The Power that raised Jesus to Life is available and has been given to raise us up by His Power. He is the Holy Spirit. He is at work presently in every believer just the way He did for Jesus. It is time to experience this Power in our lives.
Who is encouraging you?
You need encouragement. I need encouragement also.
We will always need encouragement in different times and seasons of our lives.
No one runs the race of life and leadership successfully without a constant supply of encouragement.
I remember what Paulo Coelho once said in the book, The Fifth Mountain about unavoidable troubles that enter our lives.
"There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there."
Billy Graham also once said that, "The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’"
We can't escape some moments of deep discouragements in our journey as believers, but we can always OVERCOME them.
No matter what, we should not always be OVERCOME by discouragements that comes against us in life and leadership.
We must learn to passionately pray, seek God's mercies and HELP.
One SOURCE of encouragement we must always rely upon is the HOLY SPIRIT.
If you have nobody to encourage you or exhort you, you have the Holy Spirit and the Bible.
No one stands alone who recognizes the full presence of the Holy Spirit within!
Discouragement should not lay hold on us and paralyze us.
Never let discouragement gets you down!
The Holy Spirit will Inspire You to Rise Above Discouragement!
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could not be."
I believe that's the reason we must constantly acknowledge our need of the Holy Spirit.
In all discouraging moments, He will always inspire us to be what we know we could not be.
He will inspire us to be three things I like to mention quickly.
1. To be able to draw encouragement from His Presence within us, inspite of the circumstance.
2. To be able to Listen to His leading that will lead to victory.
3. To be able to rise and keep moving with the Confidence of the Spirit.
I encourage you to depend absolutely on the encouragement of the Spirit at all times.
Encouragement is Everything!
How do we define Spiritual Maturity?
It was a very serious question that took hold of me some years ago.
My desperation to understand the yardstick for spiritual maturity and how to consistently pursue this great goal came because of certain disappointments.
Did I say disappointment?
My disappointment came as a result of not being able to see the practicality of the fruit of the Spirit in the lives of some leaders I was privileged to serve.
Of course, I'm touching again certain aspects many of us usually love to sweep under carpet.
But note that, what the Spirit of the Lord has been addressing in the past few days is primarily about the Spirit - taught leadership.
It is not about just anyone. It's about you. It is about me. It is about many of us who wants to see Jesus glorified again in our generation.
We must respond to this question that some young people may be asking in about what spiritual maturity is.
Wether we desire it or not, there are many young people in faith who want to understand how they ought to grow in the Spirit by looking into our lives.
The question is, can they find answers in our lives and leadership?
Are we patterns that the younger generation can follow and not miss their way in Christ?
I don't know about you. But one of the things that bother me most in ministry leadership is the kind of response my life is giving back to the younger generation.
Each time I remember how some of the leaders God took me through never bothered about the examples their lives provided in guiding the younger generation, I weep before the Lord for help that I may not repeat the same.
Meanwhile, one of the most important answers about this demand of growing spiritually and setting example for others to follow is found in Galatians 5:22-25.
It is about KEEPING IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT.
We must of a necessity manifest the FRUIT of the Spirit. This happen as we LIVE by the Spirit. But to LIVE by the Spirit also rests on how we Keep in Step with the Spirit, moment by moment.
This is what we need to Live and Lead the Life of the Spirit. We cannot mislead when we lay hold on Fruit Bearing as a result of Spirit Life which relies on Spirit Walk.
There is something that always make me tremble before the Lord in prayer about leadership.
It is what to offer those who look to the Lord for spiritual direction, help and guidance through my ministry.
One of the fearful things about leadership, especially spiritual leadership is the fact that many lives are attached to a leader.
Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed and would have loved to put off the writing of this Journey of Leadership Devotional, the Lord would remind me of those who feeds on Him through the instructions here.
There are those who uses this devotional daily for their personal and family devotions. I have received requests from Church Leaders for permissions to use this devotional as equipping material for the Christian Workers under them.
There are organizations and individuals that glean from the instructions of the Lord through this devotional always.
Please note that I'm not saying this to boast of anything concerning the wide engagement of this devotional. Whatever comes from this devotional is not of me.
Why I have to say all these is simply to let you understand one of the reasons for my fear about serving God's purpose as a leader.
It is not something that can be carried on or sustained by seeking natural information, copying books written by others or just depending on what your head can supply you.
It has to be a product of a Living Water of the Spirit that Flows within you.
This is how to remain a leader who can continue to be a channel of blessing on behalf of Christ to those you have been called to lead.
The truth I always tell myself is this: I have nothing of value to offer anyone except when the Living Water in me Flows!
The Living Water must take control over me.
He must flow that I may POUR out the Water, which is the Spirit of holiness, healing, refreshing, help, guidance, encouragement, anointing and the light that will glorify Christ in our generation.
So my groaning in prayer is always, LORD, Let Your Living Water Flow through me.
Every time I need to climb the pulpit to bring God again to His people, I always cry to Him that He must let the Holy Spirit, His Living Water to Flow.
Sometimes when I see divers kind of arrogance and demonstration of self sufficient attitude among ministers of God, I always mourn in my heart.
I mourn because revival will continue to tarry until we all come, arrive and submit to God in helpless brokenness for His Living Water to flow through us to the people.
Let me say something to those who have heard the call of God but still remain inactive or fearful because they feel they are not sufficient.
Please maintain that posture of heart before the Lord forever. But don't stay inactive. Just cry for His Living Water to flow through you. Ask the Holy Ghost to take over. He is ready to flow through every BROKEN VESSEL.
The Living Water will Flow through you!
Father, It is time for Your Living Water to flow through us in a rushing manner. Let Your Living Water Flow! Flow Holy Spirit.
"One of the fearful things about leadership, especially spiritual leadership is the fact that many lives are attached to a leader."
Psalm 71:17, John 7:37-39, 1 Corinthians 2:10
The Spirit- taught leader knows how to access the depths of God.
One of the great blessings that comes to those who have the influence of the Spirit and have been formed by Him is their access to the depths of God.
There is always a demand in every generation for those who knows how to access the depths of God. They are great assets of the wonders of God.
In every generation, the more of God's depths that can be accessed, the more of His wonders and glory will be revealed.
That's the reason a spiritual leader must be Spirit-taught. It is the only way to gaining access into the depths of God.
Leaders must open the way for others to access the depths of God in everything. In fact, the beauty of spiritual leadership that touches the Heart of God is this joy of bringing people we lead into constant depth that is in God.
Jesus as a Spiritual Leader demonstrated this when He came to the earth in the flesh. He constantly led people into the depths of God.
Before His arrival, only selected individual that God called and raised got into the depths of God. Others were pleased to know Him afar off.
But the desire of God is that everyone will know Him personally and intimately.
And I see the necessity to sound this loud and clear again in the present day Church that God wants everyone to know Him.
We need to make this the most important demand upon our lives as leaders, that God wants everyone to know Him. He wants everyone to come into His depths.
The present day operation of the Church where most believers have accepted that they cannot know the Lord as much as their leaders know the Lord is not of Christ.
When you consider the heartfelt prayer of Jesus in John 17:3, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus ChristWhom You have sent."
As you can see here. Eternal life is not a journey to Heaven. It is to know GOD, the only true GOD and Jesus Christ whom GOD sent.
The most important word here is to know God and to know Jesus Christ. This is eternal life. We must understand here that eternal life is not what we wait to have some day after death.
It is what has been made available for those who will know God personally and also His Son Jesus Christ.
So, the depths of God is going deeper into knowing God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
That's the assignment the Holy Spirit has been given to carry out in our lives. We cannot really know God and His Son without the help of the Holy Spirit.
We will move on from here in the next devotion.
Holy Spirit, we thank You because we can access the depths of God through You. Please teach us more about this. Take us deeper into Christ.
"We need to make this the most important demand upon our lives as leaders, that God wants everyone to know Him. He wants everyone to come into His depths."
There is no accidental formation, creation and making of a life. It is always an outcome of influence, either directly or indirectly upon such a life.
That's the reason we emphasized the necessity of being deliberate in our response towards bringing young people under the early influence of the Spirit.
If we are not deliberate about early influence of the Spirit in the lives of our young people, we stand the risk of losing them to hijackers.
It is quite unfortunate today that we are losing many of our young people to the hijackers who are deliberate about bringing those young people under wrong influence.
Recently, a daughter in the Lord visited my wife and I in the house. We actually spent time together discussing about what inspired the foundation she recently started.
The foundation has been reaching out to young people with the vision to catch many of these children, teenagers and youths early for the Lord.
