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Proverbs 13 states that a good person leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. While this literally focuses on family in the biological sense, I believe that we can also extrapolate general lessons for leadership.
All too often, prayer has been utilized as a time where we drop off our wish list to God and quickly exit stage left. To be clear, we do have the privilege of taking our burdens and requests to our God, who is always attentive to our cry. However, prayer is a dialogue where we talk and listen. Just as we desire God’s ear, God also desires to be heard. The key to hearing God’s voice is to learn how to be an active listener.
Prayer and consistent reading of the scriptures are the perfect combination for growth. My spiritual life changed for the better once I looked at prayer and Bible reading in the proper context. Too often we read the Bible and pray because we buy into the superstitious ideal that neglecting to do these things will incur the wrath of God or result in a very bad day. However the power in these exercises is that they promote growth, by fine-tuning our ability to hear God.
God still speaks! God still speaks to humanity, and desires to speak with you. Because our Sovereign King is unseen, we often envision him as an entity that is close enough to see all things, but also too far for personal interaction. But nothing is further from the truth. God was not only invested in our creation and formation, but he continuously invests himself in our daily activities and agendas. In fact I would say that communication with man is something God delights in!
As Christian leaders, there is nothing more important than our ability to hear God. Instructions from God inform our journey as we lead others to a place of divine purpose. Without God’s direction, we are left to our own devices, which often prove futile. God’s voice brings direction, strategy, wisdom, correction, and even comfort. Hearing from God is important, yet how we hear him is critical.
Cain’s response to God’s question regarding Abel’s whereabouts was troubling for so many reasons. Obviously the murder of one brother by another was a violation of God’s order (as he would later outline through the law). Yet there was another subtle and destructive concept that was played out here… selfishness. After committing a transgression against his brother, Cain essentially declares, “What do I have to do with my brother’s well-being?” or put in another way “Not my problem”. What a bold assertion from a person who had taken the life of another person, even his own brother.
God loves you, and you must know it. I mean it is imperative that you understand that God loves you. Not just the obedient you, or the version of you that has the ability to hold everything together. But he indeed also loves the flawed, vulnerable, indecisive you. The walk of the Christian is often filled with moments from faith to faith.
I am a consultant to visionaries and spend a great amount of time assisting them in executing their aspirations. Visionaries tend to be big thinkers, risk takers, and trailblazers who exhibit great amounts of faith. They are ahead of their time, and seem to live and think in the future. These qualities make them admirable, since they truthfully are the driving force behind societal changes. I personally draw inspiration from these leaders because of their courage and resilience.
Next Sunday we will reflect upon the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The prophet Isaiah proclaims that “the government would be upon his shoulders” and that there would be no end to the increase of peace and his government (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Faith is uncomfortable, and is almost always associated with the impossible. It’s this unorthodox dance between God and human beings where God speaks surreal things and then we respond with obedience to produce supernatural or highly improbable results.
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