A Note from Kelly King: Did you make New Year’s resolutions? Whether you did or didn’t, now is a good time to consider personal leadership practices to incorporate in your life. Today’s article by Debbie Stuart, Director of Women’s Initiatives for Hope for the Heart, offers three ideas that will draw you closer to the Lord in 2017.
“…He lifted them [her] up and carried them [her] through all the years.” —Isaiah 63:9b
No truer words have ever been spoken about my journey with the Lord.
As we move into 2017, I am very aware this year will bring things into my life I had not planned for, did not expect, will not understand, and certainly do not deserve. And my over-achieving personality and overwhelming passion to serve the Lord will try yet again to make those things purposeful, beneficial, and somehow spiritually productive in my life. I want more than anything to accommodate myself to the providence of God.
As I prepare to lead others this year, I have several spiritual practices that I consistently work on. I’d like to share a few with you and ask you to consider incorporating them in your personal leadership development as we begin a new year of ministry.
1. Make Room for the Lord.
Just as the song “Joy to the World” states, “let every heart prepare Him room,” be sure that in all your ministry preparations you make plenty of room for Him. I know this: you cannot “make” the Lord work. The Lord knows I tried to do that for years, begging and pleading for Him to do a certain thing. But you can do this: make room for Him to work! Prepare Him lots of room to do big things in your life and ministry this year!
2. Ask the Lord for a WORD for 2017.
By that I mean a literal word that the Lord gives you, like a banner over your life. Perhaps it will be something He wants to develop in your life or wants you to focus/work on. I have found the Lord usually confirms it in various ways, and it becomes a sweet thing between me and Him. My word for 2017 is resilient, which means: strong enough to come back from severe stretching, bending, or other adversity; Irrepressible. Irrepressible. Hmm…what could the Lord do with a heart, a mind, a spirit, an attitude that is irrepressible—unable to be held down or held back?
The Bible tells us in Daniel that “the enemy seeks to wear out the saints of the Most High.” If you are going to create meaningful ministry and plan events that bring women to Christ and change lives, well, you are going to have to fight the devil to do it. So let’s settle that on the front end of this year and serve notice to the enemy that we will not waver to believe the promises of God. WE WILL ACT IN FAITH!
3. Commit to Spend Time With the Lord.
My challenge to women is “20 Minutes a Day for the Rest of Your Life.” Put a meeting on your calendar. No excuses, no conditions. Make time with Him your priority of every day. It will change your life! It will prepare you for ministry. If you want something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.
“Your God has commanded your strength; Strengthen, O God what you have done for us.” —Psalm 68:28
Debbie brings a wealth of ministry and leadership experience to her role at Hope For the Heart as Director of Ministry Initiatives. Most recently, she served as Director of Church and Leadership Development for Women of Faith, and from 2003 to 2013 she served as Director of Women’s Ministry at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. Debbie also serves as a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. To encourage women to develop a lifetime habit of spending daily quality time with God, Debbie authored 20 Minutes a Day for the Rest of Your Life.