Today I want to speak to you from the book of Matthew, chapter 16:13-20. It is in these scriptures where the most powerful question was asked by Jesus Christ to his disciples. It’s a question that we also need to answer as followers of Jesus Christ. The question is “Who do you say that I am”? It’s a question that speaks to revelation. It’s a question that speaks to love. It’s a question that speaks to discipleship and it’s a question that speaks to faith.
Today, I want to talk to you about Servant-Leadership and how we can apply servant-leadership to our life as we imitate the life of Jesus Christ.
Before we dive into the core of today’s message, I want you to know that I believe that each of you are leaders. I also believe that you have great capacity to serve. But here a few questions that I want you to think about. Where does leadership come from? Is it something that is earned? Is it something that is given? Are you birthed into leadership? Is leadership a natural gift and talent that one is blessed with?
Tonight I want to spend some time talking to you about a man in the bible we know as Joshua. Joshua was quite a unique individual. He had a special quality about him that made him God’s chosen man to carry the servant-leader and spiritual mantle of Moses into the Promised Land.
In Joshua chapter 1, God says to Joshua “You’re next!” You have been chosen. I have a mission for you. Moses my servant is dead and now it’s your turn to play your part in this masterplan of not only bringing my people to the Promised Land, but to be an example to the world of my glory and power. Joshua, I have placed my hand upon you so that you will be an example to the world displaying what faith and obedience looks like. I’m going to use you to tell my story.
It’s been a while since I’ve last communicated with you. I hope you are doing well and looking forward to new beginnings as the new year approaches.
Speaking of new beginnings, I’ve had a few of my own. But before I get to that let me first say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”. I want you to know that I appreciate you and look forward to connecting with you a little more often. My prayer for you is that 2019 will be a year of revelation, breakthrough, grace, clarity, opportunity, blessing and rest. Yes rest. We all need rest from time to time. Would you agree? I’m not only referring to physical rest, but also spiritual, mental and emotional rest.
As we approach the end of the year and roll into a new one, it’s not uncommon for me to do some reflection and think about my blessings, my challenges, what I’ve learned throughout the year and what I’m desiring and praying for next year. As I’ve taken a few days of reflection, I realized that 2018 was a year of preparation. 2017 was a year of transition. And 2016 was a year of revelation. Let me explain.
2016 was a year of revelation as I had to shake off the residue of losing a job. Yes sir! In full transparency, I was laid off from a position that I really enjoyed. I wasn’t laid off for anything that I did, but economics won the day. At least that’s what I initially thought. As a matter of fact, not only did I lose a job, but I kinda felt like my career in the higher education space was becoming a thing of the past. Working in higher education for 18 years it’s easy to settle in and create a path for the future. However, that path was interrupted in just a matter of minutes. In a blog post “I was laid off from work. Now what?” I share my experience and the revelation received during that season of my life. I don’t want to spoil the post, but let me say that God has a way of directing our paths. He also has a way of communicating and showing us that there are additional gifts that we possess that He desires to use in us. And you know what. I’m sure glad He does.
2017 was a year of transition, additional revelation and embracing the call on my life as I had to learn how to become comfortable in the uncomfortable. I had to surrender to the fact that I’m on God’s timeline and not my own. 2017 was a year of surrender, faith, miraculous experiences and open doors – all while God showing me His faithfulness and a deeper clarification of my calling. I know I am called to “lift men up”, which is why I built the new Brandingmen.com website which focuses on coaching and developing men personally, professionally, relationally and spiritually, but I am also called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Boom! There it is!
You may know me to be a designer, coach, husband, father, business man, speaker and someone who simply enjoys people – and you’re absolutely right about these things, but it’s one thing to boldly recognize these things in yourself and fully embrace them wholeheartedly with conviction and without reservation. I guess you can say that through my experiences and revelation in 2017, that my passion is truly transforming the lives of men to live life with a clear purpose and refined identity by first recognizing and embracing who they are – their brand as a man and whose they are through the brand of Jesus Christ.
[SIDE THOUGHT] I have a question for you . “Have you embraced who you really are or are you still trying to be who you think you are or who you want to become”? There is a difference. Your ability to experience clarity for your life comes from how you see yourself and what you are willing to accept about yourself. Stay tuned for more about clarity in future posts.
Being in the wilderness in 2016 and 2017 has taught me to embrace who I really am and accept the purposes, callings, gifts and opportunities that come my way. I have also learned that I have blind spots, weaknesses, shortcomings and limits that are difficult to overcome. But at the end of the day, I can honestly say that my life doesn’t mean anything if the Lord isn’t leading. If He isn’t leading me as a husband, father, employee, employer, entrepreneur or friend, then what legacy am I really building? What eternal value am I giving to the lives of the people that cross my path?
