"As a potential leader moves into ministry, God develops his leadership abilities by taking him through four stages. (1) God challenges the leader into ministry. This is called entry. (2) He develops skills and spiritual gifts to enhance the leader’s effectiveness. This is called training. (3) He enables the leader to relate to people in ways that will motivate and influence them. He also teaches him how to set up the means to accomplish these goals. This is called relational learning. (4) He helps the leader see spiritual principles that govern ministry that please Him. This is called discernment.”
-J. Robert Clinton, The Making of a Leader, 79
Any one of us will acknowledge the importance of physical, intellectual, and emotional growth in life. It is extremely important that we all take time to develop theses areas in our lives in order to live a well-balanced life. As a new dad, I realize the importance of spending quality time with my daughter. Though she is only three months old, the time on her activity mat stimulates her mind and strengthens her eye-hand coordination. I carve out much of my day to talk and play with her on the couch and in the crib. Letting her listen to my voice and feel the warmth of my hand when I hold her reassures her of my presence. All of these things are so important for her growth.
If this is true in the physical world then it is much more in the spiritual realm. Any true leader recognizes the importance of spiritual maturity. There is no such thing as instant spiritual maturity. Our spiritual growth does not happen overnight; but it is a life-long process. After spending the last ten years in school, I have realized that no amount of books can replace my spiritual walk with the Lord. Within the trenches of life where we learn to trust God through our sufferings, depend upon His promises in His Word, and strive to learn more about being made in the image of His Son, we develop an intimate, lasting relationship with Him.
Sadly too many of us have lost our focus and find ourselves in a spiritual rut. We have lost the joy of serving Christ for various reasons: lack of personal commitment and discipline, bitterness, neglect in prayer and time in God’s Word, unyielding, complacent…
“Complacency is a blight that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are. The second is rejection of things as they might be. “Good enough” becomes today’s watchword and tomorrow’s standard. Complacency makes people fear the unknown, mistrust the untried, and abhor the new. Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course—downhill. They draw false strength from looking back.” (Bits & Pieces, May 28, 1992, p. 15)
When I take my daughter to the doctor for her monthly checkups, they lay her down on the table and mark her length to see how much she has grown since the last visit. The nurse takes a chart and explains to us where she ranks in the percentile of growth of babies her age. If you were to measure your growth spiritually, where would you rank? How are you doing on your quest? Or have you become complacent?
May we take time today and reignite our relationship with the Lord. May you catch a glimpse of His power and glory and draw closer to Him. Do not allow the enemy to discourage you and hinder your walk, but look to the Author and Finisher of our faith who has conquered the enemy and set the example for all of us to follow.
“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”