My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84:2 NIV
Every Christian leader understands the importance of staying connected to God. The depth of our relationship with God will determine the quality of other relationships and our leadership. Our relational intelligence and our leadership savvy is often measured by whether or not we are willing to stay connected to God and go to the next level or not. Admittedly, there are certain obstacles that will block our relationships from being connected and our leadership from effective. The International Leadership Institute's research suggests there are four reasons people disconnect from God.
2. Failure to prioritize
3. Focus on Information instead of intimacy
4. Unconfessed sin
Think for a moment about what barriers might be in the way of staying connected to God.
1. Superficiality: Richard Foster suggests in his book Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth that "Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a great number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people." There is no short cut to having deep meaningful relationships with God and one another. Depth demands authenticity, vulnerability and trust. Invest time to deepen your core relationships and explore God's truth for your life.
Would others define the most important relationships in your life as shallow?
2. Failure to prioritize: No doubt your day is filled with demands and pressure. It is easy to get caught in a 'performance trap.' The performance trap won't bring meaning to our lives. But it can reflect how busy we are and how we deliver and maximize our productivity. The performance trap is connected to people pleasing. It is one easy way to lose our connection with God and each other. We cannot please everyone. Maybe you've heard that a thousand times. But, it's easy to get sucked into the people pleasing vacuum and end up in a small canister resentful and bitter. Remember, God says love your neighbor not please your neighbor. Sometimes the greatest most loving thing we can do is take time to connect with God first.
Who's really calling the shots in your life?
3. Focus on information instead of intimacy: we can know a great deal about God and people but never appreciate them in real or meaningful ways. I've heard it said this way, "That person is so heavenly minded they're no earthly good." Knowledge is a powerful and wonderful thing but accumulating knowledge rarely fuels authenticity, vulnerability or trust. It's really hard to be grateful or recognize just how amazing God and important people can be if you're stuck on gathering information about them instead of sharing your heart and life with them.
When was the last meaningful conversation you had with God or someone truly important to you?
4. Unconfessed sin: it's truly amazing how freeing and honest confession can be! We cannot hide sin for long. It will leak out somewhere and steal what is good and God-honoring. Cherished but harmful habits, unsurrendered thoughts or feelings, and frankly, the distorted power of guilt and shame will keep us in spiritual isolation. Confessing our sins, short-comings, and failures to God is like opening a curtain to a darkened room. The light of grace and forgiveness can fill us with the truth of God's love and unashamed love for us. Confession may be the most powerful act that restores our connection with God and one another.
Is there unconfessed sin that is driving you away from God?
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Trust that God is calling you into a deeper more meaningful relationship with Him and your important relationships. Your leadership will also begin to flourish as God becomes greater in your life.