Written by Donna Bowles
These are the words a local principal uses to inspire her staff and students. She places the words at the bottom of her weekly staff newsletter as a reminder of the goal she set for her school at the beginning of the school year. She also spends time with each grade level and “fires them up” as she reminds them of her expectation of them, both in their school and in life. I have had these words on my desk since the beginning of the school year and it is now March. They are not only great goals for a school, but for you and me as well.
Listen: To pay attention to someone or something in order to hear what is being said.
Sometimes, I confess, as I am preparing to lead a Bible study, I am so focused on the lesson and completing it, I think I often miss what God has to say to me personally. I am paying attention to the words on the paper as I read, but I am only staying in one place long enough to fill in my answer, and then I’m off! There are also times when I am listening (sort of) to a teaching, and my mind has moved on to the next thing. Am I the only one? Anonymous says, “Before you can lead, you must first learn to listen.”
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27
Learn: To gain knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something.
The learning part for me is to really know and believe God, not just to believe in Him, and the only way to do this is to study His Word and to be teachable. I have constant access to Almighty God, the all powerful, living God, who sent Jesus to be my Savior and Redeemer. Because I know Jesus, the Holy Spirit is always with me and promises to bring to remembrance what I have learned, but I have to learn it first.
“The Lord God helps me learn.” Isaiah 50:5a
Lead the way: To guide on a way especially by going in advance.
Sometimes it’s astounding to me that the Lord has called me to lead His girls. I often tell people that if they had known me when I was younger, they’d really get what a work God has done in me. You may have known me… I was the fringe girl in high school, the “invisible” one who watched the “fun” from outside the circle, and the one who looked down when the teacher was looking for someone to call on. But God…
There are many ways the Lord has allowed me to go “in advance” of others, some painful and others not so much. I have continued to trust God all the while. As a result, I can give evidence of His presence, faithfulness, provision, comfort, and trustworthiness, and that’s just the beginning. The only place I want to lead anyone is to Him. Won’t you join me on this journey?
Consider the following… Who or what are you listening to instead of God? Are you practicing and being taught by only what comes from Him? Who is following you and where are you taking them? Are you always pointing them to God?
Pray this prayer with me…
“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23, 24. Let’s actively engage in giving our attention to God’s constant presence. Listen, learn, and lead the way to Him.