I am reposting some of most-read posts from the past as I speak at the Cell-Church Conference in Brazil. Tomorrow, I begin teaching in Águas de Lindoia, which is in the south of Brazil, about a two and a half hour car drive from Sao Pãulo.. Please continue to pray for me and those I’ll be speaking to!
The following post is one of the most popular posts on my blog in the last month. It’s also a topic very close to my heart.
Leadership is about two primary activities: receiving and overflowing. As a small group leader — as any kind of leader — my relationship with God comes first. I first must receive from him, and when I make myself available, God gladly pours into me all the things I do not have on my own, but that those I lead need: grace, love, patience, power, compassion, and so much more. When I am receiving, I can overflow, but I cannot overflow without receiving.
Today as I read Psalm 61, I came to a significant verse:
Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings! (Psalm 61:4, New Living Translation).
King David was on the run, but he yearned to be back in Jerusalem, not because that’s where his palatial home was, but because that’s where God’s sanctuary was. To David, God’s presence resided especially in the sanctuary, and David yearned to be there.
Leader, don’t miss the word forever here. David longed to dwell in God’s presence forever. The relationship, the fellowship, he had with God was so sweet he didn’t want it to end!
Here’s a tough question for us today. Do you feel the same way as you spend time with God?
Do you rush through your daily quiet time to get to the “more important” things you have to do or would you rather hang out with God a little longer, enjoying some intimate time with him? Do you schedule a 5 or 15 minute meeting with God and just do the bare minimum because you feel you should, or do you open your heart to God and desire to spend as much time as needed to enter into real fellowship with him?
I’m concerned for us, Christian leaders, that perhaps we’ve set our own agendas for our times with God rather than coming humbly to him seeking out his agenda and purposes for our time together. There are a number of “entry-level” devotionals out there that help beginners spend time with God. Five Minute Bible Devotionals, Five Minutes with Christ, Five Minutes a Day: 365 Daily Devotionals … I found a bunch of these listed on Amazon. And those are fine, I suppose, for new Christians. But if you’re leading others and you’re still doing 5 minutes a day with God, I just want to say, “C’mon man!”
I believe that our time spent in solitude with God is THE secret to fruit-bearing ministry. You must receive before you can overflow!
How is your time with God? Are you rushing through it or, like David, do you not want it to end?
Here are several resources that will help you go deeper in your time with God. Mark Moore is a friend who writes regularly for Christian Standard magazine, which I edit. I use CORE 52 for my own study, and will use QUEST 52 next.