Today, let’s have a heart-to-heart chat about leaders. Grab your pumpkin spice latte, get comfy and let’s talk for a few minutes!
Each of us has leaders in our lives...maybe it’s at work, or church or school. People like our parents, pastors, government officials, teachers, our boss and so on. If we’re not careful, we may -- sometimes without realizing it -- put them on pedestals. Often, that starts from a very genuine place of loving and esteeming that leader. You think so highly of them -- they’re just the best leaders, superstars, incredible people!
However, what each of us will come to see at some point or another is that every leader is just a normal person too! They’re average joes, or average janes, just like the rest of us. YES...they’ve been anointed to lead in the roles they’re called to...but they’re also human. They have to lace up their faith boots and walk through life one day at a time, just like the rest of us.
>>Can you see now how placing them on a pedestal, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is bound to lead to some issues?
Friends, you will eventually see the “human” side of your amazing leaders...and if they’ve been put on a pedestal in your heart, that is going to cause them to fall from the pedestal. That could then get you caught up in disappointment, discouragement or even worse...you could get stuck in the trap of being offended. This type of situation is lurking behind untold numbers of church splits, company splits, family feuds and divisions of all kinds.
When it comes to your parents or civic leaders the Bible has a lot to say about honoring and obeying them. (We’ll save that for another devo.) God’s Word also has a lot to say about the benefit to YOU, when you honor the spiritual leaders He has placed in your life.
I encourage you today to look at this idea of honor from a few angles. (Hint: It will benefit both you and your leaders!) Absolutely we should esteem, value and love the leaders that God has put in our lives and on our hearts. But esteem the call on their life -- place the high value on the anointing they’ve been given by the Lord. Can you see that shift in focus? You’re not putting the person on a pedestal...instead, you’re choosing to focus on and esteem the position and calling. In 1 Thessalonians 5:13 we are encouraged to: “...esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake” (NKJV).
That can seem like a very simple, or basic, shift in focus -- but it will make a huge difference! Your leaders will feel your support of their role without sensing the pressure to be perfect or super-human. That will help make leadership a joyful experience! I love this verse in Hebrews 13:17, which shows so clearly how this will uplift your leaders: “Obey your spiritual leaders and recognize their authority, for they keep watch over your soul without resting since they will have to give an account to God for their work. So it will benefit you when you make their work a pleasure and not a heavy burden” (TPT).
Yes, your leaders are normal people! They are not perfect. But, they do have a calling on their lives to lead in whatever capacity God has anointed them...and they have a responsibility to do so in a way that honors the Lord. They will give an account for how they’ve fulfilled their leadership calling, so let’s help lift them up and encourage them by esteeming their position...but giving much grace to them as everyday people too!
Say This: “Father, thank You for the leaders You’ve placed in my life. Today I lift up ___________ (mention by name the leaders on your heart) -- I ask You to fill them with wisdom, grace and increased anointing so they can lead in a way that honors You. Lord, help me to see if I’ve placed any of my leaders on a pedestal -- help me instead to honor their role and calling but give them lots of grace, as they are normal people just like me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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Filtering by Category: Leadership
Today, let’s have a heart-to-heart chat about leaders. Grab your pumpkin spice latte, get comfy and let’s talk for a few minutes!
What is it about certain seasons in life that can just make you feel a bit...lost? Ever felt like you were so far off the grid that even God had forgotten your coordinates? If you find yourself in a season like that...the basic truth that you need to hear today is that God sees YOU. He knows right where you’re at and not only are you NOT lost, you are actually right where you’re supposed to be! God is equipping you for your life’s purpose, even if your current season seems a bit boring, mundane or like you’re “lost in a field somewhere.” Let’s look at David’s life and you’ll see just what I mean…
In 1 Samuel 16, we learn a lot about David. He was the son of Jesse and one of eight brothers. The other brothers were more gifted, more handsome and of greater stature...but we know that while man looks at the outside of a person, God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). So, when God told Samuel to go to Jesse’s house and He’d show Him who the anointed one would be, Samuel reviewed each of the seven brothers first. From the outside view, they each looked like they should be the chosen one. However, God confirmed that none of those seven brothers was it. That’s when Jesse mentioned having an eighth son...who was out tending the sheep, like usual. When that eighth son, David, came to Samuel, God confirmed His anointing on David.
David’s stature, job and other external factors may not have impressed many...but it’s not the external attributes that qualified him. God qualified Him. God saw David’s heart. He saw that David was faithful in the basics -- He loved the Lord, He tended the sheep well and He was faithful in all the everyday, ordinary actions. God chose him to make a big difference in his day-and-age! Like David, each of us has a call on our lives...a divinely implanted purpose that God desires to help us live out in full. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t the smartest, prettiest or handsomest, from the best side of town and most prestigious schools...God looks at our heart and our faithfulness in the basics. So, don’t think that just because you are out in the fields “tending sheep” that God has somehow forgotten about you.
>>In fact, the work that God is doing in your heart while you’re in the field is some of the most profound and essential work that will ever happen in your life!
