When Life Batters, Simple but Real Encouragement… ScripPIc

Commit Your Way

Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord! – Psalm 37:1-4

ScripPic by Teaching the Word Ministries, 2015. Please copy for non-commercial, personal use.

As Christian leaders, what makes us distinct?

Do we dare move if the Presence doesn’t move with us?

dreamstime_sunsetxs_59844531We know the story.

Yahweh rescues the Israelites from Egyptian slavery in a way that alerts the world to His protection and ravishing love for His people.

Then the LORD escorts His people safely across the Red Sea and provides water from a rock in the desert. He woos His people to come away with Him, to experience what no other nation experienced before (or since)—to hear the Father’s audible voice, to see with their own eyes His raw Presence, and encounter His almighty passion.

But while Moses speaks with Yahweh on the mountain about the consequences of idolatry, below in the valley, God’s people make an idol.

Angry about their disloyalty, Yahweh tells Moses He doesn’t want to remain with them. He’ll send an angel to guide them instead. He’ll start over with Moses, and grow a new people to call His own.

But Moses, with the integrity of his humble character, refused.

“If Your Presence does not go up with us,” he told Yahweh, “don’t take us up from here.”

Moses also posed a rhetorical question:

“If Your Presence isn’t with us, then how would we be different than any other nation on the face of the earth?”

Moses understood that their distinction resulted from Yahweh’s Presence lavished on them.

Let’s bring it home and consider our own lives, our own leadership. What makes Christian leaders distinct? Certainly we’re not better than others, or more worthy, perfect, knowledgeable or benevolent.

Jesus explained very clearly the difference between those who follow Him and those who choose not to. The difference is HIM, our submission to and fellowship with His Presence—the precious gift of The Spirit abiding in us:

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing…” (John 6:63)

“… the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive…but you know Him for He dwells with you and will be in you…” (John 14:17)

And Paul emphasised:

“…for those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5)

“Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” (Roman 8:9)

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)

It’s The Presence–following the Spirit of God–that makes us distinct.

Moses knew that the only way to be distinct from any other heathen nation was to abide and move only with The Presence. In the same way, the only thing that makes Christian leaders distinct is to abide and move only with The Spirit of Christ.

Prayerfully consider these challenging questions in your own life and leadership:

  1. In what ways do I discern direction for my sphere of influence from a place of abiding in the Lord’s Presence?
  2. How often do I spend time cultivating my fellowship in His Spirit:
    • in prayer,
    • in meditating on and walking according to God’s word,
    • in exchanging the life of Christ through transparent relationships with other believers?
  3. How often do I pause to focus on the Spirit in my inner being, to sense how He impresses me to speak or act–even if just a moment?

Jesus, increase our sensitivity to Your Presence in our life and leadership. Teach us to lead as You led, by the Spirit of God as a son of God.

Exodus 33-34; John 14-16; Romans 8:1-17

– Patricia Tillman


How’s the Environment in Your Sphere of Influence?

The Buck (Really Does) Stop with the Leader

Think about the spheres in which you live. How would you rate the environmental quality of each on a scale of peaceful to frustrating:


  • Family
  • Congregation
  • Workplace
  • Political government
  • World affairs

Now consider, for each of these environments, what factors cause the quality of living within that sphere?

Yes, quality can concern the personal choices we make. But we control our outer environments only to a certain extent—because, it’s true. The buck really does stop with the leader. Simply put, the quality of our environments depend on the quality of our leaders–the ones who have the authority and responsibility to govern the spheres in which we live. Do they seek the way of Christ’s peace, truth and freedom, or do they seek their selfish agendas that lead to frustration, deception and oppression?

Now for the challenge:

Think of your own spheres of influence–the people for whom you’ve been entrusted with delegated authority and responsibility to govern. That could include parents for children, pastors for the congregation, executives for personnel, or for whatever sphere in which you find yourself the leader.

How is the environment in the sphere in which you lead?
If you asked the people you lead, what would they say about their environment? 

Spheres of influenceConsider that you are the leader in the blue sphere in the chart to the left. Your overseer(s) (the gray circle–whether God or human) delegated authority to you to govern that sphere. Your sphere of responsibility (the blue area) includes people who have their own spheres, all under your governance.

Whatever that sphere, you, as the delegated governor for the blue area, are the one who can make the environment one of peace, or one of frustration for the people within.

Yup. You’re it. It’s not their fault. It’s yours.

And so, the question begs: How do you lead in such a way that creates an environment of peace, healthy freedom, honor and truth for those you lead?

  1. If you’ve read many of our blogs, you’ll know the foremost answer concerns your identity with Christ. The outer environment we create can only reflect what’s in our soul. In order to develop an environment of peace, we need to lead from a place of humble submission and oneness with Christ–who is the Prince of Peace and whose government of peace has no end (Isaiah 9:6-7).
  2. The next answer concerns hearing and following the wisdom you receive from your fellowship with Christ.
  3. And the next, realizing that none of us have the whole picture of Christ’s wisdom. You need others—particularly those within your sphere of influence—who hear Christ’s wisdom from a perspective that’s complementary to your own.

Other factors include discerning the wisdom of Christ to maintain balance between:*

  1. Vision and Rest
  2. Detachment and Affection
  3. Responsibility and Availability
  4. Integrity and Example

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
But the wisdom that is from above is
first pure,
then peaceable,
willing to yield [to reason],
full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality and without hypocrisy.

Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
– James 3:13-17

Healthy Leaders3rd*For further insight in how to balance these characteristics, and on godly, effective leadership lifestyle, see Keith Yoder’s book, Healthy Leaders, now in its 3rd Edition.
For Amazon Kindle version of Healthy Leaders, click here.

Presence Based LeadershipTo further explore healthy leadership, look forward to: Mastering the Art of Presence Based Leadership, coming in 2016!
What’s still missing in Christian Leadership? Keith shows you how to apply the process of discerning Christ’s wisdom that Jesus established for His disciples. Develop a leadership that thrives in producing fruit that will last, and partners with Christ in building His eternal government.
  • Patricia Tillman

Do you remember who you really are? Poetry

In fellowship with Christ, all of our priorities fall into proper place…
Psalm 145:5-13; John 17:20-24; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 5:10; 11:15: 22:5

Poetry copyright Teaching the Word Ministries, 2015
Photo used by permission:  © Janecocoa | Dreamstime.com