Called to Be Who You Are

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

I don’t know anyone who walked away from his or her faith because of Jesus, but I know many who walked away because of the poor leadership of those who represent Jesus.

Christian leaders should be the best leaders in the world because we have the best Leader in history teaching us. We have the Creator infusing creativity into us. We have the Holy Spirit guiding us and giving us wisdom.

Great leadership demands that we stay in step with the Spirit. We need to learn the ways of life-giving leadership because it brings out the best in those around us as we lead from our truest selves. Look around. It’s not hard to see the need for bringing life to others. You can do this only when you lead from your truest self, from your design. God created you for a purpose, which is to lead and to lead well.

Life-giving leaders carry the name of Jesus throughout communities and to the person standing next to them. They live out their calling with fulfillment and joy. They live to the fullest, just as Jesus implores us in John 10:10.

How we lead affects people’s lives and their faith. That’s a short sentence with an eternal impact. The weight of our leadership rests on our shoulders, and we need to carry it well.

Grace should flow from leaders to those around them. The most common type of leadership, however, is just the opposite. How many people have you worked for who required grace from their team members? Perhaps the leader was constantly late. Or maybe the leader lacked integrity, held unrealistic expectations, was an ineffective communicator, or was morally corrupt. We’ve all been there and never want to go back. Constantly having to give life and grace to those who lead you is exhausting. In contrast, wouldn’t it be amazing to work for a leader who gives you life?

The best leader is one who continually extends grace rather than requiring it from others. The flow of grace is critical to the leader’s ability to grow in influence. When leaders require grace to flow to them, the system is corrupt. It’s backward.

Life-giving leadership flips the common scenario on its end.  Life-giving leaders spread life, grace, hope, joy, and positivity like wildfire.


  1.  Why should leaders extend grace more than require it?
  2.  Are you a high-octane, energizing leader with big ideas and the skills to back them up?
  3.  Do you help shape the hearts and minds of those you lead? In short, are you a catalyst leader?


From ‘The Life-Giving Leader’, by By Tyler Reagin.  Learning to Lead from Your Truest Self


UNCOMMEN LEADERS – Who’s in Your Five?

“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgement.” Proverbs 18:1

Leadership guru Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

An old mobile marketing campaign asked, “Who’s in your five?”

It’s common for guys in their 20’s can rattle off names quickly. On their wedding day, you’ll find their five flanking them. But it doesn’t take long for those five to start fading from the picture. It’s natural to lose friends over time. People change. People move. All too often, few take their place.

We become known more by our titles, our accomplishments, or our kids. Increasingly we are known as “the boss,” “the guy who built that company, “runs in those triathlons,” or “Johnny’s dad.”

We become known by what we do more than who we are. In an article titled, “The Friendship Crisis,” The Washington Post recently quoted from an American Sociological Review stating “that the number of close friends for adults is declining, with the modal number of close friendship in 1985 being three, while in 2004 the modal number was zero. The percentage of adults who report having no close friends at all has increased from 36 percent in 1985 to 53.4 percent by 2004.”

An ancient Proverb says, “An isolated man seeks out his own desires (or can be translated: destruction), he breaks out against all sound judgement.”

Isolated men create chaos. Their names litter the headlines, our prisons, and our neighborhoods. Men who shoot up movie theatres live a double life or simply escape to a virtual world after work.

Back in 1965, Martin Luther King Jr said, “What we are facing today is the fact that through our scientific and technological genius we’ve made of this world a neighborhood. And now through our moral and ethical commitment, we must make of it a brotherhood.”

Leadership can be lonely, but you don’t have to go it alone.

Guys in your five ask you the tough questions. They challenge you to risk. They give you permission to be who you are. They value you for who you are more than what you do.

So it begs the question, “Who’s in your five?” And if you are struggling to lift up more than one or two fingers, it’s time to build your brotherhood.

Schedule a lunch or virtual coffee with them. Reconnect. Be challenged. Watch your leadership deepen.