One of the things God has used to burdened her heart for this assignment is the rate many young people are getting wounded because of their exposure to negative influences.
She said, "We are losing many of our young people to the devil because the commitments and sacrifices of agents of Satan out there in the world seems to be increasing daily beyond the commitments of believers."
When I meditated on those words later, I discovered indeed that our enemies are purposeful, strategic and resilient about deforming our young people.
There is an unrelenting attack to misshapen our young people.
We can no longer continue to be casual about this matter. The demand is on us to arise for the souls of our young people.
But we must also be strategic about this matter. We must know where the battle lies.
It lies at the Gate of Formation.
Every stage in the formation of a young person is the potential control tower. When the Holy Spirit steps into this control tower, the formation becomes easy for the Lord.
That's why David said in Psalm 71:17MSG that, "You got me when I was an unformed youth, God, and taught me everything I know. Now I'm telling the world your wonders."
This is our assignment today. We must labour under God to get our young people to the Holy Spirit to form them into vessels of God's wonders in their generation.
Father, we stand in the gap for young people, raise more labourers for Your harvest in this field.
"We can no longer continue to be casual about this matter. The demand is on us to arise for the souls of our young people. ."
Early advantage to be under a right teacher can make a huge difference in a young person's life.
Some years back, my elder brother was invited to my Campus Fellowship for a ministration. It was a great time with the Lord. But before he came up to preach, I had the privilege to bring the first word of exhortation.
While I was doing this, I noticed my brother gave his total concentration, looking at me with a kind of amazement on his face. But I did not understand why until we finished the entire Programme.
By the time we finished and he was about entering the car with his wife and children, he stopped and look straight to my eyes. Then he said to me, "I want to thank God for your life brother. How I wished I had this kind of opportunity to know and serve the Lord during my own undergraduate days, I won't be where I am today."
He looked and said something which I vowed to keep in my heart forever. He said, "You have an early advantage and if you continue like this, your future is already secured in God."
I want to talk to you about understanding the advantage of early influence of the Spirit.
Of course, I know some of us that will read this devotion are advanced in years. But God can still use us to step into this critical role of bringing young people under the early influence of the Holy Spirit.
Most people who are called to children, teenage and youth development ministries don't really know the weight of the assignment that has been committed to them.
I see today how some believers who are privileged to be in secular teaching profession don't understand that they have more than a career that simply fetches them monthly salary. They have a calling to plead to God that no child will pass through them who will not come under early influence of the Holy Spirit.
For many of us that are parents, we have nothing to boast about if we don't seek the Lord for help that our children will come under early influence of the Holy Spirit.
The most important impact we can make on the next generation is not just the great education we can give to them. It is making them to come under the early influence of the Holy Spirit.
Raising agents of God's wonders in every generation begins with this important matter the Lord is dealing with in this devotion. It begins with the labour to see our young people come under early influence of the Holy Spirit.
David said in Psalm 71:17 MSG, "You got me when I was an unformed youth, God, and taught me everything I know. Now I'm telling the world your wonders.
Father, Give us burden, vision and the heart for raising young people early for Your Use!
"The most important impact we can make on the next generation is not just the great education we can give to them. It is making them to come under the early influence of the Holy Spirit."
Who is your teacher?
If you are to understand who a person is, simply check the teacher and teachings that exerts so much authority over the person.
Everyone is a product, an outcome and direct manifestation of the influences that comes from teachings and teachers.
Those who underrate the role of teachings and teachers are yet to understand the reality of how human behaviour, philosophy, values and spirituality are formed and fixed.
Personally, I have learnt to find out why people are who they are. Why they behave in a particular way and why it is difficult for some people to respond to change.
The bottom line is always the kind of teaching that has formed their thinking or the teachings they are currently exposed to.
That's why I'm always interested to know the books people read, the person they mostly quote or refer to when they talk.
When I see a leader or an emerging leader, I can easily describe who you are or the kind of person you are becoming by simply discovering who your teacher is.
Of course, some people have many teachers like apostle Paul said. Yet, you realize they have traits traceable to those various teachers.
For instance, when I discovered the nature and direction of my leadership calling in Christ, I began to see the necessity for the following.
1. The need to audit the teachings that shaped my growing up biologically and educationally.
2. The need to audit religious teachings I was exposed to while growing up.
3. The need to understand human teachers I will need for what the Lord wants to do with my life.
But in all of these needs, a time came that the Lord specifically showed me the greatest need of my life and leadership assignment which must be based on the Spirit Taught.
This Spirit Taught Life and Leadership has been the pillar of my life and is still the only way I find strength to live and lead every day.
In this devotion series, Spirit-Taught Life and Leadership, we will be responding to the ministry of the Greatest Teacher - The Holy Spirit.
I'm trusting Him to expose us deeper into our need of Him in this area.
The Spirit-taught Life and Leadership is the answer to our abiding in Christ. It is the only way we can really manifest God and His Kingdom.
Father, Thank you for giving us Your Spirit that we may be taught of You!
"Everyone is a product, an outcome and direct manifestation of the influences that comes from teachings and teachers."
Sometimes we think some spiritual leaders are no longer humans. We see them as people whose level of spirituality is unattainable.
Especially in Africa, we have so much idolized spiritual leaders by making them objects of worship rather than examples of faith we have been called to follow.
In Hebrews 13:7, we are commanded to be imitators of the faith of our spiritual leaders, not to make them objects of worship.
One of the reasons most believers are not growing spiritually in this dispensation is because they are not imitators of their spiritual leader's faith.
Let's see what Hebrews 13:7 says in Amplified version.
"Remember your leaders, for it was they who brought you the word of God; and consider the result of their conduct (the outcome of their godly lives), and imitate their faith (their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider of eternal salvation through Christ, and imitate their reliance on God with absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness)."
The Body of Christ will move beyond a religious institution into what we truly represent if we can start calling believers to become faith IMITATORS rather than faith SPECTATORS.
The early disciples of Christ grew to become apostolic leaders that changed the world because they were IMITATORS, not SPECTATORS of the faith of Christ.
I want to challenge Christian Leaders to STOP raising disciples who are SPECTATORS and start labouring to make disciples who are IMITATORS of their FAITH in CHRIST.
This is how we can change the world for Christ in this end of the age.
Now, what are we to IMITATE in the faith of others or challenge others to IMITATE in our faith?
The Scripture above says we should consider the result of the conduct of our spiritual leaders, which is the outcome of their godly lives and imitate their faith.
So, a leader must have a godly life that is worthy of imitation. This is what spiritual conduct is about.
Instead of being a spectator who only seeks the dividends of the anointing over your spiritual leader, choose to first become the imitator of the leader's spiritual conduct and you will begin to have the same result that flows from his conduct.
Also, let leaders ensure they manifest godly living that is worthy of imitation and capable of producing right results in the lives of those who will choose to imitate their faith.
Father, help us to be Christlike faith imitators, not spectators!
"A leader must have a godly life that is worthy of imitation. This is what spiritual conduct is all about."
Your Work is your platform for fulfillment of purpose. It defines your worth and the accomplishment of what God created you to do on the earth. In this Podcast, Benjamin Suulola shares six things you must know and practice daily to be at your best in your work. This mentorship session will impact your life, career, business and ministry.
Make Your Life Worth Living - January 25 - Leadership Devotional
We can never find God with our natural senses!
That's the realm God does not live. He is a Spirit and those who will connect, walk, find and flow in Hìm must be as He is.
One of the greatest errors of our time among believers is what we have settled with. We have been so comfortable with whom God has not made us.
We seek, labour and passionately pursue fulfilment outside the boundary that God has placed us.
We have an enemy that is drawing away our attention from the true source of life to that very tree whose fruit kills rather than make life worth living.
As a follower and reader of this Devotional, I know there is something about you that is yearning and longing for life beyond the ordinary.
You can't be committed to reading this kind of quarry site words if you don't want to see your life becoming exactly who God created you to be.
That's why I have been entrusted with this assignment by the Lord to bring you into the very experience that will bring out God's best in you.
My challenge to you now is, you must be desperate to make your life worth living.
This desperation is beyond the mundane pursuit of having more money, using latest cars, seeking fame and every success the world offers.
I'm calling you to a desperation to make your life worth living for Christ.
This is the desperation you need!
Life that counts is not in the count of its years but what the years count for!
Let your life count for what the life of Christ counted for.
The GLORY of GOD.
But the firm foundation of a life worth living is Living Daily by Faith in Christ.
This is the life of the Spirit. It is life that daily adhere, rely and completely trust in Jesus.
