What are some of the first thoughts that come to mind when you reflect on the nature of God?
For me, it’s:
What else comes to your mind?
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of this season, it’s especially good to reflect on the extraordinary nature of God. Who He is and our relationship with Him is at the very core of why we do what we do.
As church leaders, it’s incredibly easy to get so involved in the work of God that we can miss the wonder of God.
So often, it seems, that we focus on what God expects of us because of His holy nature, but what jumps out at me is how much God is a giving God. In the long run, his expectations reflect all that he wants us to have, experience, and enjoy.
(Candidly, I think we sometimes confuse or transpose all that people expect of us with what God expects of us. This is because the emotions connected to expectations are difficult to sort out linearly. You can’t put emotions on a chart. So instead, we feel what we feel. The result is things like feeling overloaded, overwhelmed, and under-resourced. And then one more thing, a little thing, a good thing seems like the final straw.)
God certainly does have expectations of us, but He gives so much more to us than He expects of us. As a leader, that fills us up and helps us keep going!
So, let’s focus for a few minutes on God as a giving God.As church leaders it’s it incredibly easy to get so involved in the work of God that we can miss the wonder of God.Click & Tweet!
5 Extraordinary Gifts from God
1) The kind of character we can be proud of
It’s good that we strive to lead without negative character traits, including ethical or moral shortcomings, but avoiding the negative alone isn’t enough. How can we lead with the kind of character traits we can be proud of?
You are very familiar with this extraordinary gift we call the “fruit of the spirit,” but don’t rush by this list of nine traits too quickly.
Can you live all nine of these traits on your own? I can’t!! They’re a gift of God that, if we embrace them, our leadership is profoundly changed. (See Galatians 5:22)
Candidly, I’m unsure how well I consistently live all nine, even with the Holy Spirit guiding me! But I’m confident they are a transforming gift that I pursue daily.
How about you?
Which one, among the fruit of the spirit, Galatians 5:22, if embraced more consistently, would most help your leadership rise to a higher level?
God has placed these in us. If we intentionally lean in, they are ours to live out.
2) A unique ability to face adversaries with confidence
Church leaders are quietly and subtly sidelined by sustained discouragement, and the Enemy knows it. But, of course, we aren’t entirely taken out nor fully in the game when discouraged. The good news is there’s a way to stand strong.
You know this amazing gift as the “Armor of God.” Two key questions are, how often and why do we put on the armor?
If you think you have a contrarian board member or a difficult staff member, the devil’s schemes are 100X in comparison.
Every leader has a leadership “Achilles heel,” a weakness that challenges overall strength. It’s our personal “kryptonite” that can take us out. What is yours? You need to know (the devil already knows) to stand firm.Every leader has a leadership “Achilles heel,” a weakness that challenges overall strength. What’s yours? You need to know, (the devil already knows) so you can stand firm.Click & Tweet!
3) The ability to experience meaning over mundane
The supernatural architecture behind the spiritual gifts that God gives us blows my mind. We are given these gifts because we are designed on purpose with a purpose. God has a plan, and we are part of it!
The everydayness of life and ministry over the years can be experienced as mundane, but not when we remember God has authored. The mundane quickly becomes deeply meaningful when we see our part in God’s plan.
We are given spiritual gifts because God has something for us to do and given the fruit of the Spirit because there is a right way to do it.
Our Spiritual Gifts (Romans 12:4-8; I Cor 12:7-11; Ephesians 4:11-13; I Peter 4:10) give us great insight and the ability to lead in the lanes God has designed uniquely for us.
How do your spiritual gifts shape, empower, and enhance your leadership?
4) Access to the mind and power of God
To be trusted with wisdom beyond our natural ability is truly an extraordinary gift from God.
“I don’t know what to do.” How many times as a leader has that simple but haunting thought simmered in the quiet of your own mind? Then God reminds you by whispering, “I do. Trust me.”
The gift of the Holy Spirit encompasses so much, but for this point about wisdom, I’m combining the truth that the Holy Spirit reminds, helps, and brings guidance, discernment, and direction.
Wisdom! (I Corinthians 2:12-13)
This wisdom is available to us if we ask. (James 1:5)
How often have you been in a meeting, teaching, or solving a problem when a thought comes to your mind that unlocks the solution? And it was either way above your thoughts, or it wasn’t anywhere in your mind at that moment.
That is a gift.
Then, on top of all that, God gives us the power to allow that wisdom to get traction and realize results. (Acts 1:8)To be trusted with wisdom that is beyond our natural ability is truly an extraordinary gift from God.Click & Tweet!
5) The invitation to no more tears or pain
The extraordinary gift of no more tears, sorrow, or pain (Rev. 21:4) comes with the invitation for salvation – the promise of eternity. Who else but God could give such an amazing gift?
The great gift of salvation begins here and now. There is still suffering and sorrow, pain, and tears, but we have the promise of heaven, strength to endure, and the community of believers so that we never walk through it alone.
Can you remember someone forgiving or canceling a debt for you and the burden lifted from your shoulders? The freedom and joy! It’s truly a gift that is difficult to comprehend. But, so much more, God forgives our spiritual debt of sin and promises us a future beyond our comprehension.
God forgives us our sins and freely gives us salvation. We know this; we teach it and pray for others to receive it. But when do you take time to soak in the profound nature of this gift just for you?