2018 was a year of preparation. Specifically preparation for the next phase of my own brand as a teacher, speaker and coach. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be more involved with the men at my church in a teaching capacity and really enjoy helping my brothers in Christ grow. You can hear my first “official” sermon here. I say “official” because even though I have been public speaking for years, this was my first time speaking in a church environment amongst men like myself. In the sermon, I get pretty emotional as I share a personal story.
One very cool and thankful experience of speaking on that day was that my father (who was a pastor for many years-evangelist now), was able to witness his son preach for the first time. For years, ever since I was a child, people have always called me preacher/pastor, but it wasn’t until that day that a sort of baton was being passed and I was able to see a glimpse of what could be and might be.
In 2018, I’ve also been blessed with opportunities to speak and teach at my place of employment. Doors have also opened up to mentor men on aspects of purpose, identity, fatherhood and marriage.
So what did I learn in 2018? I learned that no matter where I’m at (on the job, at church, walking down the street or sharing my business), I’ve been given the opportunity to speak truth, life, wisdom, purpose, identity, leadership, strategy and encouragement to men. I’ve learned (and still learning) to be content and embrace where I’m at in life. Prior to 2016, I struggled with bouts of contentment because I had this ideal in my mind of who I was and who I needed to become; ultimately putting pressure on myself to grow quickly. As a 44 year-old, growing quickly is no longer a focus. As a matter of fact, it’s not even attractive. Instead, growing intentionally and purposefully with men who really want to partner with me in this journey called life is what interests me the most.
So what am I praying for next year and what am I working towards as it relates to my work and brand? I’m praying for my family and each of you. 2018 was a year of so much worldly confusion, dysfunction and chaos. I pray for peace of mind, safety, rest and grace upon our lives. My desire is for us to live more boldly, be more honest, love more intentionally, and be more transparent so we can fully live and become true champions that will produce a worthwhile legacy.
I want to connect with you more often. I also have plans to publish my first book. I am also looking forward to releasing a new coaching program called “Called To Action“. It’s a program for business men who are procrastinating and stuck in moving forward in fulfilling their purpose and life calling. The added value of this program is that once you complete the program, I will offer marketing-design services to help package and present your message/call to the marketplace with confidence. I am also looking forward to interviewing some of you who are willing to share your life’s journey in becoming a man through my podcast.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email and allowing me to share and encourage you. I’ll be talking to you soon.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Anthony L. Fisher
My title for today’s teaching is “Are we battlefield ready?”. What I want to talk to you today is about reconciliation, anxiety and peace, spiritual warfare and our posture towards God.
Men, God knows our past, our present and our future. He knows his plans for us individually and collectively. Our God is a God of reconciliation. He is in the mending business. He is in the business of making a way out of no way. He is in the business of renovating, revamping, reconditioning, rebuilding, reconstructing, revitalizing and rejuvenation. Our God is an awesome God and he reigns on heaven and earth with wisdom, power and glory – Our God is an awesome God. Amen!
To not be anxious is a command for you and I. We are to give our anxiousness to the Lord and we do that by submitting our thoughts, feelings, fears and concerns to God. Apostle Paul says that in “everything” we should connect with God. God desires to commune with us. And how do we connect to God? Through prayer and supplication.
We must not be anxious for anything. We must replace our anxiousness with God’s peace. We must learn how to remove ourselves from the noise of the world and the busyness of life to recharge our bodies, mind and spirit and position ourselves to listen to what God our Father requires of us. Communion with God, Rest in God and Vision from God is what Jesus received from His Father and it’s the same thing God desires to impart to us. The closer we get to the Lord, the more we recognize that our life is in His hands. And that recognition of God’s sovereign jurisdiction of our lives allows us to live life with contentment, appreciation and thanksgiving in our hearts.
Music, television, social media, politics, tradition, and unhealthy relationships are the culprits preventing you and I from meditating on things that are noble, pure, just, virtuous and praiseworthy and from experiencing God’s peace in our life. There is a battle raging inside and around us. It’s a battle for our destinies. A battle for our souls. A battle for our potential. A battle for our talents and abilities. A battle for our leadership. A battle for our families. A battle for our children and grandchildren. A battle for our voices. A battle for our purpose. A battle for our dreams. A battle for our minds, a battle for our manhood and ultimately, a battle for our spiritual growth and relationship with Jesus Christ.
So what happens to us when we pray about everything with thanksgiving and offer supplication to God? God’s peace is promised and our anxiousness subsides. Our anxiousness goes away. God’s peace is a supernatural peace that will transcend our ability to understand it.
When we place our full confidence in God who exudes love and joy and we are thankful in “every” circumstance we find ourselves in, we WILL possess a supernatural peace. An inner calm will guard and dominate our hearts and minds. The peace that God gives is a peace the world will never know or understand. As a matter of fact, we will not understand it ourselves, but it is this peace that the Lord desires to give to every Christian man, woman and child as a testimony of His love and His spiritual gifts that He freely gives to anyone who comes to him when they submit their life in a posture of prayer and supplication.