That's the way to make your life worth living. It must be a life lived daily by faith and submission to the will of God.
Such life will surely and constantly bring Glory to Christ.
I have chosen this life and resolved to lead others into commitment to the same path.
This life was also chosen by Paul as he mentioned in Galatians 2:20.
It was one of the greatest choices that made apostle Paul a leader whose life became an example of a life worth living.
May this be your testimony also.
Father, help us to make our life worth living for Your Greater Glory!
"The firm foundation of a life worth living is Living Daily by Faith in Christ."
Few days ago, my wife and I began to take a more deeper look into our experiences since we followed the will of the Lord into the ministry we are in presently.
We looked back with gratitude to God, not regrets.
In the course of our retrospect, we discovered that we have faced diverse challenges, just like anyone who has taken a big risk.
But something we cannot deny is how unexplainably we have been helped by the Lord in the midst of all challenges.
We discovered again and again what David was trying to talk about when he calls God his very Present Help in times of need.
This statement flowed from a man who had a first hand experience of learning how to trust God in most difficult situations, seasons and valley experiences.
I believe one of the reasons David became a great leader in his lifetime has so much to do with his faith and trust in God who stayed, stood and secured him in the most lonely season of his life.
My wife and I discovered something powerful about trusting the Lord.
You Win Everyday!
I'm not saying you don't face issues that makes you feel defeated, discouraged and sometimes disconnected from your best.
Most times we have issues we can't discuss with anyone, no matter how close and caring they are.
But in such moments or days, you still stand strong because the Holy Spirit comes along to supply the needed wisdom, strength, comfort, hope, fire and help that keeps you going.
So, we discovered a lifetime lesson that has given birth to the series I will be sharing with you in the next few days as permitted by the Lord.
Leaders need FAITH EVERY DAY!
It takes EVERY DAY FAITH to stand strong, keep going and to provide leadership to those you have been called to lead.
Leaders need to Walk more by faith every day.
We can win EVERYDAY if we learn to deliberately choose a LIFE OF FAITH.
Challenges will surely come and even increase as we respond to the will of God. But the guarantee is that, Faith Wins All the Time!
FAITH WINS ALL THE TIME!
This is the journey we are starting today, to see how EVERYDAY FAITH can make a difference in your life and leadership.
Called to Absolute Surrendered Living
The awakening call to everyone that wants to fulfill God's purpose is a call to surrendered living.
Pathway to an authentic life is always the act of laying all down before the Lord and then let go of everything.
There is a Word of Christ that the Holy Spirit has been nailing so seriously into my spirit. "You cannot serve TWO MASTERS."
This instruction is the basic truth about Christian discipleship, you cannot serve two masters.
But it is still the most struggled instruction that has not allowed many to be given to the purpose of God for their lives. They want to serve two masters at the same time.
A life of purpose is when Christ is the Only Master over our lives, not Christ and MONEY or Christ and other things.
If Jesus is LORD, He must be LORD over ALL that your life represents. There should be no aspect of your life that is outside His rule.
A great servant of Christ who wrote My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers once said,
"The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is because we have no Almighty Christ. We have Christian attributes, and experiences, but there is no abandonment to Jesus Christ."
I see a generation today that needs to rediscover, return, recapture and recover the true Christian faith that was once handed down to us.
The New Testament call to discipleship leaves no room for how many of us are responding to life.
A real disciple of Jesus does not have his own life anymore. He has nothing to hold unto except Christ.
SELF is no longer the centre that holds anything again. It is CHRIST.
In the reality of it today, the opposite is what describes how many of us think, live and lead.
Just as the Holy Spirit has been speaking to my heart about this matter, getting our purpose right is about loosening the tight grip on everything including our lives.
The Lord want us to fully mature to a level that Christ is EVERYTHING about our lives.
That your life, family, work, aspirations and possessions are fully surrendered to Him.
Simply put, God is calling us to ABSOLUTE SURRENDERED LIVING to JESUS.
This is how we can grow into our full potentials in Christ and become what He designed our lives to be.
Purpose: A Chance to Change the World
When Jesus said we are the lights and seasonings of the world, He refers to believers who have understood their purpose and place on the earth.
I wonder what this world would have become without the presence of Believers who are fulfilling their assignments as the salt and light.
That's why it is still important to keep reminding every believer of the power of purposeful living.
Whatever that looks terrible or woeful around a believer is an assignment for such a believer or another believer.
One of the things that burdens my heart about the present day Church is this very aspect that is seriously lacking in the body of Christ.
Many believers are simply Church goers who are ignorant of what it really means to be a believer in a godless world.
This challenge is a major leadership vacuum among Christian leaders.
Becoming a believer in Christ is not an induction or indoctrination into a denomination.
It is a full baptism into becoming a representative of God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit on the earth.
Jesus did not come to start a denomination. He came to carry out the Purpose of God in saving the world.
We must return to the original mandate that Jesus gave to us before His ascension. The mandate of making disciples of nations for Jesus.
Leaders are not called to make disciples of themselves or their denominations.
They have been called to make disciples for Jesus with spiritual and social sense of purpose, expanding God's kingdom.
This labour is what brings glory to Christ on the earth.
When believers are functioning as salts and lights on the earth, we will be found doing the Master's will by the time He returns.
The world is in a mess today. The entire world is in darkness and the only hope of the world is Christ manifesting in every believer.
Is Christ manifesting Himself in You to Your world?
Let's be honest with this assignment. We must know and take up our purpose as believers.
Leaders should labour more in making Christ to manifest in the lives of those that God has committed to their care.
It is time to start DEVELOPING PEOPLE, to fulfil the PURPOSE of CHRIST in this End-time.
This is the purpose of the Church.
This Podcast deals with how leaders can be supernatural by not being earthly focused and earthly minded. Benjamin Suulola shares important lessons to learn from Jesus on how He overcame earthly mindedness.
Marriage is a ministry. It is more than just a coming together of two opposite sex. It is primarily a ministry towards God and towards one another to fulfill God's greatest purpose. In this Podcast, Benjamin Suulola shares about the instruments of making the ministry of marriage to work.
Leaders Need to Get Control of their Lives
We are beginning another new series as the Lord has moved my heart to respond to the new dealings He has for us.
If there is anything that produce many casualties, it is spiritual leadership.
Whenever a leader emerges for God, it is warfare in nature. Leaders are raised for war or raised to sustain a conquered war zone.
Some of us don't like this reality as leaders, but it's obvious that our experience day by day is not far from this truth.
That's why leaders are usually lonely. The battle they face is not always understood by those they have been called to lead for God.
Leaders are Usually Lonely
The reality of leadership at any level is that leaders need help. They need more help than those they have been called to lead.
When a leader is helped, people are helped.
But when a leader also fail, the people fails.
That's why God will never have us trivialize the necessity of dealing with the loneliness issue and many matters that makes leaders to become casualties in leadership warfare.
For this purpose we must respond to the provisions which God has made available for us in leading as Overcoming Leaders, not as just the surviving casualties of this warfare.
GOD wants to Help You as a Leader
Sometimes I wonder how I have missed so much provided for me in God because I chose not to realize and respond to all the helps that has been made available for me.
One of the things I discover everyday about fulfilling my God-given purpose is that, I need not to bother about myself, my battles and the enormous responsibilities.
One thing is needful everyday and that's my willingness and yieldedness to entrust everything about me into God's care.
When we realize the way God made us to function, we will not malfunction.
The simple and primary foundation on which we must begin the journey the Lord is starting with us is the indisputable truth of a life that yields and entrust oneself into the Father's care.
This is the most basic necessity in the life of an Overcoming Leader.
Father! Teach us to learn and practice this essential truth of casting all our cares on You.
"One thing is needful everyday and that's my willingness and yieldedness to entrust everything about me into God's care!"
1 Peter 5:7
Something is basic about the Work of God that must not be overlooked by those who want to be successful in their callings.
If we can all get this simple truth straight, our approach to ministry will change.
Also, our worries, fears, restlessness and pursuits to outdo, outperform or outshine will evaporate.
One of the reasons we have been labouring by the flesh and for the flesh is because of this basic understanding that is missing in the Body of Christ.
When this is understood and our ministry to God flows from it; we will not only be successful here on earth but will be successful on the day that God will test all our works for Him.
This basic truth we must get correctly about how to do God's work is that, *the real work of God is not work. It is a relationship.
God wants relationship!
He is not looking for workers who are sons. He's looking for sons who carry out His works.
God wants to delight Himself in you! I mean having you as a beloved son or daughter is the first thing God delights in.
A challenge common to all of us is that we always want to earn the love of God or the love of people by what we do.
