If there is one imperative for an emerging leader, it’s hearing from God. Hearing, then following, because the best leaders are followers. Leaders who follow Christ produce a level of integrity and safety for the people they lead.
Godly leaders need to first hear from God and then have the faith to follow. As I wrote in my earlier Blog, “The Call,” a person must hear the call to respond to it. So this ability to be disciplined in hearing is vital for a leader.
From a Scriptural point-of-view, Isaiah said in Chapter 46, verses 9b—10, “I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’.” Then Amos 3:7 says, “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.”
Don’t get hung-up on the word “prophets” here. Paul encouraged all believers to exercise their gift of prophecy which is hearing what God is saying to you, your family, people around you, or the people you lead and releasing those words to benefit them personally and ultimately the Body of Christ.
Now my favorite Scripture in the Bible that reveals God speaks, He answers, and He will show us things we don’t know, comes from Jeremiah 33:3. And it confirms when you call, He answers. “Call on Me and I will answer, and show you great and mighty things, you do not know.”
This is a definitive statement. A promise given decisively, with finality and authority. So no one can say I don’t hear God. They just don’t realize God is speaking, He is answering. We must be trained in the ways of God as to how we hear Him.
This is the directive for emerging leaders who need to learn how to hear from God. Psst… that’s everyone!
CALL. ON. HIS. NAME.
Ask Him whatever you need to know. He WILL answer you.
So what does that answer look like, sound like, feel like? There are four ways God speaks directly to you.
- From His Word.
- In your heart. I call this an electric thought!
- Through dreams.
- Through Creation
God speaks from His Word.
He does not act or fulfill or establish ANYTHING contrary to His Word. He is bound to His Word. period. So an emerging leader needs to become a student of the Scriptures. And NEVER, I repeat NEVER, do or say anything contrary to God’s Word. There’s a high penalty for this and leaders must always stay within the boundaries of God’s instruction in the Bible.
God gives you thoughts that you know are not your own; electric thoughts from heaven.
You ask a question, at some point you have a thought and realize it’s your answer. The electric thought as I call it. The information is something you didn’t know before. Like Jeremiah said, “He will show you things you do not know.”
God speaks through dreams.
Oh my the dreams I’ve had over the years. Mighty dreams with magnificent symbols that could have only come from God. Quick example, I’m in New Zealand on a lush plain with a cliff to my back. I’m watching a flock of sheep graze the grassland before me. To the side I notice a pack of wolves readied to devour one from the flock. Before they could, the flock rose up against the wolves and utterly destroyed them. Whew! Intense! But God revealed to me a day would come when His people would be fearless and fierce. They would take their place with God to destroy the works of the enemy. Get a journal to document your dreams. Be careful though as you try to interpret, only use a biblically based source. There’s a lot of new age beliefs and humanism among us that can deceive you. It seems right and sounds right, but it is not God and there is no Christ in it. Remember God never acts outside His Word. Staying narrow in this will keep you safe and those you lead too.
God speaks through His creation.
Have you ever needed an answer to something and got an object lesson from nature? I have more times than I can count. From grass seed heads to sunsets, I have heard from God exactly what I needed to hear. Case in point, my father was close to death and we weren’t sure if he was born again. He’d been in the hospital for a month and took a turn for the worse. I was two hours away when I got the call. As I drove to the hospital the sun was beginning to set, I exited the highway to get a drink and when I turned back toward the west to re-enter the highway the most expansive and magnificent sunset was before me. Honestly it actually took my breath away. As I responded to God’s amazing display, I heard these words, “I AM from everlasting to everlasting and I hold eternity in the palm of My hand.” Then, “I’ve got this daughter, watch Me work.” Needless to say God did take care of it and my father received salvation before stepping into eternity.
At this point in my walk with God I know exactly when He is calling me away to sit with Him too. It’s a stirring in the belly and a drawing of the heart. When I feel those sensations I get alone and say again, “Here I am Father. Speak to me. My heart is open to You.” I write everything down that I hear.
What leaders need most is wisdom from God and strategies to bring change to the ungodly world around them. So it’s vital that they are able to perceive, recognize, and respond to God when they hear Him speak. It’s also important to position yourself to hear. What you seek you will find! Take time to seek and listen.
Start now training yourself to listen, recognize His voice and promptings, write down what He says, and note your dreams. God is all about relationships and He is a great communicator. Notice communication comes from a root word “commune.” You hear the people you spend time with! Right? Spend time with Him in devotion and you will hear all He has to reveal to you.
God will speak to you through others, but His preferred method of communication is mouth to mouth, ear to ear, eyes to eyes and heart to heart. He love you so much and wants to spend time with you. As you call upon Him, it will be His joy to release all that you need to know in every situation. And, especially as you lead His people, you will have the wisdom necessary in every circumstance.