We are all born with the desire to finish, to arrive (as it were), to attain, to gain, to prosper, to bear fruit, to expand, to become. It is a deep desire within to take your life and make it count. It is the constant panting of your soul to apprehend spiritual realities, as well as attain physical significance.
For the purpose of this discussion, physical significance will refer to all range of success possible in physical life; personal, familial, professional. Personal success can be divided further into mental, material (health) and emotional wellbeing. The sense of achievement is a powerful sense in every human, that drives us to seek for that which might be missing in our aggregate experience, and to bring to equilibrium any area of our lives that may be out of balance.
Apprehending Spiritual Realities
As it has proven itself over numerous centuries, achievement that has no spiritual bearing, leaves the achiever empty and “gasping” for the breath of life.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7 KJV
Even after your life has gotten a form, a powerful string of achievement trailing it, you do not yet begin to live, until you have that necessary, unequivocal contact with God, that awakens you to New Life. The capacity to represent the interest of God on the planet, comes from the Higher Life that God personally breathes into you, after which you become a living soul (not just a body).
What, then, is a living soul?
A life that responds to the imperatives of eternity and the prerogatives of time. It is a life lived from within, from the very core of one’s convictions. It is a penetrating presence that has mastered the variableness of outward circumstances. A life that affects the now and inherits the glories of the world to come.
Why is it a penetrating presence?
Any time we live according to our redemptive privileges, the life that Christ’s death and resurrection purchased for all who will accept it, we are introducing a contradiction into the thoughts of men, and they are compelled to ponder on the reality of the Higher Life for themselves.
This is quite in keeping with our working definition on leadership from the beginning of this series:
1. We must lead ourselves first, before we can have the advantage, pedigree and privilege to lead others.
2. The only thing we can give the world is the benefit of what we are becoming.
Basically, we must keep removing the log of wood on our own faces before we can remove the speck of dust in the eyes of others (Matthew 7:3-5). That shows us the burden of leadership. The more we get better, the more we can help others to get better. Hence, much of the work we will ever do in our lifetime is really on our own selves. Leadership is really more about you than others.
You will judge and evaluate yourself more…
You will expect and demand more from yourself…
You will plumb depths of truth and personal responsibility that others can only give a faint thought!
You will definitely do more to provide leadership because example is the best teacher.
Attaining Physical Success
So, what about physical success? External attainment? Is it something to ignore, to loathe or to downplay? I think not!
When we have gotten a genuine spiritual experience, we now have an inner working of grace that moderates the fluctuations of our hearts. By ‘fluctuations of our hearts’ I mean, the vanities that begin to cloud our logic, offering us numerous shades of self importance (which, really, is self worship) and personal vagueness to exhibit to the masses of hero worshippers. A proper anchor into the depths of God’s grace will steady our self-thoughts as we press through the sequences of significance and greatness.
The need for us to succeed is as real as the need for us to be alive, as well as, the need for us to occupy a space of service, that opens the door to influence. Consider the following thoughts:
1. Nothing has ever been created without a foreknowledge, or call it purpose/reason, in the mind of the creator/producer.
2. What gives a thing, product or service relevance is the need it meets, the purpose it serves, the goal it achieves.
3. Just as there is an Intelligent Mind behind the creation of this vast universe, for a definite purpose (even if there’s ignorance about that purpose in your mind), there is an Intelligent Mind behind the creation of you.
4. A part of your sense of aliveness, that is, making sense of why you are alive, will be derived and discerned from that original intent(ion) in the Intelligent Mind that designed you.
5. Although there are already built-in, ready made services and occupations in the world, that practically sustains the continuity of the world, as we know it, it is your duty to ensure that the purpose of God, that is already a seed in your heart (as a result of knowing Him), is transmuted into the best physical work equivalent possible, in the service of your fellow man.
6. But you must know that the world is not obliged to standstill, to immediately recognize your calling and instantly accept your service. They are generally not spiritually inclined. Therefore, they seek only to identify you and your work by HOW you are doing it differently from others, of course, to their own advantage.
7. You are succeeding with your work when the hallmark of your divine nature (Superior, Higher Life) is forcefully apparent in what you do to serve your generation. Until men begin to ponder beyond the conveniences your services offer them, to wonder at the mind behind the excellence of your brand (what your name and services represent in the mind of your ‘consumers’), you have not yet caught the Spirit behind your calling.
…that means, money is not the yardstick for measuring capacity or achievement. The leader deeply probes his own heart, asking himself the big questions, questions beyond the physical prosperity of his brand and the accompanying monetary rewards. He asks until he is able to touch base with the real goal(s) of his life assignment.
And the goals are thus summarized in one statement: giving your fellow man a foretaste of Dominion (the Higher Life that restores mankind to its original settings of bearing the exact likeness/image/brand of God) that awakens the desire to fulfill divine destiny.
Picture credit: moral matters dot org