But God continues to show us that we don't earn His love by what we do but by who He is.
Jesus made this clear when He said we didn't choose Him but He chose us.
We were chosen when we didn't even know our left from right. He told Jeremiah that he was ordained from the womb of his mother as a prophet unto the nations (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
In other words, none of us worked our way to be chosen by God. We are all products of His Grace.
In fact, I usually love to remind leaders who feel limited and incapacitated to rest in this one important truth about God's sovereignty in choosing us as His vessels.
No matter how incapable you feel or the odds that seems to be all against you in ministry, you will surely succeed because God knew you before He chose you.
Don't be intimidated by the magnitude of the works of ministry. Rather, be concerned about how you will stay in love, fellowship and deepen your relationship with the Lord.
When God's work flows from a relationship with Him, it will never weary nor ruin us.
Ministry is glorious, profitable, fruitful and wonderful when it flows from a relationship with Jesus than a mere official duty for Him.
Father! Please, Teach us the Power of Relational Ministry.
"This basic truth we must get correctly about how to do God's work is that, the real work of God is not work. It is a relationship!"
A Leader's Greatest Question!
The greatest question every leader must learn to ask is how to carry out a God-given assignment successfully.
Every leader must be bothered about how to do God's work in God's way, pattern, desire and to His perfect satisfaction.
This will remain our focus in the series the Holy Spirit is starting with us today.
Leaders are called into one thing. They are called to do the works of God.
Leaders are God's labourers and co-labourers with Him. This is the highest honour that God has bestowed on leaders.
But it is also important that we remind ourselves of the most forgotten, ignored and abandoned truth about God's work that is robbing many of His approval, power and blessing in our time.
Here is the truth:
God does not approve what we do. He approves what we do in a way He asks us to do it.
This is one of the things that gets me fearful about leadership and ministry.
Knowing that God is concerned about the details of what He commits to my hand tells me that REWARDS of my ministry are not going to be based primarily on my RESULTS but on my FAITHFULNESS.
GOD rewards Faithfulness, not Results only.
In other words, the real work of God is primarily and absolutely a life that is committed to God.
Some leaders are committed to the works of God but not the God of the works.
But the first matter the Lord is raising before us in today's devotion is about our primary and the only responsibility in doing His works.
We must be committed to God if we are going to learn how to correctly do His works.
Someone once said, "A life totally committed to God has nothing to fear, nothing to lose, nothing to regret."
During a particular difficult season of my life in ministry, I ran to my Discipler and told him about my battles.
After I finished lamenting, he said I should come to the table and eat first.
What has meal got to do with this was the thought in my heart.
But after the meal, he called me outside and said, "Ben, if men wants to take office away from you, allow them. But this one thing you must not allow.
Don't allow anything to TAKE GOD AWAY FROM YOU.
This was the first time I realized what ministry is.
Ministry is Having God and God alone!
That's the beginning of knowing how to do God's work!
Happy new month.
Father! Make us satisfied with You alone!
"Ministry is Having God and God alone!"
Few days ago, I shared with our Leadership Team at Purpose Reminder Christian Mission of something the Holy Spirit told me about the Power of Our Individual Uniqueness.
If you carefully consider what is going on in the Body of Christ today, you will agree with me that Unity is lacking.
The Power of Synergy that commands tangible, wholesome, enduring and wide impact is seriously lacking in our midst.
What we see all around is competition, intimidation, isolation, cliques and carnal fellowships.
In fact, the matter has been made more worse by the associations and fellowships that serves as the supposed umbrella of the Church.
It is so glaring that ministries, ministers, and the Leadership Associations have become self focused and self serving.
Competition has become the new king in Egypt that did not know Joseph which has turned many to its captives.
May the Lord send deliverance to His body!
So, the Holy Spirit told me that one of the major reasons for lack of unity in the Body of Christ is ignorance and unappreciated value for Uniqueness.
But He called my attention to something vital about Uniqueness.
He says, Uniqueness is Strength.
Meanwhile, our challenge is the way we have always been seeing Uniqueness.
We either see it as a weakness or threat.
On a personal level, we see it as personal weakness or deficiency instead of strength.
On the part of others, we see it as a threat instead of strength to compliment or complete our own weaknesses and deficiencies.
Just like we mentioned marriage in yesterday's devotion, do you also agree that ignorance of the Power of Uniqueness has caused ruined for many marriages?
Also, the knowledge and appreciation of it has helped other marriages to become fully effective and heavenly fruitful?
It all boils down to knowing well about our Uniqueness, how it is a blessing and the way it has been given to compliment and complete.
When we have correct understanding and value of our Uniqueness as David mentioned in Psalms 139:14, unity in marriage, ministries, governance, organizations and communities will cease to be an unconquerable battle.
How well do You know Yourself?
Father, Please give us understanding of the Power and Purpose of our Uniqueness.
"Uniqueness is Strength."
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Learn to Develop Strong Faith.
Flowing in God's Power becomes possible as we learn to develop strong faith.
The faith of a leader must be strong.
Weak faith makes a weak leader.
One of the necessities of leading with high altitude is learning to flow in God's Power. But this only comes as we give total attention to the development of a strong faith.
Whatever God will be carrying out through our lives, we must be fully ready to learn how to operate with strong faith.
Weakness of faith is a great disadvantage to any leader.
Leadership is not meant for the weak in faith. Where there is weakness of faith, there can be no free flow of God's power.
Just as an unused faith is unuseful, a weak faith is also weightless. It can carry nothing of any substance in God.
For us to bear a great message, manifestation, anointing, power and to bring transformation that our generation is yearning for, we must be strong in the faith of God.
What then is a strong faith that can help us to flow in God's Power?
This is the faith that reckons not with the flesh. It gives no consideration to the limitations of the flesh.
In fact, it is the kind of faith that is absolutely unaffected by the flesh.
Such faith lives and relate with God from the spirit.
It has no iota of affection or sympathy for the flesh.
This is where strong faith is born.
The moment we stop living and leading from the flesh, giving no consideration to its dictates, influence and demands, we will begin to respond to our limitless capacities in the Spirit.
My heart cry is for God to make this a reality in our lives as leaders.
The greatest barrier to our flowing in God's Power is the flesh.
The more we give CONSIDERATION to our flesh, the more we will be robbed of God's Power and the ability to flow in it.
In the matter of your growing relationship and walk with Christ, refuse to give consideration to the demands of your flesh.
Be ruthless with your flesh!
Stop obeying your flesh!
Stop believing in your flesh!
These are unfailing secrets of flowing and walking in the Power of God.
Flowing in God's Power: The Beginning of True Faith.
There are two powerful forces that determines whether we are going to flow in God's power or not.
These two forces are faith and doubt.
The force of faith causes us to flow in God's power while the force of doubt makes it impossible for us to do so.
As leaders, we can't afford to yield to the force of doubt. We must be men and women full of faith.
But the matter here is not wether we have faith. It is wether we are using the faith we already have.
Sometimes ago, the Lord confronted me with a serious matter that I have never given a thought to. He said, I have stopped living by faith and the blessings flowing into my life are simply acts of His mercy.
Then, He told me to get back to faith if I don't want to suffer a shipwreck in my journey with Him.
When the Lord spoke these words to me, it dawned on me that I have been deceiving myself by thinking that I have faith.
But the Holy Spirit corrected me immediately that my problem was not lack of faith. It is the lack of its use.
FAITH MUST BE USED
What the Holy Spirit shared with me opened me up to the very weakness that many of us also have. The weakness of UNUSED FAITH!
Please take note of this.
When faith is not used, the POWER OF GOD remain UNTAPPED.
During his lifetime, Dr T.L. Osborn shared a story of a young man who came to him during one of their crusades in India.
This young man had seen how T.L. Osborn was flowing in God's power with the manifestations of raw healings, conversions and unsual miracles.
He decided to go on two weeks absolute fasting and prayer to seek God for the kind of anointing operating upon Dr Osborn.
But after the intense fasting, he came crying before T.L. Osborn that he had not seen any manifestation that God has anointed him.
The response of Dr Osborn to him was, "You will never see manifestation until you begin to put what you already have to work."
This young man then realized that you can't flow in God's power until you begin to put your faith to work.
He left and did exactly what he discovered and the power of God began to flow through him.
What about you?
How well are you putting your faith in Christ to work?
Faith, no matter how small or great, must be used in order to experience the release of God's power.
This is the beginning of true faith in Christ. It must be USED.
Can you stop trying and start trusting?
In the next few days again, the Lord will be dealing with us about what it takes to start flowing in His power.
