Those are words that most people would want to say about their lives. When we are feeling blessed, satisfied and successful, we are most likely going to be happy and content. However in order to achieve those things in our lives there needs to be some other qualities in our lives. Here are three thoughts about how to be blessed, satisfied and successful:
God desires to have a personal, growing relationship with all people. He is the one that can bring blessing into our lives. He is the one that can bring satisfaction and success. Having a relationship with God does not mean we will have no problems, there will be problems and pain in our lives. A relationship with God means that we have an all powerful, all knowing, loving heavenly father that will always be with us through every trial and triumph in our lives. He equips us to make it through the storms of life and emerge blessed, satisfied and successful despite those storms.
Spiritual leadership means giving up yourself for someone else. Why would a leader do that? Isn’t leadership about being out in front and getting people to follow you? I believe leadership is more than that. As a Spiritual Leader I have a responsibility to lead myself, my family, my friends, my employees, co-workers and my superiors. This can be a challenging thing to do, because all of us tend to think more about ourselves and our own needs rather than the needs of others. It does not come naturally to give yourself up and think more about the other person. Our natural response is to look out for ourselves.
In marriage we get upset and discouraged when our love language is not being spoken by our spouse. At work we are concerned about our job, position on the org chart and how much we are making. We focus on the things we are responsible for and can tend to protect our turf. We think a lot about how we look physically and can spend a lot of time on ourselves in general. We want our friends to listen to us and hang out when we want to hang out.
Here are six great questions every Spiritual Leader should ask on a regular basis.
If you are a Christian, then you are a Spiritual Leader. Take responsibility today to lead well no matter where you are or what you are doing.
This morning is was reading in the book of 1 Samuel. It starts off with a introduction of the family of Elkanah. This guy had two wives, I guess that was normal back then, the one was Hannah and the other was Peninnah. My first thought was that Hannah’s name has remained popular, but I don’t know any Peninnah’s. That must mean that Hannah is the one we can learn something from.
The story continues by saying that Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. Elkanah supported Peninnah and her children, but he loved Hannah, even though she could give him no children. Peninnah would often mock Hannah and remind her that she was able to have children. Hannah refused to lash out at her rival, but instead took her sorrow and loss to God. She prayed earnestly to her Lord, begging Him for a son. She refused to believe that her difficult situation had to remain permanent.
Hannah continued to pray sincerely and specifically, not backing away from her request for a son. That persistence paid off, when she eventually became pregnant and had a son, Samuel. When she was praying for a son, she had promised God that she would give him to the service of the Lord. After she had weaned him and he was old enough to take to the temple, she took her son and dedicated him to God. In that day, that meant that he would live and serve in the Temple with the main Priest. Eli was the Priest and so Samuel was raised by Eli and his mother Hannah would visit often.
Hannah went on to have three more sons and two daughters. Prayer changed the course of Hannah’s life and impacted an entire nation. God used her son Samuel in a key role as prophet during the lifetime of King David, and his influence remains today through the story of his life in the Bible. Hannah’s prayers laid the foundation for Samuel to be used by God. She put her son in an environment where God could develop him into a man of influence. Later in chapter 7 we see that Samuel becomes the new Judge and Prophet of Israel. He gained influence daily. When the people listened to him and trusted him they where victorious and enjoyed peace in the land. He became by far the most influential leader of his day. Three qualities stand out in Samuel and these can also be found in his mother Hannah.
All of us can be more like Hannah and Samuel. No matter what our situation is, we can be persistent in our prayers and petitions to God. That persistence will help us to build character, be completely surrendered and stay close and connected to God and other people. Over time that will lead to greater influence with the people around us. So whatever you are facing today, God wants you to persevere and continue to talk to Him about the situation.
As we head into a new year it is good to reflect and plan. One area to reflect on and plan for is your spiritual life.
We are all in process, either growing or declining, and that includes our spiritual life. The power to grow doesn’t come from within us, but from God. On our own, we do not have what it takes to become what God desires for us to become. When we absolutely surrender to God, He empowers us with everything we need to do what He calls us to do. In 2 Peter 1:5-11 we see a ladder to climb that leads to maturity or the process we should be working on. Spiritual growth happens daily, not in a day.
Peter tells us to diligently work on these eight characteristics:
These actions do not come automatically, they require actual hard work and effort. These are not optional, but a continual part of our everyday lives. We do not work on one master it and move on to the next, we work on them all together. In this process, God enables us to grow in these areas, but He also gives us responsibility along the way to learn and grow. When we agree with God and do our part, that is when life transformation happens.
So as you plan for the new year, include these characteristics in your planning. Which of those areas do you need to most help with? At the end of this next year will you still be in the same place spiritually or will you be more like Christ?