So far I have talked about the need for self-leadership and vision and introduced the idea that good leadership requires Character, Awareness and Wisdom. Prior to building in some other concepts I want to build in more of the reflective part because it is a skill to continuously apply in leading ourselves and others. There is the old expression, ‘If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.’ What I have often added to this over the years is the corollary, ‘And you will never know when you have arrived.’ Clearly if we do not know where we are going it is rather difficult to measure either progress or success.
Given that most of us will not have an experience like David, the most well established prophet in the nation coming and anointing us with oil and declaring our destiny, (see 1 Sam. 16) how do we determine our destination? I believe we need to sit with the Holy Spirit and apply reflection. For example, I try to begin each day by getting quiet and focusing on His presence in and around me. As we get quiet and focused with Him what is our heart drawn to? What memories of past and present longings and desires come up? He already knows our thoughts and hearts. What is He showing us about them? These are the areas where we need to direct our attention. After all, He is the one in, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:3 (NKJV).
As an example of a vision for our lives, I have a desire and gifting in the area of teaching. I was aware of this calling within me before I was walking with Jesus. When I began sitting with Him it only deepened as I began to know Him and mature in Him. It is now so built into me that I have to be careful not to teach. When I exercise I have to resist the desire to ‘help’ others when I see them doing something I view as incorrect. I constantly see opportunities to ‘teach’ others. At the same time this vision in me grew through spending time with Jesus, focusing on it and being diligent to develop it. I applied some things Paul said and there is a firm conviction in my life around this area of calling.
14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 1 Timothy 4:14-15 (NKJV)
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
Another aspect of vison and calling is that we need to look to the scriptures. There are specific things He will speak to our heart to direct us but there are things we are all called to walk, things that should be part of our vision. For example, every believer should have a vision to walk in holiness and purity.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 (NKJV)
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-24 (NKJV)
Individually this should be part of our vision and corporately we should be exhorting one another to walk in this manner while leading by example. So I pray that we will both pursue His specific direction for our lives through time with Him and embrace His word and apply it to our lives as we deepen our leadership.