Put on Your Oxygen Mask First
One temptation that many of us as leaders face today is to look for tricks and quick fixes in our leadership efforts from the latest best-selling business books. Although many valuable principles and techniques are contained within these resources, the motivation and foundation for such material can easily become one-dimensional.
The primary purpose of much of the business community is often to improve the efficiency of the corporation, the flow of communication, and, ultimately, the financial bottom line. While these materials certainly have their place, our most pertinent and potent resource as Christian leaders should always be the Bible.
Please, allow me to ask you a question. What is your “go-to” source of spiritual strength? Consider the speech that flight attendants give each time you fly. “In the event of an emergency and if you are traveling with others who may need your assistance, put on your oxygen mask on first...” Your “go-to” source of spiritual strength will ultimately be one that influences those you lead.
In our spiritual walk then, it becomes crucial to consider the contrasts of reading versus engaging with Scripture:
READING THE BIBLE INVOLVES
Gaining factual information. Having your devotions. Applying the Bible to your life. Learning about Bible stories. Simply surveying the words. A dutiful discipline. Reading the Bible.
ENGAGING GOD’S WORD INVOLVES
Experiencing personal transformation. Becoming more devoted to Christ. Applying the Bible to your life! Learning from Bible stories. Sincerely obeying God’s Word. A compelling desire. Letting the Bible “read” you.
When Jesus said, “People need every word that God has spoken" (CEV), not only was he identifying a great need in our lives, he was tapping into a deep hunger in our souls. While fasting and praying in the wilderness, he asserted that his greatest sustenance was the Word of God. The fact is that people deeply need God’s Word, especially those who preach and teach it.
Thought of the Day
Scripture engagement is what leaders need to really live and lead as God intended.
Go through the Reading vs. Engagement paragraphs above and ask yourself: Am I a Bible reader or engager? Write down your thoughts. Consider this question: What would make my time in God’s Word truly more engaging?
God, help me to have a fresh hunger for your Word. Move me from Bible reading to stronger Scripture engagement in my personal walk with you. Help me not just to read, but also to feed upon your every word, and then feed my family and those I serve.