On many days, life and leadership demand more of me then I have to give. In years past, I have found myself starting out the new year exhausted and worn. I had spent so much of my time pouring out on others… that there was little of me left. I was making a HUGE leadership mistake… I was pouring out on others without prioritizing time to be poured back into.
Of course I was still doing my daily quiet times… most days. However, looking back in those busy seasons of life I notice something in through the perspective of reflection that I didn’t see at the time. I realized that I had a pattern of treating my quiet time with God like an item on my daily to do list. I had to read so many verses, pray for so long, etc… so that I felt like I had done what was needed of me. I had to admit something hard about that season of my faith: My time with God was not fulfilling my needs because spending time with God was not motivated out of my need for him.
Bam. That truth hit me between the eyes last year as I ended 2012 and started 2013. So I made a conscious choice in 2013 to authentically seek him each day. I did not give my quiet time a time limit… but rather I realized that I needed to spend time in his presence until I got what I needed from him that day.
The more that I am called on to speak to others… the more that I need to first let God speak to me.
The more that I am called on to challenge others… the more that I need to first let God challenge me.
The more that I am called on to make important choices… the more that I need to first let God guide me.
The more that I am called on to guide others… the more that I need to first let God fill me with his direction.
The more that I am called on to lead others… the more that I need to first let God lead me.
Some days I spend thirty minutes with him… other days I spent three hours with him. The true mark of a good leader is not their ability to lead others- but rather their ability to be led by God.
I learned three vital lessons over the course of 2013 that is allowing me to start out 2014 feeling fresh, renewed, and excited instead of exhausted and worn. I pray that by sharing them with you they will challenge and change your leadership this year and for years to come:
1. You can’t put God in a box anymore than you can place him on a time table. If you really want God to work in your life and through your leadership then you have to give him space to work. Giving him that space starts with confessing your need for him and allowing that need to be the driving force in your day.
2. The most productive time that I spend as a leader all day is my time with God. He is by far my most important meeting of the day because that meeting helps me to go into the rest of the day focused on his perspective instead of my own.
3. The more that is needed of me daily the more time I need need with God daily.
There is a song by Matt Maher called, Lord I need you. The words of that song have become my daily prayer as a leader:
Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You…
I challenge you to take a few moments today and listen to this song. As you do talk to God about your need for him as a leader of others and as a follower of HIM.