One of the common temptations many leaders face, is the effort to keep trying in order to make things work.
Somehow, we have this tendency of doing mentality.
Our mindset has been programmed into doing or trying mode.
We love to try than to trust.
But in a recent times, the Lord began to speak to me about how He has made everyone of us to function.
He makes it clear that we are not meant to be people who should be trying to accomplish whatever He has called us to do.
We are meant to flow in the provision of His power already made available for us in Christ.
And come to think of it, trusting is better and more fulfilling than trying to make things happen by ourselves.
One of the startling instructions the Holy Spirit has been moving me to share with the Body of Christ and especially to leaders is incredible.
Here is it.
Those who will start trusting in Jesus absolutely will begin to flow in a greater dimension of His power. The kind of dimension that the world has never seen.
In fact, this will be our normal habitat just like water is a normal habitat for the fish.
In the coming move of the Holy Spirit, there is not going to be stressful means of getting things accomplished for the Lord again.
We will just be flowing in His power.
But God is saying, this will only work for those who will stop trying and start trusting Him completely.
It is time to stop trying to make things work.
We need to switch now to just trusting Jesus with our lives, families, ministries and even our future.
We have tried enough and it has not taken us far as we ought to be in Christ. Now is the time to start trusting.
Every labour, anxiety and shallowness will cease once we stop trying to make things work out for ourselves and our assignments.
Proverbs 16:20 (Message translation) says, "Things work out when you trust in God."
This is what will begin to happen to you and everything about you.
Things will begin to work out without any stress on your part.
You are going to simply be trusting God and then begin to flow in His Power that makes things work out.
Father, we thank You for inviting and reminding us to trust You. Please help us to start trusting You afresh and more.
"We are meant to flow in the provision of God's power already made available for us in Christ
All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.
This reminder from Michael J. Bobak is something every leader must continue remember in order to respond to new realities.
Abraham's potential in God began to show forth, after he responded to the new realities he was called to pursue, outside the comfort zone of his country home and family.
It was a challenge laid before a seventy-five year old man. The period many would have resented such a calling.
Beginning a new journey at seventy-five, after many years of being used to a particular way of life, vocation, people and environment is easier analyzed than demonstrated.
But Abraham knew by faith that all progress with God takes place outside the comfort zone.
He departed as God commanded with just one thing, his faith.
When you check the life stories of other leaders who became mighty in the Hands of God, something common to all of them is the response of faith that is willing to leave comfort zone behind.
If our lives will also count for God in our generation, we must always be ready to respond to growth outside our comfort zones.
Your credibility and credentials to become an inspirational influence on others, who want to learn from your life to obey God with their lives, requires the things that happen to you outside your comfort zone.
I have discovered that those who are always afraid to respond to the demand of progress outside the comfort zone loses the vital part of their growth - the fulfillment of their God-given dreams.
They don't eventually live their dreams because they have lived all their lives in fear.
Roy T. Bennett says, "You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone."
The mediocrity of comfort zone has become the chain holding many great potentials down from becoming what God desires.
You must stop making excuses to stay in your comfort zone.
Glassman once said, "Fear and anxiety many times indicates that we are moving in a positive direction, out of the safe confines of our comfort zone, and in the direction of our true purpose."
Don't let fear and anxieties turn you into an expert of excuses making. I have also realized in my brief walk with God that fear and anxiety sometimes doesn't mean that you are getting out of God's will.
They may actually be signs that your comfort zone is being challenged. But when you respond with faith, you will experience the required peace.
Don't stop too soon!
There are still untapped possibilities within you waiting to be born.
John Maxwell once said, "It is your duty to find yourself."
I usually see this word as a challenge before me to ensure I don't settle for less than the best of God for my life and others that I have been called to lead.
Some of us have stopped too soon. We have stopped challenging ourselves to growth. We have stopped living and leading intentionally.
Not that we have stopped working, but our work seems not to be connected with a driven purpose again. We have not stopped leading but our leadership is not fueled by the clarity of vision that gravitate us towards leadership in the first place.
One major assignment I have been given is to ensure that leaders remain in their purpose. The truth is, when we lose our purpose, we have lost the vitality of our assignment.
So, when I said don't stop too soon, it is not that you have stop physically. It may simply be that you are no longer full of passion, purpose and purity of the Spirit in your assignment again.
Let me quickly share with you pointers that you are stopping too soon and how you must be challenged to find yourself - your effective and excellent self in your calling.
1. Resentment of another man's achievement
Have you ever felt so intimidated about the progress others are making and you begin to feel envious, cutting yourself off and refusing to learn from them again?
There are those who have rendered themselves ineffective because they are no longer measuring their progress by their purpose. Their concern has become how to work, lest someone's work prove greater than their own.
Please be careful of this. It is a pointer that you have lost touch with the realities of your calling and assignment.
Whatever someone else is doing for God must be celebrated and embraced, but should not drive you to resentment.
Don't let another man's achievement become a tragic trap of purposeless pursuit and engagement for you.
2. Refusing to Think things Through
Create time to think more. We have become more doers than thinkers, now in our generation. We speak more, we think less. We do more, we think less.
The art of meditation on the Word of God and over our assignment has been outrun by the bid to get things done.
When you stop thinking, you have stopped in the most important aspect of your assignment. Create time to think more.
Be bold to welcome new change.
Every positive attitude towards change makes you a champion of it rather than a victim.
Someone said, "Change can be scary, but you know what's scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing."
It was Jim Rohn who said, "Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change."
Every genuine response to change brings personal growth. This season, we are going to see more progress in the midst of all forms of challenges confronting us if we will be bold to say yes to new change.
There is a wind of change blowing presently. It is not a contrary wind. It is the wind of the Holy Spirit.
Those who allow this wind of change to carry them in this season will be rising above what looks like a limitation. They will be positioned in the midst of the impossibility where the Holy Spirit will give them the ability to do the impossible.
They will have ideas that are too lofty for ordinary minds to conceive and they will be empowered, enabled, and encouraged to birth these great ideas.
Those who respond to this wind of change blowing presently will have wisdom to lead difficult places and to lead difficult people. They will have the depths broken up before them. It will be evident that there is a supernatural dimension and direction working in their favour.
We are presently in a prophetic season when it is not going to be about those who are the forefront of leadership, carrying out exploits. The wind of change that is blowing will cause some people to start causing waves from the back seat.
They are not known and they are not recognized by those who are expected to help them. But they are going to rise in the power of the Spirit, demostrating the influence, impact and power of God.
The new realities of this season will not accommodate those who are simply pursuing self gain and glory. They will become irrelevant. Only those who are hungry and desperate to see the Kingdom of God expand will thrive in this season.
Please get positioned to flow with this wind of change. It may take you out of your comfort zone but the chaff in you will be blown away for the real substance to emerge.
Whatever it will cost you, let the wind of this change carry you into the realm of what God is doing this season.
Be motivated by what is yet to be. No matter what we have witnessed so far, what is yet to be is still the greatest reason for our hope.
The Scripture says hope that is seen is no longer hope. In other words, God wants us to be motivated by what is ahead, the things yet to be.
This is how to also become hope motivated leader. Hope motivated leaders have hope that GOD has not done all He wants to do.
They live in anticipation of what is yet to be. They believe that the best revival, transformation, exploits, Church growth, social redemption and manifestations of God's beauty are yet to be experienced.
Abraham and other patriarchs of faith were motivated by the substance of what they hoped for.
If they were not motivated by what is yet to be, many of them would have died unfulfilled, frustrated and devastated.
But for them, the realities of what they saw ahead motivated them to respond in faith to the realities of the moment.
They became powerful by the motivation of hope through faith.
Are you also motivated by what is yet to be?
Do you look forward with conviction that the best that God wants to do through you is yet to come?
No matter the pressures, barriers or the challenges of the present realities in your life, be motivated by what is yet to be!
Leaders who are motivated by hope have the two characteristics I want to share below.
1. They are willing to give up the present gain in order to secure the greater gain of the future.
Whatever looks like achievement or gain now is nothing compared to what God has prepared ahead for you.
Today's success can become the enemy of tomorrow's significance.
Those who are motivated by what is yet to be don't allow the success of today to rub them of the significance of tomorrow.
They are willing to sacrifice the present in order to secure the future in God.
2. They are Convinced of the Ability of God to do the Impossible
Leaders who are motivated by what is yet to be succeed because of their conviction that God is able to do the impossible.
Everything we have seen or heard that God performed through others is nothing compare to what He is still able to do.
This should be our CONCLUSION if we are ready to succeed in God. Our CONVICTION of GOD'S ability to do the IMPOSSIBLE must be unshaken.
