6 Ways to Lead by Living it OutJay Gordon
Nothing speaks more loudly than your example.
We can speak words of truth all day long and never see changed lives. Don't get me wrong; words are a critical starting place. Romans 10:17 reminds us that "faith comes by hearing." But how is it that we have some many words in books, sermons, devotionals, and online, yet we don't see people coming to Christ and becoming mature disciples? Here are some things that will help turn words into obedience.
1. Commit to 100% obedience to God's Word. We are masters at picking and choosing--not that we do so intentionally. We often gravitate toward the easy parts of being a believer and give ourselves a pass on the difficult parts. Let's fight that!
2. Pray daily and ask God to show you what He wants to change in you. That's one prayer I believe God will surely answer in various ways. Getting from Point A to Point B requires change.
3. Implement change immediately. As Dennis Blythe recently shared with us in a sermon, "Slow obedience is no obedience." If we don't get right to it, we lose it.
4. Be transparent with your group. It's valuable to talk about your success and your failure to some degree. One challenge is to avoid sharing out of pride when we do something right. Most of us have enough failure to keep us humble. Share your life stories in the context of challenging them to obey. You can likely add, "I really messed up part of that, but God used it."
5. Enlist a spiritual growth partner. Some call this an accountability partner, but that sometimes has a context of checking the boxes rather than being encouraged to take the next steps in your spiritual growth. Having such a person will help you to obey.
6. Eliminate obstacles. The most common obstacle is that we're too busy or too distracted. We pack too much activity into our lives and then wonder why we fail to be obedient in the latter phases of spiritual growth like sharing Christ and disciplining others. What can you say "no" to? At the end of the day, are you sincerely glad you follow all those shows on TV?
The end of the Great Commission challenges us to not just to "teach them", but to "teach them to obey". We can't accomplish with words alone, but by our faithful obedience as well.