All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). - Isaiah 7:14
This will be my final leadership devotional post of the year. Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you this year. I will be praying about how the LORD desires for me to use this platform in the year ahead. [/callout]
As I reflect on 2014, I keep coming back to the themes of the faithfulness of the LORD and the presence of the LORD in my life and leadership - Immanuel.
As I opened my heart and mind to the LORD this year he revealed himself in new and exciting ways. He revealed areas of my life that needed work - my relationships, the way I think, my behaviors - you name it and we worked on it together this year.
I thought for this devotional I would share just a few lessons from my walk with the LORD this year:
- Image Bearers - The idea of every one of us being made in the image of God was not something I ever took too seriously. I knew the verses in Genesis, but they never meant anything to my life. This year God helped me see others through this lens, which helped me have greater compassion and love for everyone I encountered.
- Unrelenting Pursuit - I was encouraged beyond words this year, as I realized God's unrelenting pursuit of his creation. He desires to be in relationship with each of us - he desires reconciliation - he desires for us to experience his love. He never stops - NEVER STOPS - saying, "return to me - I forgive you - I want you to be at peace".
- Defiant Truth - The truth of God is defiant towards the society, culture, and world in which we live. His ways are seen as foolish - his calling on our lives causes people to scoff - the truth of his son Jesus Christ is truly a stumbling block. His defiant truth requires us to make a choice as to who we will serve and who we believe is in authority to decide right from wrong in all creation.
- A Call To Obedience - My decision to be in relationship with God and become a follower of Christ requires my obedience to him in all areas of my life. Anything that gets in the way of that obedience is an idol and something that must be removed. There is a call to obedience that does not result in prosperity - power - or profit. Rather a call to obedience that results in knowing God more - living through the Spirit - and discovering a peace that surpasses all understanding.
- Cost To Discipleship - My life cannot be the same when I choose to accept that I am made in God's image, a rebellious child in need of a Savior, and that this world cannot bring me peace or satisfaction that lasts. When I fully comprehend the implications of following Christ it means there will be a cost. I have lost clients this year because they learned I was a follower. I have strained relationships with people I love because I am a follower. These are nothing compared to other followers around the world this year that have lost their life or experienced severe physical harm for their faith. This year I came to the realization that if I am going to follow Christ and push life in the Spirit to the limits that it will come at a cost and I must be prepared for that and find joy in it.
- Lead, Love, and Serve with Purpose - This year I came to grips with the truth that every moment with someone God brings into my life is a divine appointment. An appointment that may not show up on my calendar but requires my attention, compassion, and engagement. Every moment with a client, family member, or stranger is an opportunity to love, lead, and serve - demonstrating God's love for them.
Father, thank you for your unrelenting pursuit of me this year. Thank you for opening my eyes to the area of my life and leadership that needed attention, needed your light, needed me to confess and repent. Holy Spirit, I praise you for your presence in my life and the conviction and counsel you bring to my spirit and mind. Jesus, thank you for walking with me this year, opening my eyes, encouraging me to live without fear - with boldness - and with compassion. I am so excited to see what this next year holds for us together! Amen.
- Have you scheduled time this year to reflect on how the LORD has worked in your life?
- Where has God shed light on your leadership at home and at work?
- What are you looking forward to in your relationship with God in the year ahead?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!