Father, give us the conviction of Abraham in our walk with You.
Work hard at becoming a better you this month. The better you become as a leader, the better things and other people become around you.
If there is any desire, desperation and diligence that leaders put into their work, it is towards changing things, situations, organizations or people they lead for the better.
But things will be different all together when we realize that the labour towards changing a situation becomes less burdensome, and highly rewarding when we focus on working hard towards our own personal change.
This is a worthy labour and commitment.
The most tedious and profitable task that must consume us as leaders in this present time is unreserved commitment to personal change.
Becoming a better you is not going to answer to a wish.
It is not even primarily a decision of engaging in personal development activities.
It is more about facing the task of putting off things that makes you less of your best in order to respond to everything that will call forth the best in you.
Let me call your attention to some key factors that can help you become a better leader.
1. Abide in Your Calling
Every leader who obeys the instruction of the Holy Spirit through Paul in first Corinthians 7:20 will become better and lead at the best level.
"Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called."
The Greek word translated abide is menõ, which means 'to stay in a given place, relation or expectancy.'
It has to do with the discipline to continue, dwell, endure, being present, remain, stand or tarry in your calling.
Becoming a better leader who will respond correctly to new realities needs the discipline that will not drift, but stay committed and occupied in the specific vocation you have been called to.
2. Develop Your Gifts
Developing your gifts becomes a necessity when you learn to abide in your calling.
Becoming a better leader means you have decided to play to your strength only.
You refuse to spend your energy involving in the works which you have not been gifted.
But you keep learning how to hone, improve and use your gifts more effectively in the areas of your calling.
Abiding in your calling and developing your gifts will bring great turnaround, not only to situations, organizations or people you lead, but to your personal development as a leader.
Father, Make us more fit for Your assignment!
Mind retraining is highly essential whenever we need to respond to new realities of life.
I have witnessed how some people have bounced beyond the realities of challenges that could have made a shipwreck of their lives, families and ministries through the renewing and retraining of their minds.
Most times, the new realities simply means a call to uplift and upgrade our thinking.
This upgrade means our minds are retrained to process life, not just the way circumstances has handed it down to us, but the way God made it to be.
When we understand this important principle, we will learn to respond to new realities without fear, anxieties and worries.
Mind retraining leads to peace that helps us to develop the confidence that can bring out the best in the new realities before us.
Because my calling is basically to help leaders fulfill their purpose, God has been calling my attention to the ongoing battle many leaders are facing, the battle of inner peace.
One of the things I'm learning about how to deal with this battle, which I have been sharing with other leaders is the necessity of developing a deliberate discipline of choosing where to focus their minds.
This is what mind retraining means. Learning to set your mind on the supernatural, the things above the present realities that you can see.
The state of our inner lives per time is a definition of where we choose to focus our minds. If we want to live above the present realities, our minds must be redirected and be retrained to perpetually focus on Christ.
"Be Anxious for Nothing" is a word that came from a leader who retrained his mind to focus on the realities beyond his physical condition.
Paul showed that a leader must concentrate his focus on God. He must quit fellowshiping with negatives but commit only to positives.
He must endeavour to speak words that will build his faith capacity rather than echoing the voice of doubt.
Developing such discipline can't be achieved by a default. It has to be mastered by learning to retrain the mind constantly through prayer and the word.
Father, help our minds to fully stay on You.
New realities opens up new opportunities to those who learn to see them.
Whenever there is a shift of any kind, including shifts that comes with difficulties and adversities, they come along with new opportunities for us to fulfill our purpose.
But most times, we see problems than those opportunities that God presents to us in the new realities.
Because there is time for every purpose on the earth, new realities could also be alerting us that a purpose is set for accomplishment.
New reality is the time for specific purposes and assignments. This is why we must respond and not just react.
In every situation, God wants to establish a purpose which has been set in eternity, but needs to be discerned by man.
I see the new realities of the world today as another prophetic time that God's leaders must respond to a new assignment, task and commission prepared ahead of time for us in this season.
We must not allow our circumstances to blindfold us. God has a purpose for this time, and whatever this means for your calling, ministry or organization, your response is what will bring Glory to God in the new realities the world is facing.
I will discuss five important reasons why discerning purpose this season is crucial to our fulfillment as leaders.
1. Purpose stands the test of time
The constancy of purpose makes it powerful at all times. No matter the pressures, purpose always prevail.
So, when we look for purpose in new realities and pursue it, everything will work out for our good.
2. Purpose is Proactive
Proactiveness is responding to new realities of life or ministry with the sense of decision and responsibility.
It is to believe that we are not people who wait for things to happen to us, but rather to make things happen through the power of the Holy Spirit.
And this is what discerning purpose is all about.
3. Purpose is a Viewpoint
Those who see opportunities to advance the cause of God in new realities uses the discerned purpose as the lens.
Purpose is a viewpoint where opportunities can be clearly captured.
4. Purpose is an Enbaler
We don't just see opportunities in new realities through the lens of purpose, but it also enable us to fulfill the purpose.
5. Purpose is a Guide
When purpose becomes our viewpoint and enabler, we will have ease of movement in facing the demands of new realities that will help us to make the difference that God is calling us to.
So, the challenge before is to focus more on fulfilling God's purpose for this hour.
Father, Help us to fulfill Your purpose for this time and always.
New reality is part of life. But the question is, are you ready for the new realities?
Most people live their whole lives thinking about when crisis will be over, but great leaders simply position themselves to respond to new realities.
We must develop the capacity to recognize and reorganize for new realities in our lives.
Sometimes, just like what the world is facing now, new realities happen so fast in a way that alters almost every aspect of life.
But whatever happens in the world as new realities, whether positive or negative, we believe more in the greater, deeper, higher and supernatural realities that exists in Kingdom of God.
We are Kingdom people and must know the nature of this Kingdom. It is a Kingdom that cannot moved!
Really, this should get us excited, expectant and encouraged in the new realities that is calling for our response presently.
Whatever new realities means to you in this season, there is just one demand that is before us, and that's our response.
The response that is willing to move away from the past, and willing to shape the outcome of the new reality to what will bring out God's best in you.
Most times, the difference between crisis and opportunity is how we respond to the accompanied realities.
Leadership is about learning how to shape the future through the present reality.
Leaders don't deny or run away from new realities. They simply respond to shape its outcome for good.
In the next few days, we will discuss how we can get directly involved in responding to any new realities in our lives and assignments.
As we increase in capacity to respond to new realities, we will be better positioned to help those we lead to move from being victims of circumstances to creating new circumstances.
Until we respond to any new realities, we cannot influence it. We can't create the desired realities out of the undesirable.
The good news is that, no matter the price of responding to the new realities that any crisis brings, we have the all time Answer and that's Jesus.
Through Him, we are confident of influencing the earthly new realities with the heavenly unchanging realities.
Father, we acknowledge that the Kingdom is the LORD'S. Teach us how to bring Your Authority into the present reality of the world situation.
If we are going to be leaders in Christ, our business must be the same as Jesus' - My Father's business.
In our day-to-day living, one of the temptations we are going to be confronted with is the struggle to dance to the music that people promotes.
There will always be a test in one form or the other to lose our originality and become the clone of others.
In fact, this is the state of so many of us today. We are no longer speaking as the voice but as echoes of another. We see it as something offensive to be different in who and what God has called us to be.
The sense of insecurity that tells us to follow the trend is what we constantly obey. We are afraid of being challenged to be about our Father's business only.
We still want to do both, just like those we have met ahead of us have yielded themselves to being the sons of Joseph and sons of God at the same time.
Although, there is a time to be called the son of Joseph. But a time comes that we must know our business as leaders and to also make others to recognize it.
What is your business in leadership?
Has it been clearly set before those who follow you in Christ, what you are all about?
Are some people still doubting whether you are about Christ's mission or other missions?
Is there any conviction about your life, the one thing your life and leadership takes up as a focus?
Does it clearly reveal Christ and Him alone?
In Luke 4:22, we are showed how all bore witness to Jesus and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"
Let me point to you few things that shows what the business of your life and ministry is all about.
I will mention one point today and discuss others in the next devotion, if the LORD wills.
Convictions of Outsiders about Your Life
Recently, I told some leaders that people may not love you. But when your life commands evidence of Christ, they cannot ignore you.
This is important. Don't seek to be loved but seek to live a life in Christ that cannot be ignored!
Do you know that our daily lives, especially among those who are close to us, passes a message of conviction about who and what we represent?
That's why, no matter the crisis or pressures, we must live both in private and public with one single definition of what we stand for.
