Let's make sure we get first things first...you have to be a good follower before you can be a good leader! It was written this way in "The Emerging Journey" experience, "Influence is not something we simply do or acheive, but rather it grows out of who we are." If we are followers of Christ, if we are being molded and shaped by God. If the Holy Spirit is leading in our hearts and minds...then we will BE someone who others will want to follow.
How do you "follow God"? This really is back to the basics...here you go:
- Read the Bible - Simple, right? Why then...if this is so simple...are so many guys failing to do this? I know that every time, EVERY TIME, I get into God's Word I am strengthened by it. I approach God's Word for that very reason...I pray and ask God to open my eyes and heart and allow me to hear Him speak through the written Word of God. Right now, I am reading through the Gospel of Luke three times this summer. My first time through I am just reading through it. Second time through I will journal through it chapter by chapter. Third time through it I will grab a decent commentary and tackle some "hot-spots"! This is a summer goal for me....and I am loving it!
- Pray - Again...basic, right? This is another area that we just aren't passionate about! The good news is that there are so many ways to tackle this one. Make a list and pray through it. Journal. Do the ACTS acrosstic (Adoration, Confession, Thanks, Supplication). Pray while you are driving. Cutting the grass. Getting up or going to bed. Pray before meals. Pray with your spouse. Pray with your kids. It is almost as if I'm suggesting you pray constantly...huh?! 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pauls says, "Never stop praying." Wow!
- Fasting - I'm telling you that nothing gets your attention and gets you in line like a good fast! I'm really private about this one. I only communicate my fasts to a few people (wife, a friend for accountability). If I'm fasting from food...every hunger pang is met with prayer. If I'm fasting for something or someone in particular, the prayer is directed that way. If I'm fasting from noise and electronics (tv, music, computer, gadgets, etc), then during those times I might fill up with noise, I sit quietly in prayer...to write, journal or read the Word or to...
- Solitude - Be still and know that He is God (Ps. 46:10)! This one is difficult, but invaluable. Its hard to hear the voice of God so that we can follow when all we hear is our own or those around us. Get away from noise and quietly ask God to speak into your heart and spirit by His Spirit!
Those are just a few (not to mention Sabbath, Worship, serving, fellowship, counsel and many more!) things you can do to hear God's voice and know what He is directing you to so that you can FOLLOW! So that you can OBEY God and let Him lead your life. Then and only then can you lead others...by faith, by example and with wisdom!