When my father went to be with the Lord back in 1999 and I stepped up to pastor the church, I was concerned because I didn't minister exactly like my father. My personality is more laid back and easygoing. If you knew my father, you know he was a little bit more fiery than me.
My father had been at the church for 40 years, and I felt this underlying pressure to be like my dad. At first I tried to minister like him and run the church like he did, trying to do everything the same way. But I realized that I was wearing myself out by trying to be something that I wasn't. I wasn't pursuing what God had placed in my heart. I wasn't being true to myself. I was too focused on trying to keep everybody else happy. After all, I didn't want to lose anybody. But, I finally decided that I was just going to be myself and do things the way God was leading me. When I made the change, I discovered that 99.9% of the people were totally behind me and very loyal. But, there were a few that I could tell were not for me anymore. They didn't like the way I ministered. Or, maybe they didn't like the way I was leading the church. I felt this pressure so strongly to fit into their mold and become who they wanted me to be. But friend, there is an anointing on your life not to be somebody else. You are anointed to be you.
When you let people squeeze you into their mold, when you bow down to their pressure and try to please all the critics, it takes away your power. It takes away your uniqueness. It diminishes God's favor. When I was true to what God placed in my heart, I stepped into a new level of anointing. I made those changes and a few of the people didn't like it. Some of them had been at the church a long time and they started talking. Do you know what I did? I ignored it. They didn't celebrate me, but I paid them no mind. I didn't lose any sleep. I didn't try to win them over. I didn't say, "Here, just listen to me." No, I focused on running my race with purpose, focus and integrity. I saw God give me His favor more and more. Eventually, those people who didn't support me left. They didn't stick around. But can I tell you, God brought me a lot more people, some 40,000 more.
The point I'm making is that when you do it God's way, you never lose out. When you stay focused and do what God has placed in your heart, then all the forces of darkness cannot keep you from where God wants you to go. Remember, you are anointed to be you. Ignore the critics. Ignore the naysayers and don't let other people squeeze you into a mold. Be who God made you to be and embrace the blessing He has in store for your future!
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Psalm 139:14, NIV)