How Leaders Know When to "Be Still"

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Last night I was reminded of a powerful leadership truth as I read the story of one of the great leaders in the bible.

The timing of this reminder couldn’t have been better.

I was reading the account in Exodus where the Israelites were trapped at the Red Sea, with the armies of Pharaoh thundering toward them. In the midst of the people’s panic, Moses stood before them and delivered this timeless leadership truth:

scott and amy“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Ex 14:14)

Every Kingdom-building leader knows this to be true, at some level. The key is knowing when to embrace it.

That moment arrived for me earlier in the day as I spoke with my daughter Amy via Skype.

Amy is spending a year with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in Townsville, Australia, which was directly in the path of Cyclone Yasi. This category 5 storm was packing winds of 300 kilometres per hour, described by Queensland’s Premier Anna Bligh as bringing  “…scenes of devastation and heartbreak on an unprecedented scale. This cyclone is like nothing else we’ve dealt with before as a nation.”

As a father there was nothing more I wanted to do than to somehow ensure my daughter’s safety. But there was nothing I could do, other than to commit her to God’s care.

I needed to embrace this leadership truth. “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

I’ve learned there are three indicators that it’s time to let the Lord do the fighting:

  • When the situation seems hopeless.
  • When your resources seem useless.
  • When your leadership seems powerless.

Allowing God to fight for you while you, as a leader, are “still” before him is not the same as giving up, throwing in the towel, or passively succumbing to overwhelming circumstances.

Indeed, being still before God is an active leadership stance, and can be your most potent strategic weapon.

How do you know when it’s time to “be still”?

the author

Scott Cochrane


  1. Love it Dad, this gave me goosebumps as I read it! I am also in the middle of reading Exodus right now.. so good, teaching me SO MUCH!

    Thanks for all your prayers over there in Kelowna. We’re all okay over here in Townsville, Australia and there has been no record of any deaths through Cyclone Yasi. WOOOOO!!

    Love You

  2. Amy, we’re praising God that he saw you through this ordeal, and indeed that the entire area was spared loss of life. Incredible! I can’t wait to see how God uses this experience in your life to impact others. Love you!

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