Submitted by UNCOMMEN Coach, Brian Goins. –

Where God Camps

When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Psalm 27:8)

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Through praise, we experience more fully God’s presence, both within us and at work all around us.

The Scriptures tell us that God dwells in the praises of His people. He is the holy God “that inhabits the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3). The image painted by the psalmist is that God sits down and takes delight in the praises offered to His name. God pitches His tent wherever His name is exalted. He camps out with those who acknowledge, glorify, and desire His presence.

If you are struggling with pain, sickness, or loss and are desperate for a sense of God’s nearness, then start praising His holy name. As my wife and I recoiled at the surgeon’s word cancer, we clung to God in praise of His love, His protection, and His faithfulness. We needed Him to set up camp amid our weakness and fear and suffering. And He did!

The simple fact of God’s presence is this: Wherever God dwells, God rules. He is our authority. When we invite Got to dwell in us, He reigns over our hearts. When we invite God to dwell in our marriages and our family relationships, God reigns over those relationships. When we invite God to exert His will and presence in our business, He reigns over our business.

Praise is our foremost means of inviting God to take up His residence with us and to establish His presence, authority, and purpose in every area of our lives. As we praise our Lord, we enjoy the warmest, deepest form of fellowship with our heavenly Father. No matter what you are facing, I encourage you to praise Him now.


Lord, thank You for making my heart Your home and dwelling within me. Come and reign over my heart, my mind, my relationships, and my work. I hunger and thirst for more communion with You. May my thoughts, words, and actions release the fragrance of Christ to the world. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

ABOUT DR. YOUSSEF  – Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. Dr. Michael Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States and fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. He holds degrees from Moore College in Sydney, Australia, and Fuller Theological Seminary in California, with a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Emory University. 

A Challenge to Christian Business Leaders

The first time I read the Bible cover to cover, I was in the middle of my climb-the-corporate-ladder days and ended up as a corporate manager inside the headquarters of a Fortune 500 retailer.  More than anything, I was curious how this book applied to business.

Needless to say, it does.

One of the great challenges I hear from other Christian business leaders is how to systematically study and apply the wisdom of the Bible in their business.  Beyond spiritual development, which is critical, they struggle with how to find the time to uncover how the Word could impact their companies that day?

Here is a simple approach I use that Christian business leaders can implement today to jump start how better to apply the Bible at work.

Chapter a Day Challenge

Three years ago I began a daily Bible reading accountability group.  Today we have 10 men (including me) that read one chapter of the Bible every day and group text each other their insights, thoughts, aha’s, and more.

It began for me as a personal spiritual development habit and has transformed into more of a business application focus (with the blessing of my friends).  Of course, I still receive huge spiritual blessings through this daily devotional.  But as a Christian business leader, I now see this as an easy, quick (15 minutes or less), and powerful approach to better apply the Word at work.

Just to illustrate, here are a few random examples of my texts over the past several months. (Remember, these are not smoothing written, publishable copy – but text messages, send very early in the morning to friends.)

Revelation 3: Wake up! These letters are indeed wake up calls for the church, and for us individually. Are we walking around with soiled clothes? Do we walk thru the open door or just stay seated? Are we hot, cold, or lukewarm? (Lotta sleepy, lazy, lukewarm people in the pews and in our cubicles at work!) Chapters 2-3 are our wake up call to take action and be bold – not just talk/think about it and live in the margin of faith. So what are you/we going to DO today?

Luke 14- Count the Cost.  Too many entrepreneurs fail to estimate the real cost of their ideas and dreams, get started, and run out of money before they finish. Have seen dozens of empty shell, unfinished house foundations in the Dominican Republic where the builders ran out of money and just walked away. Jesus says to count the cost of being his disciple before committing. That’s huge. Guess that is why there are so few true disciples (lots of followers – but few true disciples). Wonder if Jesus sees us as empty shells? Am I willing to give up everything? The cost? The reward? The ROI? Maybe disciples are the best entrepreneurs after all – they’ve calculated the cost & went anyway! And their ROI is eternal. Something we can do at work – focus more on the eternal ROI of our work.

