As we enter 2013 the Holy Spirit has been impressing upon me the importance of time. ‘Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil’ (Eph. 5:15, 16). The Apostle Paul is telling us to be careful with our time; how we value it and how we spend it. Time is a key currency in the Kingdom of God. Because the days are evil, the devil desires for you and I to spend time unwisely and carelessly. Time on earth is finite; once spent, it is behind us, a historical record of life choices. But time also stands before us….seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of life we have remaining to advance His kingdom on earth. We know how much time has been spent. We don’t know how much time we have left to spend. Therefore, as leaders in the body of Christ we must be wise, thoughtful and discerning as we spend the currency of time. The scripture does not compel us to hurry, rush or rashly busy ourselves with everything that we believe is good. No, it counsels us to be careful and wise; denoting deliberate, judicious and strategic living in response to our call and purpose in the Kingdom of God. We don’t know what life circumstance looms tomorrow. Whatever it may be we can spend our time with care and wisdom.
The Father gives us great encouragement even as we reflect on time not well spent. He offers a redemptive quality through a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life that can transform yesterday’s time into tomorrow’s wisdom. ‘And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them’ (Rom.8:28 NLT). Therefore, yesterday’s time poorly spent can be transformed into wisdom gained thereby making the MOST of tomorrow’s opportunity. Praise God! The Father does not see a ‘bad yesterday’ as time wasted, if He can show Himself strong through you tomorrow. Be encouraged whether you are 25 or 65 that your tomorrow can be lived wisely and strategically. Make the most of your time in 2013, advancing His Kingdom and revealing His glory.
It has been said that America has a leadership vacuum. What that really means is not that there are not leaders, but that the leaders in power often lack the personal integrity and character to lead in a righteous way. This nation has subtly submitted to a progressive cultural transformation that eschews character rather than esteems character. The result is that we, the people who choose people for leadership, no longer value Godly character and integrity. Integrity is ‘uprightness of character, honesty, unimpaired soundness, an unbroken state.’ It speaks of consistent living without guile, ambiguity, or deceit.
Men and women of integrity and character are scattered throughout the nation, but when they speak forth their values, they are often belittled because of those values. Many are marginalized in the public view in favor of those who flow with the cultural currents. The people then select men and women lacking integrity, character, and Biblical values, thereby creating the leadership vacuum.
A great man of wisdom, Solomon, said that ‘righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows a sinner‘(Prov. 13:6). Solomon spoke of this in personal terms, but it may also be applicable to a nation. A man, or a nation, is inherently guarded when he walks in integrity. I think of President Museveni of Uganda who in October 2012 eloquently repented and renounced the corrupt and sinful actions of his nation’s past and embraced the righteousness of God for the nation’s future. Museveni’s declaration of a righteous heart toward God on behalf of the nation becomes a guard for that nation. It is a declared public standard that carries spiritual strength against forces of darkness in that nation. His words were pivotal for Uganda. Uganda does not change instantly, but the cultural trajectory of the nation can now change positively. Whereas righteousness guarded many individual Ugandans of integrity, it can now begin to guard a nation of integrity. The character of the nation can then be transformed.
I recently read a quote on the wall of a business in my city. In part it said; ‘When looking at the characteristics on how to build your personal life, first comes integrity…..without integrity, motivation is dangerous… I have known some highly motivated and gifted people in business and ministry. In every case, those without strong character traits eventually experienced great destruction in relationships and vocation. Some recovered, embraced Godly character and moved forward. Others languish in the debris of their choices.
As believers in Jesus, we have imputed righteousness through God’s grace on the inside of us. That righteousness is available for us to employ in our life decisions. It is available to transform our minds and hearts into the image of Christ-like leadership; a kind of leadership that fills the vacuum of Godly leadership we so desire. Whether you lead people in America or beyond our shores, embrace the righteousness of Christ in you, embrace its character and integrity, and fill the vacuum of leadership around you.
The last post for 2012…what a pivotal year in the Lord……and a first post for 2013. We close out 2012 knowing that pivotal decisions and events occurred in the lives of many of you. Changes in ministry, advancements in the workplace, hearts refined, and your churches and ministries maturing, and each of you advancing the kingdom of God in these last days! Praise the Lord! I look to 2013 with expectation of greater things He will do through YOU!!! His kingdom advances as we walk in the maturity and fullness of Christ in our life and ministries. Each step forward is a step of advancing the Kingdom. Each life-bringing word spoken reflects the kingdom. Each prayer prayed promotes the kingdom.
Many of you reading this are part of the ‘Remnant’ who are passionate, purposeful, persistent, and stable in the work of the kingdom. A word for you….. ‘As you enter 2013 be not distracted by the noise and images of culture, religion, or relationships. Stay focused. Stay true. Stay on track. Stay the course. The pivoting and aligning of 2012 will bring forth first fruits in 2013. Let not your heart be troubled by what you see with your eyes. Be assured and comforted by what you KNOW in your spirit by the Spirit. The ‘Remnant’ will carry the banner of Redemption and Restoration. The ‘Remnant’ will fly the flag of Truth. The ‘Remnant’ will speak the Word and it will return It’s fullness.’