elisha’s invitation to something more than oxen butts and into the adventure he was made for.  Elisha has an option safe, comfortable, predictable oxen butts or join the outlaw prophet.  That is where the story gets crazy…

1 Kings 19:21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.

Elisha killed the tools of his old life so there was nothing to come home to.  The finality of this statement is why we know his name today. I believe many of us are stuck in the mundane of everyday life and God gives us an opportunity we get that same choice… safe, comfortable, and predictable or take the risk and believe God at His word.  I think it is easy to find our lives living in regret of what could have been.  I never hear people regret trusting God and living by faith, I often meet people who look back and knew there was something more.  

What about you?  What plow do you need to burn?  What is that step of faith do you need to take?  Where are you playing it safe?  What if today is your moment?  What if you give until it hurts?  What if you start the business?  What if you kill the back up plan?  What if God showed up in your obedience?  Burn the ships, burn the boat, and don’t go back.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

The Battle

2 Samuel 23:9 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled.

If you were in the battle of your life and everyone else has abandoned you, who would stay with you?  How did David lead Eleazar that would cause him to fight as two against a whole army?  How did David care in such a way that Eleazar would rather die himself than watch his leader, his friend die and he live?  The depth of David’s character and leadership I feel is so underrated.  David did not have some angelic experience or burning bush promising victory, he just refused to retreat.  There is no guaranteed outcome just two men of war who refuse to retreat.  I could be seen as arrogant or wasteful for a king to risk his life for a single battle.  

Where do you feel alone in your battle?  Where do you feel the odds are stacked against you?  What seems to keep sucking your attention and you have so many other things to focus on?  Where do you feel alone in the battle?

If you are David or Eleazar, it would be easy to think God has abandoned you for the circumstances you find yourself in.  Or at least that is how normal people think.  The battle with horrible odds of success and more against him that for him…  What if the battle, trial, or pain was actually God’s set up?  Set up to fail maybe, 2 against an army sounds like a fairly tale or a bad story with a worse ending…

1 Samuel 23:10 He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day.

Wouldn’t we all like a great story like this to tell our friends and family?  We face incredible odds with no chance of success and we worked so hard that we could not stand any longer and we overcame!  We all like those stories but we do not like that set up.  For a great victory we have to first have a great battle.  We do not like the battle.  They are messy, they hurt, there are casualties.  So again what battle are you facing?  Are you trying to pray it away like God doesn’t want it there?  What if God has allowed this great battle to be your great set up for a great story of overcoming?  No one gives David and Eleazar the credit for the battle, of course it is the Lord who gave them victory.  How often did God set up what seems to be an easy loss to actually be a win?  Why not you? Why not now?

The God who led you TO it will now lead you THROUGH IT! His character can be trusted and promises are true! Run to the battle and fight until you cannot hold up your sword

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

I want to QUIT!!

Have you ever just wanted to quit?  Have you ever felt like you and maybe one other person were fighting for something good and everyone else just bailed on you?  It is easy to feel alone in a battle and sometimes we are.  I think it is in these moments that reveal our character. My senior year high school I wanted to quit football.  I was not being treated fairly or kindly.  I had coaches and players who made it clear they did not want me there.  All that was in me wanted to quit. I would come home with tears in my eyes so frustrated.  When I was a kid, my parents would tell me “Sereg’s do not quit!”  So I resolved in my heart early, if I start something I will finish it.  The decision of not quitting my senior year was made years before when I decided to stay on the team.  The depth of my character was built as a kid and revealed as a senior.  One of the coolest scriptures in my opinion is…

2 Samuel 23:9 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. 10 He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder!

Can you imagine being Eleazar?  Your fellow army retreats but your king stays to fight.  You have a choice… run and live or fight with your king.  Eleazar made his a long time before the heat of the battle.  He would never allow his king to fight alone.  So he chose what had to feel like death.  Statistics and odds are only valid unless the God of your king is THE GOD.  Then two men can take on an army all alone.  Could you imagine fighting until you were too tired to pick up your sword?  Quit was not in this man or his king.

What about you?  Where do you want to quit?  Job, school, relationship, a dream, or yourself?  It could be any number of things.  But anything worth having always comes with a battle and at times it can feel we fight alone.  Often we feel tired of fighting.  That is not the moment that builds character but will reveal it.  You decide now before the heat is on whether you quit or keep going.  You decide your level of too tired.  You decide whether you will fight with someone even when it hurts.

NO BATTLE… NO VICTORY…

The army did eventually show back up when it was all over to get all the reward.  Could you imagine David and Eleazar watching the deserted army show back up for the reward?  Could you imagine Jesus watching us receive our reward?  So decide today… Now… What is the depth of your character the depth of your fight?

Recklessly, Obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Have you ever been promised something from someone you looked up to only to have them forget or go back on what they said?  Did your parents ever promise you ice cream if you behaved well only to later say you do not have time? Have you ever had a boss promise to talk about a raise or say they will give one only to never bring it up again?  All of these are so frustrating.

When David kills Goliath he is promised the King’s daughter as a bride.  After the battle, David is made commander in chief running the whole Israelite army.  He wins every battle he is in and is more successful than any of the generals.  Israel makes a song… Saul kills by the thousands and David by the tens of thousands.  If you were king how would you feel about David… One word… Jealous!!! Saul gets jealous of David and marries his daughter (promised to David) to another man.  Not only that decides he wants David dead so he throws a spear at David to kill him but misses.  Saul demotes David from leading the whole army to just a 1,000 men.  Israel loves him even more.  Saul now hates David even more so he devises a plan to kill David.  Tell David he can marry the younger daughter Michal and for a brideprice to kill 100 Philistines and cut off their foreskins.  David has already killed Goliath and led Israel to victory but to ask David to go into enemy territory and kill 100 men. Not to mention David could easily say this is unfair, I already risked my life as a brideprice.  David answers different.

1 Samuel 18:26 David was delighted to accept the offer. Before the time limit expired, 27 he and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines. Then David fulfilled the king’s requirement by presenting all their foreskins to him.

I am not sure delighted would be the word use to describe our feelings in David’s situation.  Maybe you are more redeemed than me, but I would feel cheated and taken advantage of.  David responded different than reason would tell us, and because David was different he was able to make a difference.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and how much his daughter Michal loved him, 29 Saul became even more afraid of him, and he remained David’s enemy for the rest of his life.

30 Every time the commanders of the Philistines attacked, David was more successful against them than all the rest of Saul’s officers. So David’s name became very famous.

We all like the words like the Lord was with David, successful, famous but do we like delighting in unfair treatment and being a kings enemy for the rest of his life?  In order to make a difference we have to be different.  How do you respond to unfair treatment or unmet promises?  How do you need to respond different in order to make a difference?

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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