What Does God Want From You?

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message…

Sometimes I think we’ve made our relationship with God far too difficult and confusing. We strive so hard to draw closer to the heart of God. And all the while, God’s outstretched hand is reaching to draw us in.

For more than half a century, I have been striving, pursuing, and seeking God. And like a cat chasing her tail, I’ve been going in circles.

Circling in the wilderness with the Israelites, if you will. Saved from slavery, for sure. Headed to my own personal Promised Land, hopefully. But somehow stuck in the wilderness wandering ever circling but not quite reaching Jordan’s shore.

And I am not alone. Statistics show that one of the top desires of Christians is to grow closer to God. During a recent poll, 65 percent said they were declining or on a plateau in their spiritual growth. On the other hand, Peter wrote: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

We have everything we need to experience the ever growing, continually maturing, abundant life, so why aren’t we? Why are most of us languishing on the desert plateaus of mediocrity and complacency? Why are most of us satisfied munching on the predigested truths of teachers rather than pulling up to the banquet table and feasting with God at a table set for two?

“God, what do you really want from me?”

I’ve pondered that question since the genesis of my relationship with Christ. Perhaps you have too. When you boil down all the water from the diluted soup of questions men and women have simmered in their heart through the centuries, this is the one question left in the pot.

And somehow, we feel that if we could answer that one question, we would discover why that glory ache persists and how to satisfy our yearning.

I had asked the question a thousand times, but one morning, I got quiet enough to listen. And then, in the stillness, He showed me that my busy sisters and I have been asking the wrong question.

Rather than ask God what He wants from us, we need to ask Him what He wants for us.

I meditated on Acts 17:28 throughout the following year after the day God whetted my appetite with the possibilities wrapped up in those eight little words: In Him we live and move and have our being. I came to realize that what He wants for us is to sense His presence, experience His love, and delight in intimate relationship as we live and move and have our being in sacred union with Him. And when we do, He opens our eyes to His glory all around and the ache for something more is soothed.

So today, I encourage you to be still. Just get quiet. Breathe deeply. Jesus in. Worries out.

Don’t make your faith about what God wants from you, but what God wants for you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Sharing your VISION

Do you have a vision for your business, your family or your life?

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I love this analogy: “Vision works like a rudder on a ship. Without it, the ship may travel a distance, but not necessarily in the right direction. With it, the ship reaches the destination by the shortest route possible. Vision determines the direction of the team.”

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In the past, my ship has traveled off course, what about yours?

Champion basketball coach Pat Riley once said, “Teamwork requires that everyone’s efforts flow in a single direction. Feelings of significance happen when a team’s energy takes on a life of its own.”

I am a leader that doesn’t impart my vision very well to the members of my team.  The goal should be to transfer the vision both emotionally and logically.

There are several components for an emotional transfer of your vision such as:

  • Credibility.  Does your team trust you?  People buy into a leader before they buy into the vision.
  • Passion.  Is your vision something that you care about?  Team members can’t get excited about a vision if you aren’t excited. They need to see and feel your passion so they embrace it.
  • Relationship. How well do your teammates know you? How well do you know them?  Everything we do in life involves relationships.  I know you have heard this one a million times: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
  • Timing. You may have all of the components of sharing your vision BUT if the timing isn’t right, it will never fly.  The right decision at the wrong time is still the wrong decision.
  • Feel the need.  We all need to be part of something bigger than ourselves.  Sharing how your vision meets a need can lead to an emotional buy-in.

The logical transfer of a vision is something that I struggle with since some would say I am a “warm and fuzzy” kind of girl.

  • A realistic understanding of the situation today.  You need a starting point.  That starting point begins when you have a firm grasp on reality.  When people understand where they are starting and what the goal is, they are more willing to partner in achieving it.
  • An experienced team.  I’m not sure that I agree 100% that the team has to have experience with the vision.  Yes, if they’ve dealt with similar situations, they and more confident in their ability to tackle the challenge.  I have seen many who have an emotional link to the vision and no experience still reach their goal.
  • A sound strategy.  I must admit, my game plans in the past have not been very clear or succinct.  I love to have input from team members rather than give them a specific plan.  I have learned that the more detailed the plan, the more they are going to fully accept responsibility for achieving the vision .
  • Leader accepts responsibility.  As the leader, do you embrace your role in achieving the vision? Are you willing to be held accountable? People need to know that you’ll do your part.
  • Celebration of each victory.  Yes, I am a BIG proponent of CELEBRATING every milestone.  I believe that it keeps people moving forward.  It is the accomplishments of those small goals that help you to reach the bigger vision.  Celebrations help team members track their progress and find the motivation to continue on the journey.
  • Evaluation of each defeat.   When the team misses a goal, acknowledge it and focus on how the team can do better moving forward.  Celebrate the defeat then let it go!! (Yes, I do hear the Frozen song in my head)

It is not too late to cast your vision to your team so they can see the bigger picture.  When they buy in emotionally and logically, they will work together with you to achieve victory.  Through vision casting, teams learn together develop accountability, connection and engagement.

What is YOUR vision for 2016?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!