Think about David again...in the field, he learned about being a leader -- he had to figure out how to get the sheep to follow him, how to keep them safe and so on. He also spent that “field time” honing his skills -- he got quite proficient at the harp and the slingshot. Remember when Goliath entered the scene? David didn’t pick up a stone and a slingshot on that day and just hope he could use it. Nope! He had been practicing and practicing and practicing that particular weapon while in the field -- he had absolutely mastered that weapon and used it that fateful day to take down the giant.
Like David, your field time will be time well spent! Take note of the gifts and talents the Lord has given you and be intentional about honing those skills. Become the very best you can be at those skills, and trust that when it’s your “Goliath day” He will position you to move mighty mountains with those very basic skills that you were faithful to practice. You may be in a field tending sheep...but that doesn’t mean you are off God’s radar. On the contrary -- He’s positioned you exactly where you need to be right now. Be faithful in the basics and honor the field time...and your big day to put those skills to use will come!
Say This: “Father, thank You that my ‘field time’ is intentional and I am not off your radar! You know right where I am. Lord, help me to recognize the gifts you’ve given me and be faithful in honing those skills while in the field. I trust that at just the right time you’ll help me use those skills and the basics I’ve been faithful in, to make a big difference for You in this world. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
“We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.” Colossians 1:28-29, MSG
For the past 30 years, I have been OBSESSED with helping people like you master the basics of faith because I know the life-transforming results you will experience no matter how young or old you are. As a reader of the Basics Daily Devo, I know you already have a love for the basics -- so I think you’re really going to love this too!
I’m excited to share with you that I’ve launched The Basics University online and I’d love to invite all of my Devo readers to join me there! “Beth, what is this awesome new thing?” I’m so glad you asked!
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In these courses, you will learn the basics through short, engaging videos (it'll feel like you and I are having a chat!) and downloadable worksheets that help you to apply what you've learned in a very practical manner.
So, what are you waiting for? Time to stop reading this devo and jump over to www.thebasicsuniversity.com to kick off your New Year with a new course! Let's make seeking the Lord our top New Year's plan for 2018!
“There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer.” Proverbs 30:24-25, NKJV
I have always been fascinated by ants! They are amazing little creatures who carry 10-50 times their weight. They operate within an intuitive rank and file organizational structure. They are self-starters and know how to take initiative.
Today, let’s see how we can be inspired and challenged -- by the ant!
Do You Carry More Than Your Weight? We were in a science museum in Montreal a while back, and they had a giant ant display within panels of glass. It was fascinating to watch the little ants carrying big flakes and particles many times their size up dirt hills. They maintained a steady pace and did their part. What about you? Do you operate at a steady pace in the things you’ve been called to do? Are you carrying more than your weight to help get the job done?
Do You Stay In Your Lane? Ants have the intuitive sense of their place, rank and role in the ant kingdom. The Queen knows her role. The worker ants stay in their lane and operate within their particular assignment. They don’t have captains, supervisors or leaders; nevertheless, they know how to find and fulfill their place. How about you? Do you know your place, rank and role? Have you learned to stay in your lane?
Are You a Self-Starter? Perhaps the most amazing thing about ants is their ability to be industrious, self-starters. They are self-motivated. They know how to take the initiative to start and finish. How about you? Are you a self-starter? Do you know how to motivate yourself to accomplish important things?
Let’s pray and ask the Lord to help us adopt some of the ants’ best qualities.
Say This: “Father, today I consider the ant! I ask You to help me carry more than my weight in my home, work, ministry and life. Help me to stay in my lane and to operate in my place, rank and role. Help me to be a self-starter and internally motivated to accomplish important things. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
“...man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7, NKJV
I love reading about David in the Bible -- he did so many things the right way! And it’s super encouraging to see that it wasn’t his stature, good looks, number of Facebook friends or resume that led God to promote him into the role of King of Israel. God looked at his heart and saw that David was faithful to do even the smallest of tasks with excellence.
Before David was king, he was a shepherd boy tending his father’s sheep. His task was to feed, lead and protect them. It wasn’t that glamorous or spiritual. He didn’t receive too many accolades and in fact, his older brother insulted and minimized what he did by calling them his “few sheep.” It was just routine work. It was the bottom of the totem pole. It was his starting point. But he did a good job -- even when no one but the sheep were watching.
As a side note...it’s cool to see that in his spare time, David worshipped God. He played his “guitar” (harp) and wrote songs to the Lord. We get the benefit of reading some of those songs in Psalms!
As you can see, David’s journey didn’t start in a lofty place -- it started in a pasture tending to sheep. He was the youngest of eight boys, and by the world’s standards was the least likely to be chosen as king. But...God looked at his heart.
Do you want to get promoted? Launch out in ministry? Start your own business? It starts in your “sheep pasture” -- being faithful in the simple, natural things right where you’re at today. So today -- I encourage you to take a heart check and see if you’re being faithful with your actions, commitments and details -- even when no one but the sheep are watching!
Say This: “Father, help me to inspect my life. Give me the wisdom and discernment I need to assess how I’m doing in taking care of my tasks, details and commitments. I do want to be promoted into all that you have for me in this life, so please help me to become excellent and faithful in natural things. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”