With the unexpected, challenging experiences kingdom-minded leaders encountered in 2020, it can be difficult to envision what our plans will look like for 2021. Many of us are searching for encouragement and direction to navigate the days, months and even years to come. In my latest episode of the Pinnacle Leaders podcast, I share a special word the Lord gave me for 2021 concerning three essential key truths to embrace as you consider what's ahead: presence, purpose and plans.
This episode is a little different than our typical guest-style format; it features a message I recently shared at Liberty Church in Pensacola, Florida. The topic of the message sermon series, "My Future Self," was focused on providing insight into what you would've told yourself as a "younger you" had you known what you now know. As a young emerging leader, I would've wanted my future self to understand that God wants us to stay focused on our calling and mission by living a life that is committed to the following:
— Presence: Make it your number one priority to learn to pursue and lean into the Father's presence. Everything you and I need will be found in His presence.
— Purpose: Out of God's presence flows purpose. Therefore, know your purpose and live according to your life's purpose.
— Plans: Take the time to ensure that all your plans (goals, strategy, vision) are aligned with your purpose.
The worst thing to me is people who do know God but live untethered from His presence. They live unaware of His plans and purposes for their lives. Only as you spend time in the presence of God will He begin to give you vision for your future.
The following Scriptures highlight the value of being in the presence of the Lord:
"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Ps. 16:11, NIV).
"What pleasure fills those who live every day in your temple enjoying you as they worship in your presence! Pause in his presence How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord; within their hearts are the highways of holiness! Even when their paths wind through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain. He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring" (Ps. 84:4-6, TPT).
"For in your presence they will still overflow and be anointed. Even in their old age they will stay fresh, bearing luscious fruit and abiding faithfully" (Ps. 92:14).
Man has plans. God has purpose. When you're connected to the Father, you have a purpose, and many times that purpose is not what we were planning. It's important to remember that He is good and He "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). Discover and know your purpose so that you can live on mission.
When you know your purpose, it becomes easier to evaluate and make decisions. You can simply say "no" to the things that will distract you and take you away from your purpose and "yes" to the things you know will enable you to fulfill your purpose.
Scripture says, "Set your gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life's distractions" (Prov. 4:25, TPT). Make sure that your plans are going to keep you on your path to your purpose.
The Word of God must be the loudest voice in your life so that you can walk out plans in alignment with the purpose that has been revealed from spending time in His presence.
Subscribe to the Pinnacle Leaders Podcast with Dr. Langley to listen to this episode and others for more biblical wisdom on the areas of lordship, leadership and lifestyle.
Dr. Randal S. Langley is the president and CEO of Christian Life School of Theology Global, a world leader in theological and leadership education, providing online degree programs and customized Christian higher-education solutions for churches, ministries and other organizations. Dr. Langley is also president of the International Association of Bible Colleges and Seminaries and is a founding partner and certified life coach, teacher and trainer for the John C. Maxwell Team. His desire is to help people fulfill their ultimate purpose in life and achieve their God-given dreams.
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