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Why Must I Stay Within My Garden?
Why Must I Stay Within My Garden? is read 318 times on CentreNDL.org   318

Why Must I Stay Within My Garden?

The Dangers of Encroaching Into The Leadership Garden of Your Neighbour

Published: Saturday 2nd February 2019

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to this week's edition of leaderview. I hope your week has been great? Last week was a great time together with God as we were exposed to certain things about leadership from the life of a man in the book of Genesis that is called Lot. In fact, last week, I got a comment from one of the people that listened to the message and the person said she never knew that there was something good that one could learn from lot. I am sure you also have your own thoughts about last week's message, it was a blessing I believe. It was a blessing to the person that contacted me and spoke with me, I believe it was a blessing to you.

Today I believe God has given us a word again something that will inspire and build us up as leaders, and make us better and effective leaders. Today we would be looking at what has been titled: "The Dangers of Encroaching Into Your Neighbour's Leadership Garden."



Let us go straight into the book of Genesis. I am sure you remember that we have been looking at the book of Genesis for weeks now, for months if I would says and perhaps, almost a year. I believe the Lord has a great plan for us in this book of Genesis. He has been teaching us quite a lot of things. Today we will be considering something from the book of Genesis chapter twenty, which we tag "The Dangers of Encroaching Into Your Neighbour's Leadership Garden." I don't want to make mistake on that. So, let us go into Genesis 20, and the reading will start from verse 1.

"And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar. 2 Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”

You know, other words that can be used for that taken is 'a woman whom you have snatched', 'a woman whom you have encroached into' for she is your neighbour's wife. She is a man's wife and because you have done that, either with good intentions or bad intentions; you are indeed a dead man. And so, let us continue from verse 4.

4 But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the [b]integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6 And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. 

This is the defining moment. Now, you have done certain things in the past, this is what you must do now. If there must be a change in your experience as a leader, If there must be a change in the performance of your leadership in that organisation or that family, this is now something you must do. It is like a word, perhaps sent to you and to me at such a time as this. In the innocence and integrity of your heart you have done certain things which were not necessarily correct. They have been steps into other people's territories and domains, steps into other people's gardens. You have taken those steps in the innocence of your heart and out of your passion and desire to live for something worthwhile. You have gone into things that were not necessarily appropriated to you by God and allotted to you. You have gone into activities that God did not call you into, started some lines of businesses that God did not even command you, created certain organizations that God did not command you, in fact, a new idea just came, but necessarily from God. It was something you saw somebody doing, which you decided to start doing.

Now all these you have been doing in the innocence and integrity of your heart. Perhaps they have been the reason for your recent downfall, retrogression or low in performance. Now, if there must be a change to that, in your organization, in your leadership, there is something you must do. And I want you to listen to what God told that King of Gerar, Abimelech, for a change. He has been going through a situation, and God appeared to him in a dream and said to him what has happened. However, if the situation in your organization, in your nation must change, if things must turn around and it won't be efforts in futility, if things must turn around for good, there is something you must start doing. And see what god said in verse 7. Genesis 20:7, the Bible says:

7 Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”

God told Abimelech to restore Abraham's wife, because he Abraham is a prophet, and his wife Sarah, He the Lord has given her to him as wife. Therefore, restore her to him. The question is, what happens if Abraham refuse to pray for the king? That means the king will die. For God had already declared that Abimelech indeed is a dead man for what he had committed in the first place. You know, when you hear the word 'indeed', it shows the degree. You know if the Bible says you are a dead man, that is one thing. Now, imagine the Bible saying 'you are indeed a dead man', that is like certifying your death already. It is guaranteed, except you do what has been prescribed for you to do.

The woman isn't yours. Out of your innocence and integrity you have taken her. However, she belonged to someone else. And so, restore. But if you do not restore, know that you shall surely die. You and everything that belongs to you, will die. Now, you see, many men have gone down in history as ex-champions, ex-leaders, ex-pioneers and ex-anything that is great. And not only them going down, everyone associated with them seems to be going down with them. Now perhaps, the cause of that could have been that these men and women, at certain moments in their lives have gone into other people's activities. They have gone into other people's callings. They began to do things that God did not command them to do.

They saw a beautiful project, a beautiful program and they decided to domesticate it in their own organizations. And a competitor just introduced a new product in the market, instead of being sure that they really have been created as an organization to fulfill that mandate, they decided to launch into it. If this company can be making it well, doing this thing; we can make it well too. In fact, we are smarter than them. You could be smarter than them, talking about the innocence of your heart and the integrity of your heart; however, if that project or product line is not in sync with your purpose of business, with your core values, or your vision and mandate as an organization, but in your desire to make more money, and match the competition, you decided to go into things; that could be the reason for your recent downfall in performance, in reputation and the way people perceive your organization in public.

