But don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 NLT
It is so easy to be fooled when it comes to practicing God’s Word. As Christians, and especially leaders, we know what God’s Word says and we readily give answers to situations when they arise. We know God’s standards and are quick to instruct others in the way things should be. Knowing what ought to be done and diligently following God’s Word (and our own Bible-based advice) are two different things altogether. Leaders must regularly take inventory of their lives to avoid falling into the trap of deception.
Here are some questions I often ask myself:
- Am I motivated by the love of Christ in thoughts, speech, and actions?
- Do I show kindness, patience, and grace to others, especially to those within my own home?
- Am I willing to share my faith with others?
- Does my lifestyle reflect Christ well?
- Do I spend time with the Lord daily in His Word and prayer, not as a strict ritual but as a means to commune with Him?
- Is there unforgiveness or bitterness in my heart?
- Are there areas where I feel that I can’t or won’t obey the Lord?
- Do I reach out to the hurting and those in need?
- Have I built margin in my schedule, intentionally creating opportunities for rest and renewal?
My husband and I are currently enjoying a summer sabbatical. We are intentionally spending time in God’s presence, to grow in relationship with Him. We are seeking God’s will for ministry at the church to which He has called us. In the midst of this season of blessing, I have taken inventory of my own life and have discovered a problem. I am not fully relaxed. I still have much on my mind. Although I am not involved in planning and conducting worship services, I have too much on my plate. There are things that I really love doing, and they take my attention.
I have sensed the Lord challenge my heart to take a break from blogging for the remainder of my sabbatical, among other things. I admit, this is difficult for me. I am passionate about communicating to others through the written word. Writing also nourishes my mind and heart. Nevertheless, I am committed to listen to God’s leading. I have experienced the blessings of obedience over and over again. I may not like it or understand it, but following God’s written (and spoken) Word is always best.
So with that…I look forward to connecting with you again in a few short weeks. In the meantime if you haven’t done so in a while, it’s time to take inventory.