March 14, 2020 • Life for Leaders
These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
Culture tells us that when you turn 25 you are in your prime—prime being defined as “a state or time of greatest strength.” When we look at how culture has modeled strength versus how the scriptures model strength, this comparatively holds tension and clears dissonance. Culture has the ability to define what strength looks like and feels like; as a follower of Jesus, it has the ability to discourage and deter our spiritual lives.
I turned 25 this past June on the day of my Seminary graduation, a day of great rejoicing, blessing, and celebration. I entered into my 25th year on top of a mountain, a day I desired to see for so long. I had flexed different muscles while in school, and I was ready to take on worlds and build things for the kingdom—my strength felt unmatched. I felt like a marathon runner looking for her race.
What I soon realized as I entered into my new season of work and leadership was that God was teaching me that I cannot confuse my capability with the source of my strength. As I ran into hurdles, again after again, I began realizing the current state of my heart was plagued with the thought that capability equals strength—and that being capable of success and accomplishment would not be the source and underground current moving me forward to build God’s kingdom. As cliché as this is, it is easy in our working lives to strive and go quickly without clear discernment of where our heart resides. Our hurdles and pain points may be an indication and reflection of our internal worlds.
In 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 it says “these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
The pressure we feel to achieve and succeed in culture is real and painful, and our desire to be capable is a beautiful character trait. However, if our desires have not been submitted to God, tested and tried by God, our strength is indeed limited, and what we thought looked like building the kingdom really only served our agendas.
I am slowly learning that “my prime” at 25 actually looks like learning to yield to God’s spirit in my biggest frustrations, questions, dreams and desires. As I beautifully contend for the things I desire in prayer, our sweet God reminds me that everything that I yearn for is found in him. The desire to be capable and succeed shifts to desiring to serve and let God set the agenda. Everything in my career, the desire to lead nations of women, the desire to one day walk down the aisle and get to hold my first baby—all this will happen “by his spirit” not mine. Our capability, gifts, and success are limited; however, God’s ability and spirit within us is not.
Something to Think About:
Is there anything in your work life and leadership where you feel you are relying on your own strength?
What are some ways this week where you can surrender and submit your desire to be capable and success to God?
Something to Do:
Journal your responses to the questions above.
Sweet God, show me your insurmountable strength this week. In my days and weeks to come show me where I have been relying on my own strength; help me submit my desire to strive and become successful in my own eyes. Clearly show me ways I can pray during my days—ways where I would see your spirit move in a fresh way. Amen.
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