Monday, November 15, 2010

"Hey Leader - How Are You?"

Before continuing - answer the question. "How are you?"

If your answer included the words "Good" or "Bad", read on. If it was something different, well, I am curious... so please respond.

As a Christian, you are called to lead. You cannot fulfill the great commission without leading.

Matt 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit"

Please don't miss the point here.
There is a process of maturity that happens and continues to happen in your walk with the Lord:
Step 1. Be a good follower of the Lord. (Be covered)
Step 2. Take others with you. (Cover others)

There is no skipping steps in the process - skipped steps will lead to correction by the Lord - which I will attest is not a great feeling.

You may find that in your job and or in your other groups you are doing a lot more covering than being covered. One thing that the enemy does to us is that he allows us to take leadership roles and then convinces us that vulnerability as a leader is weakness. (This is only a half truth because the Kingdom perspective is that "(His) power is perfected in weakness.") Consequently we put on a good face and clean our spiritual houses by throwing these "small issues" in a closet or unused room, or we sweep them under the rug. If we are never submitting these things to others that we trust that will cover us in prayer, the issues pile up. When a bunch of these "small issues" pile up, "Be sure that your sin will find you out."


Keep in mind that Kingdom life is not "the good life" it is THE ABUNDANT LIFE. The good Christian life has become the enemy of the abundant Christian life. This does not mean that there will be no troubles (Jn 16:33), it means that you are able to see Him and hear His still small voice:

1 Kings 19
11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”...the LORD was not in the wind. ... the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 ... the LORD was not in the fire. - AND AFTER THE FIRE CAME A GENTLE WHISPER.

How is your relationship with your Father in heaven?
How are you as an individual? outside of the context of your kids and your spouse?
How are you as a spouse?
How are you as a parent?

If your normal response to any of these questions would be "good", remember that we were never supposed to know the difference between good and evil. That is part of the fall. We were only supposed to be sons and daughters of The Living God. Hearing from Him always and obeying - living an abundant life.

We are at war with an enemy that is trying to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us. The problem is that since true believers will live eternally, we are walking around spiritually maimed while lightly suggesting "it's just a flesh wound." This is not abundant life. If we are walking with Him, we are walking in righteousness and we get spiritually healed/restored. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true - if we are not walking with Him, we are walking in sin, and will not be healed/restored.

Now What?

If you are not living an abundant life, what can you do?

1) Go back to step 1 - Being covered
Be pastored, be mentored, be discipled. You have to be vulnerable with someone and share your heart. Ask the Lord to reveal someone who can walk with you through this time - and be sure you commit to the process. The Lord may surprise you by the person/couple He shows you. They may not be who you would have chosen, but let's face it - His ways are higher than your ways. Trust Him even when it hurts.

2) Submit each aspect of your life to Him
Did you start leading a group that you never really heard Him say to start leading? Or are you leading a group that you know He asked you to start leading years ago but you haven't asked recently if that is what He still wants from you? If you are doing something on autopilot, He is probably not with you doing it. Keep in mind that He is not interested in what you are doing FOR Him... just what you are doing WITH Him

3) Fast and Pray
Deny yourself and ask Him for help and guidance. You are His child and He wants to speak to you. Even if you stopped listening before - He is still speaking to you. Something that I have put into practice when I can't hear Him - I think about the last thing that I know He told me and then I start being obedient to that again while submitting it back to Him.

What are your thoughts? We are all still in process being changed from glory to glory.

- Thomas


red said...

My old question still stands. Why fast and pray?

Thomas said...


Thanks for the comment. We could ask why pray? or why fast? or why read the bible? but all of these questions have to have some root in doubt "why follow Him?" This could be a few blog posts and we would still not be able to answer the full extent. If I can presume the question is from someone who is a believer in Christ as Lord then my answer is here:

1) it is a mystery. He chooses to bless our obedience as we deny ourselves and focus on Him.

2) By doing what He says to do we take part in a relationship where there is a give and take. A directive and a response.

If my son never speaks to me, I will still feed him and clothe him. I will still buy him gifts. I will still love him. When he speaks to me - I have an opportunity to respond. When I speak to him, he has an opportunity to respond. If he is disobedient, I will still love him because I am his father, but I may not be able to trust him for certain responsibilities that I am willing to give to him. Real relationship is 2 people responding to each other.

Beth said...

Red---Essentially, if you are a follower of Jesus, you do what he does. The gospels record him fasting. For him it was a time of testing and a time where the angels ministered to him. Jesus also gave teachings that started with "when you fast," making the assumption that those who follow him would fast. I think that if you want to follow Jesus, you might consider fasting and praying as an act of obedience, and then see what He says about fasting to you. Because in the end, we could try to convince you all day long by sharing our experiences and what we believe, but only when you walk with Him for yourself, will you know and understand the joy of relating to him on an intimate level. Following him daily and obedience unlock that for us.

red said...

still processing... thanks for the replies!