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Tuesday Thoughts 5-23-17

How’s your agenda today? Every morning, one of my first thoughts is about the day’s list. Don’t you just love those mornings when you come into consciousness and just know everything is going to be clicking?  Even for those of you seat-of-the-pants types, there are moments when everything seems to come into alignment and you feel almost giddy with joy. We certainly have good, God-centered things that need accomplishing (I know we have things in other categories too, but this is not about that).  At the end of the day, I have often measured my fulfillment by what was accomplished by leading the charge of “gettin’ ‘er done.”  And while you may not be a company president, a shift manager or any other defined leader, you (and every one of us) are called by our Creator to exercise leadership roles at times. (even the simple daily choices you make involve leadership).  But if you gauge your success by the outcome of your leadership, you have put the cart before the horse (or to put it another way, we have mistaken a result for the cause).  The Holy Spirit was faithful in reminding me of the truth on this subject yesterday morning in the New Testament book of John.  Here in the twelfth chapter, Jesus utters just a few words in one verse that will rock your world in an awesome way (if you let them): Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” (John 12:26 NIV).  Boom!  It isn’t leadership at all that is a measure of success, but followership!  It isn’t really hard to see cause and effect here.  If I am to be an effective leader, I need to be following someone/something with authority.  The executive, auto mechanic or burger-flipper can’t make effective choices without first having followed the source of information that allowed them to make those right leadership decisions.  Even the world systems show it!  How much more important that we transform our thoughts and actions when it comes to living out our faith in Jesus!  A few steps are necessary.  First, we must surrender our authority.  I know this sounds like a no-brainer, especially when we compare ourselves to God, and yet, how often do we press our perspective over His?  It is the defining characteristic of sin: “Me first.”  Sometimes it comes from a need for significance, and sometimes from selfishness, but whatever the origin, it says the same thing, namely, that I am in charge.  No, you’re not!  Neither am I.  I don’t know everything, even about just one subject.  The best trained among us still have things to learn.  If I see myself as the one to whom others need to come, I will not be a follower.  Jesus said, “follow me.”  Stop looking for honor as a leader.  Jesus said that honor will naturally come from God to those who follow Him.  What authority has been given to you? I have some as a pastor.  You have some as a parent, employer, family meal-preparer and many others.  Give that authority to God!  Confess the miss-use of authority to our loving Father and ask Jesus to begin transforming you into a follower of His in each of those areas.  Get ready to see your leadership become so much more fruitful!  Over the next two Tuesdays we will unpack a couple more steps we need to take to become the followers Jesus called us to be…

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