Several weeks ago in our staff meeting I shared with my crew something that God deals with me often about. Keeping a close eye on my spiritual temperature. There can be nothing more important in a Pastor or ministry leaders life than his or her spiritual health and personal walk with the Lord. It is easy at times to substitute work for God as time spent with God but this is a dangerous assumption and one the enemy hopes we will make. Proverbs 4:23 is an important verse, it says “Above everything else keep a close watch over your heart, it controls the direction of your entire life.”
We need to be Spiritual cardiologists, constantly analyzing the health of our hearts so that nothing slowly creeps in that makes us vulnerable or leads us away from God even while being surrounded by the things of God. So I challenged my staff to take a spiritual self assessment. I asked them 4 questions to answer honestly and privately to bring some spiritual accountability to our lives.
1. When is the last time you had an intimate moment with God in prayer? What did He impress upon you in that moment?
I’m not talking about praying over your food, or praying in worship service. I’m talking about a moment with no distractions and no ministry business JUST YOU AND GOD.
2. When is the last time God spoke to you out of His word? Where in His word was it and what did He say? What was your lesson or take away truth?
We cannot only spend time in God’s word when it is time to teach or preach. We must create margin in our lives as sons and daughters before we make time for him as ministers. True inspiration comes to our people only when they know that we have first received and been with God ourselves ( read Acts 4:13 ) When you have really been with Jesus and not just around Jesus, the difference is obvious.
3. When was the last time the Holy Spirit spontaneously impressed you to do something and you did it?
Obedience is a sure sign of spiritual maturity. Recognizing God’s voice is a sign of time truly spent with Him. After 20 years of marriage with Tina, I can pick her voice out of a room full of people. Intimacy makes that possible. Have you spent enough time with God to know His voice. Hows your OQ? Many know about IQ, your intelligence quotient, but what about your OQ? Your obedience quotient.
4. When was the last time I felt true conviction of the from the Holy Spirit about something in my life? Did i ignore it or do something about it?
Pain is proof of life. Corpses feel no pain. The more sensitive you are to the slightest stick of the Holy Spirit the more healthy and alive you are. His confrontational conviction in us comes from his compassionate concern for us. I am thankful for this and need it often.
We cannot be effective Spiritual leaders until we are first passionate spiritual followers.
Use these questions to assess yourself. God is more concerned with who we are than what we do.