Prov 29- Beyond Words. V19 Tells us that “a servant cannot be corrected by mere words, though he understands, he will not respond.” Every employee – every child – every spouse needs to see the actions behind the words, the relationship living out loud before they respond to correction or suggestion. Before we launch into our next speech to improve someone else, reflect on the quality of the relationship, AND if it is strong enough to offer correction.

Proverbs 16- Higher Level Planning V9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” It’s amazing to look back & reflect on where God has taken us vs. what we had planned. The more we connect His dots of our past the more likely we can project our next best step into the future. God has us on His path. I suggest we contemplate where it’s brought us to our businesses so far & where it could take us.  If nothing else it gives us a higher probability of taking the right next step & reaching His earthly destiny for us, both in our business and in our life. Cool thought isn’t it!

Leviticus 7- Executive Training. In the first 7 chapters, God gives us a great example of how to teach and train executives. His offerings and regulations training session with Moses can be summarized in the familiar Who, What, When, Where, and How. Whenever we teach others – even our kids – we need to use all 5. Teaching only 4 leaves a (potentially dangerous) gap.

Accept the Challenge

  1. Take the Chapter a Day Challenge. Begin reading one-a-day then journal your response. I keep my entries in Evernote (I am not affiliated with Evernoteand receive no compensation for recommending their incredible on0line digital storage system.)
  2. Invite 4-5 others to join you.  I have 9-men in my group who text their thoughts and insights every day.  They need not be Christian business leaders, just good solid Christians.  My groups approach is a more personal application, my mine more business application, and frankly, I enjoy the combination.  I love learning from their insights which helps me to even better apply that chapter to business.
  3. Experience a fresh impact. Now into our third year, my group is experiencing God’s wisdom in new, fresh, and dynamic ways. For me, this daily study is through a business application lens – how might I or other Christian business leaders apply this chapter to their leadership, their company, and their people?
  4. Keep going. It’s is easy to start then lose interest (the parable of the seeds). I encourage you to make the commitment and keep going. Again, I highly recommend you create an accountability group.

The Payoff for Christian Business Leaders

The payoff for me has been tremendous. Not only does this lens shift (as I like to call it) give me a fun and vigorous way to study the Bible, it has enlightened me to find stunningly simple yet profound ways to apply its timeless truths for my colleague’s customers, constituents, and even in my community.


  • So, what is your system of daily business devotional?

by Dr Jim Harris – Dr. Jim Harris serves as a business strategist to executive teams who desire a marketplace breakthrough. A former Fortune 500 executive, Dr. Jim is the author of numerous award-winning business books including ‘Our Unfair Advantage: Unleash the Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Business’, ‘The Impacter: A Parable on Transformational Leadership’ and ‘Finding and Keeping Great Employees’.

Corpath Business Forums –


2019: A Year of Breakthrough

“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

There seem to be many prophetic words being released regarding 2019. Three recent ones I’ve come across are:

  • Prophecy 2019: A Year of Breaking Off, Breaking Through, Breaking Out!
  • Prophecy: 2019 Will Be a Year of Opportunities of a Lifetime
  • Prophecy: I Heard the Lord Say a “Domino Effect” is Coming

For me, these prophecies of 2019 being a year of breakthrough simply confirm what I have strongly sensed in my spirit for many months.

What Is Breakthrough?

Before I share a few of my anticipated breakthroughs, let’s breakdown what it means to have a breakthrough.