Now it is important that at such a time as this, to take a inventory of the activities that you have been into committed into by your organization over the past few months and perhaps, few years. What are the things that you began to do that are not necessarily essential for your organization? What are the things that you have started out of shear jealousy or envy or a need to compete? Do you want to live your life to compete with people or do you want to live your life fulfilling the essence of that life? You see, true fulfillment does not come through competition. It comes in you knowing what you must do and doing it. Not you trying to see what others are doing and

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copying them.

You see, encroaching into your neighbour's leadership garden could look like an achievement for you. Don't forget Abimelech was not a single man, he had wives. He was the king of the kingdom, and he even had children. And now, Abraham only had one wife, and at that time, and so, he just got into that new territory or business. Be he had one goal, one vision. And you, you have a conglomerate of ideas, you have many businesses, you run many organizations, you have a ministry that has diverse outfits, and perhaps you do a lot in your ministry. However, this young man or young woman just came on board in your new area, and he or she just have one thing, and you felt, if he that is small can do that one thing well, we can outperform him. And so, you go into it.

You take the idea from him, you snatched it from him, you encroach into his vision and domain, and you say, if he could succeed, you can succeed too, perhaps much more, not minding the fact that it could be that you are never called for it. That is why God emphasised to Abimelech thus: 'for she is a man's wife'. Another way we can put it is this vision is another man's vision, this garden, this responsibility is another man's responsibility. I was listening to Bishop David Oyedepo sometime ago when he was nursing the idea of taking the ministry to Japan. However, God told him. If though there are many needs in Japan, you are not the one I am sending there. That was what Bishop Oyedepo said at the time.

Now, come to think of it. Imagine him not listening to God and saying, Oh; if some ministries can be going to Japan, we can go and succeed. That could have been the beginning of the downfall of the entire organization. That some people are doing it well, does not mean you should go into it. The question is: does this new thing agree with your assignment, your vision or calling? Because God has wired you for something, but since you see a new thing thriving, you feel you could also do it. Don't go ahead and do it.

If you read the entire verses in that Genesis 20, you would realise that three things are happening to Abimelech because of his decisions to take Abraham's wife. The first thing is he was confronted with death. God said you are indeed a dead man. In fact, God told him if your situation must change, this man that you have taking his vision, is a prophet. If you go to him, he can pray for you and then you would live thereafter. So, his life was premise on his decision to return the vision, the garden, the woman that he took from the man back to him.

The second thing is in verse 18. But let us read verse 17 and 18. It says: "

17 So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children; 18 for the Lord had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife."

That looks to me like a curse. You are either blessed or cursed. When you are blessed, there is increase, but when you are cursed, there is decrease or stagnation. Now God had to place a curse on that family simply because they had done something. Abimelech even said to Abraham in verse 9. He said what have you done to us? 9 And Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.”

So, what happened, even though it happened in the innocence of his mind, and the integrity of his heart, it became a sin. And because of that sin, they were cursed. And then the next thing we noticed was that they were stagnating as a kingdom. There was no productivity. None could bear children again. Why? Because there was a curse hanging on them simply because somebody has encroached into another man's garden. You see, leadership is like a race, and every man has his own track. You are expected as a leader to maintain your track along the lane. In an 100m dash for example, there are usually like 7 tracks. And so, it is expected that each athlete maintains his or her column. Deviating from your track could lead to an athlete's disqualification.

So, if you don't want to be disqualified in leadership. If you do not want to be a victim of your own decision, you don't want to die prematurely, you don't want to be cursed as a leader or be stagnated in your leadership effectiveness; then you must maintain your own lot. You must maintain your calling and your vision. Don't encroach in another man's vision, stay in your vision. It could be looking lovely out there, but what God has given unto you is not looking less-lovely. It just needs you to cultivate it. Spend time to cultivate that which has been handed over to you.

If Abimelech had spent time with the wives that he had, he would not have been a victim of the curse. Don't forget, that as soon as the blessings came upon Abimelech once again, his wives started bearing children. So, he was having children until he was cursed. And as soon as he was blessed again, children continued. so, if you want your progress to continue again, you want to continue to advance and expand, ensure that you cut yourself off unnecessary ideas that you have embraced in a bid to compete with other people. Slim down your projects, stay with the right things. Focus on the right assignment, if God had not given them to you, shut them up. If God has not committed them to you, stop them.

If the business is not in line with your passion or wiring, don't go into them because others are doing it, if you don't want to die prematurely, be cursed or even stagnate. I pray that God who has given us this opportunity to listen to these words  is going to visit us and take away our inadequacies in His mercy, in the name of Jesus. I advise you that you take these words very seriously, ponder on them. Make new resolutions, make new decisions, and make your 2019 more glorious than you could ever imagine.

God bless you.





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