And I pray, this will be Christ.
Father, we ask that You will help us to stand for You in all circumstances without compromising our commitment!
Clarifying our 'why' and focusing on it is the key to success in whatever we do. Nothing seems difficult as it looks after the essence has been clarified.
If we are going to find fulfillment and get the best out of what God has committed to us, it is essential to know who we are and what our ministry or business is all about.
I once read about the first telephone company in the United States called Bell Telephone and how the organization fired one of the staff, Theodore Vail in 1890 when he dared to ask top management, "What is our business?"
It was after a decade when the consequences of the lack of an answer had become apparent that Bell System recalled Theodore Vail.
At this point, they had drifted into into a severe crisis that the government threatened to take over.
This happened because they refused to face the reality of clarifying the essence of their business.
But when Theodore Vail was called back, he gave them an answer they proudly missed a decade earlier.
He told them: "Our business is service, not telephones."
It was recorded that Vail's response to help Bell System clarify their essence eventually brought radical innovations in their Telephone's business policy.
It was infused into every employee training, advertising and other public relations engagement what they represent.
That shift revolutionized their business as they knew who they were and what their business was all about. It is not telephone, our business is service.
I think this generation need the likes of Theodore Vail in the Church, Organizations, Politics and Government.
We need Purpose Reminders like Theodore who will boldly confront us with the same matter, "What is our business?"
Do you see the need to ensure such clarity in your life, family, business or ministry?
Perhaps you have done this, but do you ensure everything about you and your organization revolves around the essence?
Looking into the life and leadership of Jesus, this clarity made Him to stand out and to accomplish His mission gloriously.
Jesus knew why He came (Matthew 1:21). He understood the essence of His mission in a discoverable, describable and deliverable manner.
Jesus never drifted into non-essentials.
Temptations to always drift into non-essentials abound, when we don't fight to clarify and constantly focus on the essence of what and why of our lives and leadership.
It is essential to know who you are and the clear purpose you stand for!
Father, Please give us a more accurate understanding of who we are and help us not to drift from this!
Focus on your why.
Why are you a leader?
Why are you in ministry or business?
Why are you a husband, wife, or parent?
Why are you doing what you do?
Your why can have many faces, but clarifying your why and focusing on it is one of the best ways to fulfil your purpose no matter the odds against you.
Coming to terms with your why is unraveling the essence of who you are and what you are called to do.
One of the reasons for quick failures in leadership is losing touch with the essence of what you do, not just the assignment itself.
Part of the secrets of leadership success that I have seen in most successful leaders is the ability to focus on the essence of their assignments no matter the crisis.
In the real sense, it is not what we do that shapes our lives, but the essence of what we do.
When many of us understand this important leadership principle, we will remain standing and strong no matter the crisis that comes to challenge us.
How do you measure your progress?
Most times, we become so discouraged, disappointed, or dissatisfied because we measure our progress by countable things.
But when we learn to focus on the essence, the why of what we do, we will discover that numbers are never the standard by which God measures our success.
Your progress is measured by staying faithful to the very essence of your assignment.
If many of us will return to make Jesus and Jesus alone, our standard and focus of our assignments, the unnecessary agitations, worries and burdens about what we call success will be taken away.
Jesus succeeded because He focused single mindedly on the essence of His work.
He operated with a clear definition of His assignment!
Think about it: Why does your ministry exist?
Sometimes we think this is simple, but it is not as simple as you think.
The reason it seems your assignment looks complex, the basic cause of your insecurity and the feelings that you are not fulfilled is not because of the challenges you are facing. It is because you probably have drifted from the 'why' of your assignment.
I will share in the next devotion how clarifying your 'why' will greatly impact your life, family, organization or ministry in the midst of crisis.
Father, help us to always remain conscious of the essence of our lives and leadership!
Don't be something less than you can be!
Step out in faith.
There is no time than can be best for you to make a difference with your life, except God's time.
When all we wait for is the time when there will be no crisis, the time when everything is working as planned, then we will end up not becoming all that God want us to be.
I have a rule that guides me over the years and God has used this to teach me some unforgettable lessons about faith in Him.
No matter the situation, the odds against me, lack of resources, support from others or any limitation around; there is always a way to keep moving forward in the purpose of God for my life.
Although, the challenges may reduce speed, cause delay or make results unsatisfactory. But no matter the situation, progress in fulfilling purpose must not stop.
We must not allow crisis, adversities and challenges to shift our focus from pursuing our God-given vision.
If you are going to fuflill purpose, you must act like Jesus in crisis. His approach is something everyone of us must keep to heart in order to achieve our goals no matter the odds.
In a time as this when a leader's effectiveness is going be put to test, the time it seems we are all beginning again, we must respond with the approach of Jesus.
Here is it.
Avoid trying to accomplish too much or fight battles on too many fronts.
This is one ignored secret of Jesus' response to fulfillment of purpose.
Focus on what you are enabled to do per time. Make use of the resources available to do what you can do. Refuse the temptation of spreading yourself too thin in order to accomplish what you are not able now.
There is a difference between impossibility and inability. There is nothing impossible with God, but the other side is the ability, enabling and the resources to do it now.
God gives us abilities for the things He wants to do through us at the appropriate time.
Many have misinterpreted what Jesus meant about Greater Works than these you will do. Greater works, not because we are going to be more powerful than Jesus or surpass His exploits.
The greater works because Jesus was limited in His physical movement to accomplish all that He needed but now works in us through His indwelling presence.
Jesus did not struggle to reach the entire world in His three and half years of bodily ministry. He focused on the scope of His present ability. He did what He was enabled to do and waited to move into the wider scope at the appropriate time (See Acts 1:8).
Father, We know You supply abilities for every purpose You want to accomplish through our lives. Keep us opened to what matters per time!
The demand of the hour is not for the experts in knowledge. It is for the experts in kneeling.
God can do the impossible if He finds those who will press into the unchanging power of prayer.
Jesus proved to us that crisis will always be in the world as long as we are in the world. But the joy in this is that, He has overcome, not just crisis but the world itself.
How then can we be overcomers as Jesus has promised us?
Our strength to overcome is nurtured, developed, activated and resourced by time spent alone with God.
Jesus faced the biggest crisis of all times, but the strength to overcome was released as He devoted Himself to prayer.
We cannot afford to look for strength to overcome the world that has already been put under us outside what Jesus did.
For as He is, so are we in this world. We can only prevail, by the same power He was given to prevail, and that's prayer.
The litmus test of a leader's spiritual character, ability and passion is his prayer life.
Great success that we are going to make for God as leaders will not come from our skills, but from our secret place of agonizing in prayer.
Our victory is not about the things we do outside. Victory is gained in the secret place of prayer.
Let us strengthen our secret place. We can't be stopped in achieving what God has called us to do until we have been stopped in our prayer lives.
The secret of success in a leader's life is prayer. When there is no failure in our prayer lives, we will lay hold on what Jesus has overcome for us. But don't forget how He did it. Prayer is the secret.
Failure at prayer can make no success in any endeavour for God!
Your prayer closet is your energy asset.
When we see prayer as the most important aspect of our calling, our priorities, decisions, planning, and actions will be sanctified.
The value a leader places on prayer is what determines the quality of grace that will flow out of his life.
This is how to act like Jesus in crisis.
Let the Holy Spirit make out of you a prayer addict.
You will see more of God's Power at work as you devote yourself to Him in prayer.
Father, heal our ailing and failing prayer lives! Restore, revive and rekindle the flame of prayer in our lives!
Jesus came for the crusade of change.
His single message revolves around one thing.
The need for change into the unchanging Kingdom full of lasting benefits.
He challenged people to see the new that has arrived, the new Kingdom of Heaven.
He called people to respond to change so that they might experience positive change in their lives.
His call to change is not just for a people but the entire world.
Jesus came to change the world.
He did not advocate for local transformation. The focus is to save the world.
But nothing will happen except there is a change response on the part of the people.
We all have the same assignment like that of Jesus!
The call to change is our single task.
Community or Church change.
Our crusade of change like Jesus is also wholistic.
It is basically and ultimately a Kingdom shift.
It is a call to radical transformation of culture.
It is an invitation to the new that will affect the now but ultimately transport the present into the future.
Sometimes ago, Myles Munroe said change transports the present into a future that demands a response.
That's exactly what Jesus fought for. He demanded for a response on behalf of those who will benefit from the new normal.
This is where crisis lies. The greatest crisis is not a pandemic, loss, political slavery, spiritual apathy, sickness, poverty and many more.
The greatest crisis is non-response to the challenges and opportunities that change brings.