Breakthrough (n):

  • An offensive military assault that penetrates and carries beyond a defensive line
  • An act of moving through or beyond an obstacle
  • A sudden advance especially in knowledge or technique

An Offensive Military Assault

Beloved, we are in a war – a spiritual battle that is fought in the heavens and is played out in the marketplace. It’s time to quit tip-toeing around with attempting to solve unsolvable problems with man’s wisdom and move into unleashing the fullness of the Spirit and power (1 Corinthians 2:4-5) to take back enemy territory that belongs to Jesus (Hebrews 10:12-13).

Attempting to win this war under our human power is exactly what Satan wants. He wants every person on earth to discount the supernatural power that is available to every born-again believer. We MUST unleash the FULL ARSENAL POWER of heaven or stay off the battlefield and allow Satan to continue to dominate people, communities, marketplace mountains and nations.

Moving Through or Beyond an Obstacle

Admit it – sometimes just sensing or seeing the “obstacle” is enough to slow us down, even stop our advance. I’ve done this too. But now I refuse to be like the 10 spies who only focused on the obstacles. I purposefully choose to only focus on the size of my God and move through the obstacle.

Example: I just heard this week a story of how the very popular preacher, Jesse Duplantis, handles unexpected bills. Whenever he gets the bill in the mail, he holds the bill high above his head and shouts, “Jesus – you’ve got mail!” I like that. Already using this myself.

 God has a supernatural answer to every natural (and supernatural) problem in every country across every sphere of influence.

Sudden Advance in Knowledge or Technique 

Do you know what a sudden advance in knowledge or technique is? It’s a revelation!

To move through or beyond your obstacles in 2019 within your marketplace battlefield, you will absolutely need God’s revelations to overpower the enemy in his battlefield! (I have MUCH MORE to release throughout 2019 on how to receive and activate marketplace revelation – so hang in here with me!)

2019: My Year of Breakthrough 

Yes, I sense 2019 will indeed be a breakthrough year for me. Perhaps just reading this is stirring within you the same.

Much of what is to come for me I will share throughout the year. But for all you “inquiring minds,” here is a brief overview of what is to come for me:

  • A more crystallized focus of discipling and advising executives whose passion is to transform their companies, communities, and countries for the Kingdom.
  • Stepping more boldly into my destiny of a marketplace apostle to the nations, discipling the next generation, and sparking economic activities to fund the end-time harvest.
  • Releasing several new manuals, books and teaching series all within a multi-language marketplace-focused app.
  • Transforming my current 1/week blog into a 5/week weekday “Daily Download” of bite-sized revelations for immediate application.
  • Expanding content distribution channels to include YouTube, podcasts….and much, much more.


“Revelation without activation is insubordination.” I , therefore, exhort you to journal your answers to these activation questions:

  • What specific types of heavenly power do you need to pull down from heaven to win your marketplace wars?
  • What specific obstacles must you move through or beyond in 2019?
  • What are your major battlefields in 2019?

Dr. Jim Harris serves as a business strategist to executive teams who desire a marketplace breakthrough. A former Fortune 500 executive, Dr. Jim is the author of numerous award-winning business books including Our Unfair Advantage: Unleash the Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Business, The Impacter: A Parable on Transformational Leadership and Finding and Keeping Great Employees.

Leading With Boundaries

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8 NIV)

Leaders lead people, and it is the people who get it all done. And to get it done, they have to be led in a way that they can actually perform and use all their horsepower. Said another way, their brains need to work. You can cast a great vision, get the right talent, and yet be leading in ways that people’s brains literally cannot follow, or sometimes even make work, much less their hearts. What I have come to believe is this: while leadership as a discipline is very, very important, the personal and interpersonal sides of leadership are every bit as important as the great leadership themes of vision, execution, strategy, and the like. Leaders can motivate or demotivate their people…They can create a culture that augments high performance, accountability, results, and thriving, or cause a culture to exist in which people become less than who they are or could be. There are several aspects of a leader’s behavior that make everything work, and one of those is his or her “boundaries.” A boundary is a structure that determines what will exist and what will not…The leaders determine what will exist and what will not.

