I had a boss once tell me that he had been to the mountain top and back and that he knew the road to the top...all the while his business struggled. So I always questioned, if you know the way why aren't you on the right road then? And heres the thing...I think this is what happens to us. We saw this happen to King Soloman the wisest man that ever lived. He had been to the mountain top and knew the way but towards the end of his life he some how got off the right path .So what was it that caused him to steer off course?
The temptations that enticed Solomon continue to attack every leader. Once we "arrive," it becomes easy to stop feeling hungry for growth and excellence. How quickly we become satisifed...and how soon we begin to spiral downward.
Here is the process to recognize:
1. Distractions: Solomon deviated from his call to lead and be the light to the nations. He became distracted by possessions and his 1000 wifes. What in your life is currently distracting you from your calling?
2. Adversaries: God raised up adversaries to steer him back to his priorities and call. Sometimes in lfe God will bring a Goliath in your path. The point is not to deter you but to enhance you.
3. Self-absorption: Solomon became consumed with his himself rather his call. So often we mix up our call for ourselves. We become self consumed because we think our calling is about us when in reality it about God. The difference is that self-absorption is pride.
4. Loss of God's presence: God withdrew his anonting. Yes you can loose your anonting!
5. Pursuit of pleasure: Solomon became even more obsessed with his own pleasure. God wanted a battleship life for him, He wanted a cruise ship life. One is prepared for war for God and the other is ....well....the other. When God calls you he is not calling you to a cruiseship life. Satan tempted Jesus with having a cruiseship life, when clearly God called him to a battleship life. Battleships IMPACT, Cruiseships....cruise! Which are you on?
6. Emptiness: Solomon finally grew weary of his pursuits and recognized his emptiness. Have you ever felt empty...like the world no longer mattered? This is the final step to a decayed Christian life.
The process of decay is a stealthy process. You don't realize whats been done until it's too late. If you find yourself at any point in this process....REPENT and seek God with new heart focused on him.
A leader's relationship with God shapes his perspective. King David's dynamic and intimate relationship with God shaped his perspectives on life. He was the King of Israel and knew that he wasn't alone in life. He rejoiced that he could draw upon God's infinite wisdom...that he could never out run God...that he could count on God's power whenever he NEEDED IT. The King and Leader of Israel had a leader himself...GOD!
This is what I find happens in so many people's lives...they believe God exists but not for them in the everyday sense. They believe but their perspective about God is jacked up. Majority of the time...shame is what shapes our perspective about God...not the relationship with God.
Here are 6 points to help you strengthen your relationship with God and change your perspective about God.
1. God knows our every thought, every word, every move. There is nothing you can think, say, or do that God isn't already aware of...and here's the deal...we believe that because we have certain thoughts, or say certain things, or act a certain way that God has some how stopped loving us. We literally believe that we somehow have the power to cancel out the act of LOVE that God did by sending his son to die on the cross. We believe that somehow our shame we feel because of our thoughts, words and actions...disqualify us from the redeeming power of the cross. When in fact, we are the very reason for the cross.
2. God directs us no matter where we go. God is ALWAYS WITH YOU! He never leaves you! It is amazing to me about how quick we are to think that God has somehow abandoned us when we screw up. I fight this thought everyday...because I screw up everyday! The thought I have to always fight is that because I screwed up God has stopped loving me and that he is no longer with me. Here is something to keep in mind...if God is only with us when we are "GOOD" then the focus becomes always about us and what we do...and not GOD and what HE DID! Do you think any father that loved the world so much to send his son on the cross to die really wants all the focus to be about you and what your able to do....or....about his act of LOVE! God is always with you...when it seems like he isn't, the problem isn't that he left you...it's that you LEFT HIM!
3. God knows hopeless or helpless situations. Your life is not hopeless or helpless or without purpose. You don't randomly exist! There will be...guaranteed....times in your life where you feel hopeless and helpless and it seems like the whole world is caving in on you. Can I tell you...that majority of the time...you are the one that caused the situations in your life to happen. If your marriage is on the rocks...God didn't cause it! If your broke...God didn't cause it...stupid spending habits did! However, regardless of the cause... God is there and can use a hopeless, helpless situation to bring Glory to himself through you. You face nothing in life alone unless YOU CHOOSE TOO!
4. God formed every complex detail of our bodies, minds, and spirits. You were created. Period. You didn't evolve over time and certainly aren't you because random luck. Every detail about who you are serves a purpose in this life, and that purpose will always bring Glory to God to show that he can use anybody no matter their difference.
5. God constantly thinks of us and is concerned with the details of our lives. The reason God cares about the details of your life is because you are part of the details of his life and his plan. You matter. You are part of the large picture and the small picture. You may not feel like God care about you, but feelings are like a roller coaster. One day your feeling good, the other bad. Your feelings can change a moments notice. God is not concerned with your feelings, he cares about your joy. He wants you to have joy centered on him, not centered on your circumstances. Often times your circumstances you created are used by him to bring you closer to him...it just seems like it takes forever because our first reaction is to RUN FROM AND BLAME HIM...why, because it...It's much harder to blame ourselves and then turn to him.
6. God searches our hearts and purifies our motives. Have you ever done something that started out for the purpose of helping yourself but then it turned in to helping someone else and you found joy in that? Amazing how that happens.The only motive God demands from you is love. He looks for opportunities in our lives that can be used for our benefit, for us to experience true love. The more we experience true love the more we experience God.