But every time we react negatively to change, it hurts more than what any crisis can do.
The demand of responding to change means we don't allow the pace of change happening fast on the outside world to be more faster than the change happening inside us.
The change that Jesus brought to us begins from the inside and then works to influence the outside.
In such a time as this, let us labour more as leaders in calling people to change within, so that they can handle, respond, and transform change around.
In every moment of our lives, we must not just have sense of timing but we must allow this to regulate and determine the course of actions we take.
There is a demand on us as leaders to know when it is appropriate to make a move that will advance our assignment and to know when we ought to wait.
One of the ways to be a leader who can discern the times especially in the time of crisis is the visibility of the happenings in the world.
We must be acutely aware of the happenings in the world and see how any of these relate to our God-given purpose, calling, assignment, ability and passion.
This is how to walk in the day light when you cannot stumble because you can see by the light of the world.
In acting like Jesus in crisis, this is one of the outstanding ways Christ approached His assignment. He was not moved by crisis but sees what looks like crisis as the light of the world that shows the need of His purpose.
Jesus usually seize the moment that others see dangers to carry out His assignment. This occurs because He sees differently.
He knows the difference between walking by day and walking at night. And crisis to Christ is not the night, but night is when there is no need, demand, or purpose for fulfilling God's purpose.
When we understand this, we will learn to define crisis differently and we will also be able to confidently advance the assignment God has called us into in spite of crisis.
Wherever you can find your purpose, no matter the prevailing barriers, you cannot stumble because that's your day time.
Failure is only a consequence of purposeless move. Purpose is your guiding light. It is a pointer that you are needed. It is a reminder that you must move to carry out your assignment in order to make your mark.
Purposeful move protects you in crisis.
Even when the disciples were afraid and decided to call the attention of Jesus to the plan of Jews to stone Him, He responded with confidence and assurance that wherever purpose guides, there is no danger of defeat and destruction.
Do you allow God's purpose to guide you or crisis?
Yesterday, we discussed about the importance of acting like Jesus by living according to priorities in crisis.
Setting and living by priorities will also help us to understand something very crucial in dealing with various issues and challenges in our lives and leadership.
The Spiritual Sense of Timing.
That's exactly one of the greatest benefits of living your life by priorities.
The sense of timing gives us the power to walk at God's pace. We walk with God by getting in step with what He is doing in us and through us.
Spiritual sense of timing helps us to know the shifts taking place in the realm of the spirit that we won't ordinarily be able to discern if we don't get our priorities right.
Jesus proves this over and over again in His few years of earthly walk with God.
He demonstrated that sense of timing is the most important thing in our lives, whether in crisis or comfort.
He refused to allow circumstances to affect the pace for every aspect of His life. And that's what positions Him to get clarity from the Father in tough times.
The strength that overcomes every trial and temptation flows from living at God's pace.
Do you live and lead at God's pace?
Recently, I told a group of people that when we learn to respond to Jesus in every situation, the yoke He gives us is easy and His burden that we carry is light.
I mentioned to them that easy does not mean without difficulties. It simply means grace to bear any difficulty.
The easy yoke of Jesus is useful for our good and better because of the wonderful things it works out in us.
Whenever we also choose to respond to Christ's pace in every situation, what we find is Grace to bear all things and even to overcome eventually.
In the midst of challenges that surround us, as we learn to align ourselves with divine pace, we become used to acting on divine instructions, and not because of glaring obstructions.
One of the things that can make a difference whenever we face crisis is our understanding of priorities.
In fact, I discovered that crisis will either reset, reorder, reveal or refocus our priorities.
But the truth is, everytime we are faced with crisis, whether short or long-term, our priorities will either help or hurt us. And this depend on the choices we try to make in the midst of crisis or after.
Things that are important and must be done before other things are what defines priorities.
Crisis of any kind comes to reinforce what defines our priorities or to reform the things that ought to define our priorities.
Most times, our challenges and difficulties are not so burdensome as our personal weaknesses in getting priorities set out.
Since our priorities are mainly expressed by our actions, it is important that we don't just act, but to first examine our priorities in whatever affects our lives and leadership.
This is the reason we have so much to learn from Jesus concerning how to define things that are mostly important no matter the crisis we face.
Jesus is fully an embodiment of setting and getting priorities right. If we desire to know what is most important to our lives both in season and out of the season, let us look to Christ.
There are few things we can remind ourselves of, concerning acting like Jesus by setting priorities right in crisis.
1. Know the Law of the First Thing First
The first thing, whether in crisis or comfort is GOD and our alignment with Him. Understanding and keeping to this high level of priority will make a big impact on our lives.
No matter the pressures, Jesus is never driven by them. The Father's Will characterized how He responds to issues.
2. Prioritize on Purpose not Pressures
How Christ responded to the news of Lazarus' sickness showed His sense of priorities in crisis. He knew there was a high priority problem but there was also a higher priority purpose.
Jesus gave the latter a priority. He knew something we must never ignore that, when you prioritize on purpose, every problem will work out for your good and God's Glory.
Whenever there is crisis, inner richness and peace becomes more important than other things.
Great leaders don't joke with the state of their inner lives because they know that true strength flows from the inner being of a person.
But achieving this requires a deliberate practice of solitude. This is the ability to constantly withdraw from the external noisy world and connect with God in your spirit.
Effective practice of solitude always give birth to freshness, renewal, refocus, rejuvenation, revelation and restoration.
Renewal in solitude is one of the visible patterns in the life and leadership of Jesus. This was how he retained His focus, faithfulness and fruitfulness in spite of all the crisis that characterized His ministry.
Renewal in solitude is one of the master secrets of Christ. Of course, this practice has been existing before Christ came. Many philosophers who lived before Him practiced it.
But how Jesus practiced solitude is absolutely different from the common practices.
Solitude to Jesus is not about separation or desire to be in your own presence and enjoy your own company.
The focus of Jesus in the practice of solitude is the Father. It is a deliberate separation or desire to be in the presence of God and enjoy God's company.
This is true solitude that was established before the fall in Eden. The power and purpose of this is what Christ lived out before us.
As a leader, you must practice the discipline of renewal in solitude and lead others to do likewise.
Jesus did not just practice renewal in solitude alone. He brought His leadership team into this practice.
But apart from the multitude, the leadership team and the core leadership team of Jesus, He practiced solitude alone.
Do you engage in this practice? How often and consistently do you seek renewal in solitude?
Please note that solitude is not loneliness. It is not a feeling. It is not just about having sense of isolation.
Solitude is a purposeful act of creating an undisturbed environment, atmosphere and condition when you can quietly connect, pray, observe, listen and gain clarity of God and what He has for you.
Solitude is simply your inspiration centre. It is the place you can truly be inspired to generate strength and depth needed to handle the pressures around you.
We are always going to face moments in our lives that we must decide what deserves the allegiance of our focus.
Each time we must move forward in our journey with God, we will first be confronted with the ability to choose what will be our drive in all situations.
Are we going to allow crisis, obstacles, persecutions and challenges to drive us away from carrying out our God-given mandate or we are going to be driven by our mission for Jesus?
Our response to this will always make a difference in our action towards crisis.
Also in this, Jesus is our Perfect model of what ought to drive us through moments of crisis. Whether crisis or comfort, Christ is driven by neither, rather He is driven by the mission the Father sent Him to fulfil.
Acting like Jesus in Crisis means we have also become like Christ who is not deterred by crisis or delayed by comfort.
When you're acting like Jesus, you are completely sold out to carrying out your assignment whether that means crisis or comfort.
You are not bitter by crisis or bound by comfort. All that matters to you is fulfilling your cause with joy.
Even when it comes like a deluge, you can still say to crisis that none of these things move; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the Grace of God.
This is a mission-driven life that cannot be battered by crisis. Paul became the leader who acted like Christ in crisis. He was too moved by his commitment to Christ than to be moved into forfeiting his assignment because of crisis.
What about you?
Do you allow crisis to move you?
Is your life dear to you than the ministry, vision, purpose and the gospel of the grace of God you have been raised up to testify in your generation?
Jesus showed us an example during His greatest hour of trial in Gethsemane, how we must respond in times of crisis. The will of the Father must be our drive no matter the cost of fulfilling it.
When we learn to act like Jesus in this manner, crisis will always work out the fulfillment of our purpose.
I have always wondered how differently things will be turning out if many of us commit to acting like Jesus in crisis.
Whenever we are faced with any crisis, we should never see it as something peculiar, special or strange.
One of the consolations for leaders in any situation is the availability of workable model that can be followed to tackle uncertainties of the present.