As I meet with leaders and their companies, I find that more often than not, they have smart plans. They know their business, or they would not be where they are. They are strategic, talented, gifted, and experienced. Their “business” expertise got them to where they are, but as they rise to more significant positions of leadership, they need other skills in addition to what their business smarts can provide. They need to be able to lead people to get results…It is about leading the “right people,” empowering them to find and to do the “right things” in the “right ways” at the “right times.” That is what will bring a plan to real results.

Boundaries are made up of two essential things: what you create and what you allow…Leaders define the boundaries, and successful leaders define them well in several key areas:

  1. The vision, the focus, the attention, and the activities that create forward movement are defined by leaders.
  2. The emotional climate of the organization and its culture is created and sustained by leaders.
  3. The unity and connectedness of the organization and the teams are built or fragmented by leaders.
  4. The thinking and beliefs of the organization are sown and grown by leaders.
  5. The amount and kinds of control and empowerment that people have been given and required by leaders.
  6. The performance and development of their teams and direct reports are stewarded by leaders.
  7. The leadership of oneself which entails establishing one’s own boundaries and stewardship of the organization is required by leaders.

You may be beginning to lead something new, or you may be focusing on turning something around and making it better. A leader’s clear boundaries are often what an organization is waiting for, and when it happens, it can create the most valuable company in the world. When a leader steps up and leads, and sets boundaries that provide clarity that cuts through the noise, it is a new day.

“Good boundaries, both those that help us manage ourselves and lead others, always produce freedom, not control.”
― Henry Cloud, Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge


  • God created humanity with a purpose and then established boundaries for us. He also gave us considerable freedom within those constraints. Compare and contrast what God has done for us with what Dr. Cloud is suggesting for healthy organizations.
  • God also created mankind in the image and likeness of Himself. One of those elements is that we are creative beings. Dr. Cloud suggests that in the right environment people’s brains will do what they are designed to do: create new ways of doing things and totally new things to do. Has that been the reality in your leadership experience? Describe a time when you saw people’s creative nature burst forth. If you’ve never seen it, why do you think that might be the case?


excerpts by Dr Henry Cloud 

Jesus Wants To Bear Your Burden With You

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 RSV)

I don’t know what burden you’re carrying. I don’t know what’s weighing you down. But I do know the answer to your trouble.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 RSV).

For many years I never understood that Scripture, because I didn’t know what a yoke was. When Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you,” it sounded to me like he was going to give me something else to deal with. My burden is heavy enough already, Lord! I don’t need to take your problems on me!

Then I learned that a yoke is actually a board with two arches in it that you put over two cattle so they can pull a cart.

The value of a yoke is that it halves the load. Without a yoke, one cow’s got to pull that entire load by itself. But if you yoke up the cow with another cow, then the two animals pull the load together, and the load is half as heavy.

When Jesus says to take his yoke upon you, he’s not saying he’s going to give you his problems. Jesus doesn’t have any problems! He’s saying he’s going to share your problems. He’s going to share your load. He’s going to take your stress on himself and bear it with you.


He uses three notable verbs in this Scripture: come, learn, and take. Jesus says, “Come to me. Team up with me. Then, learn how I do it. Take on a lighter load. This is going to reduce your stress. This is going to make it easier for you to navigate.”

When you’re yoked with Christ, you move together with him. You move in the same direction and at the same speed. And you move in the right direction and at the right speed.


