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Leaders Who Are Discerning

If you don’t know how God is leading you, you won’t know how to lead others
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This means that leaders who want to move into discernment mode have to rely on the Spirit to help them learn to distinguish between willfully asserting their own wishes (which can be cleverly disguised in so many different ways) to willingly surrendering to God's desires. They must learn how to submit to the work of the Spirit, who alone is able to transform our willfulness into willingness.

The third building block is a deep belief in the goodness of God. Any good Christian leader can wax eloquent about the goodness of God; it is, after all, one of God's attributes. But many of us don't believe in God's goodness enough to trust God with the things that are most important to us. We may have suffered things for which we subtly blame God. Perhaps God disappointed us when we trusted him with something important. God's people have disappointed us. The process has disappointed us. Many of us are self-made people; we rely on ourselves and are proud of it. Truth be told, we don't really want to trust anyone but ourselves. How can we give ourselves to someone we're not sure will be good to us?

The only way we can freely participate in a discernment process is if we trust that God is good, not merely as a general attribute but as it relates to us specifically. Many of us will need to work at getting this building block set in the foundation of our discernment process. In order to surrender to the discernment process, we need to go beyond intellectual assent to cultivating a deep, experiential knowledge that God's will is the best thing that can happen to us under any circumstances. We need to hear God's voice whisper words of assurance to us, "I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for your harm" (Jeremiah 29:11), and believe them in the depths of our being.

The fourth crucial building block for discernment is the conviction that love is our ultimate calling—love for God, love of self, love for others, and love for the world. It is clear from Scripture that there is no other adequate measure of success for us as Christians (Matthew 22:37-40; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 4:7-12). That we are to love God and others (including our enemies) is one thing we know for sure is the will of God!

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September17, 2012 at 8:00 AM

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