June 22, 2017

Christian Leader

There are a lot of things that we’re told to do as Christians. Go to church. Give ya tithes. Be nice. Show love. Don’t condemn. Forgive. Pray. Etc.

Don’t get me wrong, all of these things are vitally important in your walk with God, however, there is one thing that is missing from the long list of “to-dos” that are often thrown at us left and right…

Getting utterly consumed with God.

That’s right.

The first and most important thing that you can do as a Christian leader is to get utterly consumed with God.

The long list of things above are important, but ultimately, it’s all about a heart matter. When we get utterly consumed with God, the things above are a natural, automatic outworking and result of our love for and relationship with Christ.

Now, let’s go a little deeper here. This is where things get a littttttle convicting.

If you consider yourself a Christian leader, but are not consumed with God, then I think it’s time to stop, take a moment, and reevaluate your role as a leader.

Are you developing messages, blog posts, social media posts, sermons, plans, conversations about God……but without God’s help?

No Christian leader should release a message about God without having sought God for the message. In fact, if you haven’t prayerfully sought God for the message then it’s likely not a message from God, it’s a message from your own carnal mind.

Oops, did I say that?

I sure did. It’s crazy that I’m having to say this, but we need God’s help in order to encourage and teach God’s people. What I’m saying is that God’s work cannot be completed the way He desires without His help.

All Christians, whether you consider yourself a leader or not, should be utterly consumed with, obsessed with, in love with, and pursuing after all-things Jesus and all-things Kingdom.

But if you consider yourself a leader (which I decree we are all leaders in some capacity), then it’s definitely time-out for relying on yourself to “impact” people.

Get consumed with God. Spend time with Him, seek Him, be obedient to Him, put Him first in all things — and watch God lead you as you (intentionally or unintentionally) lead others.

Don’t try to lead out of your own strength and will. Let Jesus be your guide! He knows best!

Isaiah 55:7-9: “7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (NIV)

Proverbs 14:12 “12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

If we try to do things our own way, out of our own strength, even if we think it is right, we will fail. Let’s be clear, we NEED God in order to be a good Christian leader.

The reality is that as prideful and knowledgeable as we think we are (myself included!), we know nothing compared to the infinite wisdom and knowledge of God. So we might as well hang up our hats of pride and put up our coat of human strength and let God do the talking and walking for us.

A Christian Leader: Called to be Set Apart, Different

As a Christian leader, we are not like every other person and our motives should be vastly different than the motives of this world. Our calling is about much more than likes, shares, comments, money, applauses, fame and messages that tickle the ear but give us popularity (2 Timothy 4:3).

As a Christian leader, we are called to impact. To inspire. To practice what we preach, and preach only what we are actually practicing. And most importantly, we are called to lead and live truth. Biblical, sound, Holy-spirit led truth.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but the only way I can do this is to invest my heart, soul, mind and time into Godly things.

I never want to give people my words or my thoughts or my opinions. I want to give them His.

And what other way do we know God’s thoughts and his ways and his plans than by Him revealing them to us by his Spirit? (1 Corinthians 2:9-13)

But if we ignore his spirit … or don’t seek his spirit … or put our own ideas and opinions and feelings before the leading of his spirit, then how in the world can we deliver truthful, life-changing messages to the world about God?

Now… let me tell you a little about my (convicting) blogging journey to help you understand where I’m coming from.

My Journey as a Christian Blogger

I started in 2014. I had a measly little wordpress.com blog. It wasn’t that serious to me and I wasn’t really trying to gain followers… it was more just a hobby that I did. There were only a few people that followed my blog consistently and I would just post my thoughts and opinions about God-related topics.

No big deal, right? WRONG.

God convicted me SO HARD about a year later. A scripture pierced me:

Matthew 12:36-37– “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

Omg. This made me re-evaluate everything.

Sure I only had a few followers. And sure I was just writing my thoughts. But whether I had good intent or not, my words and doctrine was impacting people. Even my “idle” words that didn’t seem like a big deal were actually a HUGEEE deal. At this point, I wasn’t just having an opinion, but using that opinion to impact other people. And that’s where things get a bit….slippery. For me, at least.

When other people are in the picture, things get serious. Souls, hearts and minds are on the line. And that’s nothing to play with! I had to learn that. So if you think this whole blogging thing is just a piece of cake for me, it’s really not. I’m constantly on edge, trying to make sure everything I say is God and not Azani. And I am so sorry if it any point you get me and not Him!

Let’s be clear Christian leaders: The Gospel of Jesus Christ has no room for my or your opinion. It stands in pure and perfect truth all by itself.

So we have to get past being consumed with self. We have to get past wanting to be liked. We have to get past wanting to gain followers and likes. We have to get past self-idolatry, positions and fancy words and get consumed with God.

His will. His plan. His purpose. His truth. His Gospel. His opinion. Not ours.

Souls are on the balance… Souls! Heaven and Hell. Life and death. And what we say, and how (and whether) we prepare our messages by yielding to the Holy Spirit could be the difference for someone.

I know this was a heart-wrenching message (at least it was for me). But I don’t want us to just leave it here.

The next question is how do we get consumed with God and put him first? What does that even really mean? What does it truly mean to be a Christian leader?

This is something I’m fleshing out daily myself, but I still want to help you in the ways that I can.

Stay tuned and I will have some upcoming posts about what this means and how we can do this.

In the meantime, what are some ways that you stay consumed with God? Have you had similar convicting moments like the one I had? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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