  • Why is it sometimes difficult to accept help from someone who wants to share your burdens and make it easier on you?
  • Do you have people in your life who are willing to do that for you? How are you offering yourself to others to help reduce their stress?
  • Jesus already knows all about your stress. Are you ready to take on his yoke? If not, what is holding you back?

by Rick Warren


“…Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:57)

Our Advent meditation this week comes from the Corpath Green Devotional Guide. Fredrich Buechner writes:

The story that Christianity tells, of course, claims to give more than just a clue, in fact, to give no less than the very meaning of life itself and not just of some lives but of all our lives.  And it goes a good deal further than that in claiming to give the meaning of God’s life among men, this extraordinary tale it tells of the love between God and man, love conquered and love conquering, of long-lost love, and love that sometimes looks like hate. And so, although in one sense the story Christianity tells is one that can be so simply told that we can get the whole thing really on a very small Christmas card or into the two crossed pieces of wood that forms its symbol, in another sense, it is so vast and complex that the whole Bible can only hint at it.  Where does the story of God and man begin, for instance? Biblically speaking, you would have to say that it begins with Genesis and the picture we get of the Spirit of God brooding over the dark waters of chaos before the great “Let there be light!” of creation sounded.  But that amounts to saying that it has no beginning in time at all.  Or where do we say that it ends?  With the Crucifixion, perhaps, where man brings the story to an end by killing God, or with nuclear war perhaps, where man brings it to an end by killing himself.  But the answer to this is, “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth!” and “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live,” so the Christian story is beyond time altogether.

Yet it is also in time, the story of the love between God and man.  There is a time when it begins, therefore there is a time before it begins when it is coming but not yet here, and this is the time Mary was in when Gabriel came to her.  It is Advent: the time just before the adventure begins, when everybody is leaning forward to hear what will happen even though they already know what will happen, and what will not happen, when they listen hard for meaning, their meaning, and begin to hear, only faintly at first, the beating of unseen wings.  (from The Magnificent Defeat)


  • As you approach Christmas, reflect upon a timeless God stepping into time and becoming incarnate as a human being.

Monday Meditation will resume in 2019

John Wiseman – Corpath Business Forums –

Advent: In The Shadow of Herod

“Christ Jesus…Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:5-7)

Do we really have any idea what true power is?

During this second Advent week, I have been reflecting upon the miracle of the sovereign God of the universe emptying himself of his power and position and becoming incarnated in a tiny, powerless baby in Bethlehem.  December 25, we celebrate that event.  The birth of the Christ child – God with us.
I was reminded of this one night this week as I shared an experience with a business leader.  I have shared this before, so my apologies if you have heard it.

About 10 years ago, I was attending a Spiritual Director’s conference in Colorado Springs.  It was held in the Navigators conference centre.  The Navigators are a discipleship ministry.  The writings of their founder, Dawson Trotman, were influential in my faith development, so I visited his grave site which is located on the property.  The gravesite sits upon a high ridge overlooking a valley.  As I reflected upon the spiritual influence of this man, I noticed a shadow passed over me.  I looked up to see a U.S. Airforce Stealth Bomber in a low pass as it headed towards a mountain in the distance where other aircraft were circling.  I realized I was looking at Cheyenne Mountain.  It is the location of the NORAD defense command.  Cheyenne Mountain is a hollowed-out mountain bunker, secured behind multiple blast doors, from which all the branches of the entire U.S. military can be commanded.  During the 9-11 crisis in New York City, Cheyenne Mountain is where President George Bush was taken for safety.   In short, the retreat centre in which I was studying Christian spiritual formation was sitting about 3 miles away from the mountain fortress command centre for the most powerful military force in human history.  What a striking juxtaposition – the very symbol of worldly power just a few valleys away from a centre dedicated to pursuing eternal truth.

So, what is true power?

If you were to travel to Bethlehem today and stand in the city of Christ’s birth, you could look southeast and see about 3 miles away, the remains of another mountain fortress.  It is the Herodian.  The Herodian was the military fortress of Herod the Great who ruled Palestine in the time of Jesus.  If Egypt were to attack, the Herodian is where Herod would retreat for safety.  It was the Cheyenne Mountain of the 1st Century.  I am told that in the early morning when the sun comes up, the shadow of the Herodian fortress falls upon Bethlehem.  So, Jesus was literally born in the shadow of worldly power.

