From Leading to Being Led: Reflections from Henri Nouwen and Dave Gibbons

This past week I’ve had the chance to read a couple of challenging, piercing books, and I suspect these books may be ones that I return to every few weeks or so.

The first book is In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen, and even though I had read it before, I picked it up again at the behest of a friend who recommended that I re-read it every so often.

The book is a reflection on Christian leadership, and there is so much that called out to me in the book.  There’s one line in particular that stood out for me.  It is an exhortation to go from “leading to being led“.

I need to hear these words time and again. As someone who so often wants to be the captain, the architect, the whatever you want to call it, there’s a call for me to be led first by the one who knows me by name.

But man, it’s hard to give up control.

One of the disciplines I’ve adopted is daily reciting the Lord’s prayer at midday.  I used to strictly be in the camp of let spontaneous prayers, and although I still pray randomly, there’s a safe haven found in the Lord’s prayer and written prayer lists that I try to check in with every day.

I actually don’t pray the entire Lord’s prayer, to tell you the truth.  Instead, I usually meditate on these four lines:

Our Father who art in heaven
Thy Name be Hallowed
Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Will be Done

These are the words that I desperately need to hear in order to go from leading to being led.  Thy Name, Thy Kingdom, Thy Will.

Too often, the hidden words found in my soul (and sometimes my prayers) is My Name, My Kingdom, My Will.

Dave Gibbons‘ book Xealots reinforces this message in such a simple yet profound way, and the words “leading to being led” jumped off of the pages as he presents a vision for an abnormal, radical life in God.

Dave talks about waking up every morning with the fresh vision for God to move and speak in our lives, and I wonder what it would look like for each of us to embrace a life led by God where we are so fearlessly tuned into God that we become “naturally supernatural,” even in our broken humanity.

I should say, what would it look for me to embrace a life led by God where I am so fearlessly tuned into God?

How would my interactions change with my wife, my neighbors, my co-workers?

How would my behaviors change if I really believed I was connected to the Maker of the Universe?

How would my life be altered if I really believed the Creator of Heaven and Earth was also the Lover of my soul?

How would my attentiveness to God change if I really believed he was trying to speak to me in every moment, guiding me closer to his heart and his will?

I am certain that often the biggest hindrance to entering the fullness of God’s supernatural destiny is me.  More specifically, My Name, My Kingdom, My Will. 

And I’ve become convinced that the portal to entering the fullness of God’s supernatural destiny is found in the words, Thy Name, Thy Kingdom, Thy Will.

From leading to being led… I like that.

I need that.

Lord, may you free me from the trappings of other voices that so readily steer me to rely solely on myself and my selfish ambitions.  May Your Name, Your Kingdom, and Your Will be ever on my mind, heart, and tongue.  Forgive me for the times I forget your invitation to be led by you.  Forgive me for so often succumbing to fears I might have that might prevent me from following you wholeheartedly.  I long to be led by you.  Help me get to the place where I am led by you.

Sidenote:  As a sidenote, I am not saying it’s bad to have personal wishes, hopes and dreams.  In fact, I’ve preached before on how these are often part of our God-given DNA and destiny!  I’m speaking more about the selfish, sinful stuffs that need to be filtered through God’s heart. 

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2 responses to “From Leading to Being Led: Reflections from Henri Nouwen and Dave Gibbons

  1. Drew,
    You post touch me so profoundly. I am in a place of learning to let God lead in a deeper and more tangible way. Your words encouraged and exhorted me. Thanks so much.
    Baayork

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