Herod built dozens of spectacular buildings which are now in ruins.  His personal wealth was many times the GDP of the whole nation of Palestine.  Yet, most people have never heard of him.  The child born in his shadow never owned property lived most of his life barely above poverty – yet he changed the world and almost everyone on earth knows his name.

So, what is true power?

True power is not in the things of this world.  True power is found in the things that the world calls weak.  True power is found in the shadows of the strong.  This Christmas give thanks that the creator of the universe itself identifies with us in our weakness, our failures.   Give thanks that through the birth of a tiny babe, he provides a path for us to know, serve and enjoy the most powerful force in the universe – God the Father.

“Like a stone on the surface of a still river,
Driving the ripples on forever,
Redemption rips through the surface of time
In the cry of a tiny babe”
(Bruce Cockburn – Cry of a Tiny Babe)

John Wiseman –  Corpath Business Forums –
[This devotional may be freely shared with others.  We ask that you include the above attribution and website address when sending to others.]

Advent Is A Time of Waiting

“But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.  Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.'” (Luke 1:13)

Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent.  What is the focus of the Advent season?  Primarily, Advent is a time of waiting.  As children, we wait to see what presents are under the tree.  As adults, we wait for the needed Christmas break from the demands of business.  Zechariah waited his whole life for the birth of his son John.  As Christians, we wait for the celebration of the central historical event of our faith – the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But the waiting itself can be instructive.  I suggest there are two aspects of waiting that we should all reflect on during our “Advent” waiting in the next few weeks.

1) The aspect of Preparation

These are experiences where, for a period of time, God puts us into a time of preparation for a later ministry or service or vocation that he will call us to.  At the time, we may not even be aware that we are being prepared.  But later, with hindsight looking back, we may recognize these times.  This aspect usually begins with the sense that what you are currently doing is not what you are destined for.  Some of you may be in a time of preparation right now for some future focus that God has for you.

A good biblical example of this would be Moses.  Although he was given the education of an Egyptian prince, he fled Egypt at the age of 40 and spent his next 40 years living in the wilderness with the Midianites – tending sheep.  How often he must have wondered if this was to be his lot in life.   With his royal education as an Egyptian prince, was he to die an outcast and a shepherd?  Little did he know that he was in God’s waiting room of preparation.  He was learning the ways of the desert so that late in life, at the age of 80, he could be used to lead God’s people out of Egypt into the desert, the very same conditions that he had been living in for the previous 40 years.

Just as Moses could not have possibly understood God’s grand plan for his life while in the Sinai desert, so there are “desert” times in our lives where we must wait upon His timing and plan to be revealed. The important thing is to live faithfully in the moment and do the best you can at what you are doing and wait upon God’s timing for the future.

2) The aspect of Timing

This aspect is illustrated by Abraham’s life story.  In Hebrews 11 we are told he had the promise that God would make him a great nation, he did not question it.  What was hard for him was the long delay in time before the fulfillment of the promise.

In a similar way, we know that God desires the best for us, he has promised to guide us, and listen to our prayers – we understand that.  But when our prayers go unanswered, or a difficult situation remains unresolved for a long time, or we are chafing under a difficult business situation that we are praying will change – then we can quickly grow weary of waiting upon God’s timing.  At times we can become fearful or even question our faith.  May I refer you to Abraham and Zechariah?

For 25 years Abraham waited for the birth of Isaac to fulfill God’s.  For their whole married lives, Zechariah and Elisabeth prayed for a child until the angel Gabriel announced to Zechariah that his prayer had been heard and that Elisabeth would give birth to John the Baptist who would prepare the way for the Lord. Keep those time frames in mind the next time you feel that God is taking a long time in answering your prayers.

Such is the rhythm of Advent.  Waiting, for the incarnation – the best promise that God has not abandoned us and has a plan for us.


  • What future activity or focus may God be preparing you for?
  • During your 2018 Forum Christmas gathering – share how waiting to celebrate the Incarnation helps you to wait upon other concerns in your life.

John Wiseman – Corpath Business Forums –