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5 Common Temptations for Leaders and Their Devotional Life

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Forty years of ministry has taught me that only Jesus brings real power and the life-changing authority that makes it possible for any church to reach its potential.

Yet we often lead with less than that full power.

It’s never intentional, but it’s surprisingly easy to slide into leading on your own ability, or at least partially on your own, especially when the pressure is on and God doesn’t seem to be moving as fast as you hope and pray.

I have prayed and pursued God for all these years, but I have not always fully leaned into the significance of how my relationship with Him impacts my leadership.

Intellectually, I’ve known from day one that God is my source, but only decades of experience have revealed the depth of that truth. He is truly the foundation and strength of my soul, and my leadership would never reach its potential without Him.

It’s too often that leaders who love God can become so consumed with the work of God that their walk with God isn’t always what it could be.

The result is that their leadership suffers.

However, instead of running to God, they work harder. Sound familiar?

Please don’t misunderstand; your leadership in the local church is critical to the advancement of the Great Commission.

We need good leaders and good leadership!

However, leadership alone isn’t enough.

5 Common Temptations for Leaders and Their Devotional Life

1. Suffer From Guilt

I love to pray, but it’s taken me years to develop true consistency. I have a really cool prayer room in my basement that’s like a sanctuary to me; it’s holy ground where God and I meet. I find joy, peace, and power there, thankfully no longer not duty or performance.

But I remember times when I struggled to be consistent, and I felt guilty. Guilt robs you of joy! And a duty-like, performance-oriented prayer life is the last thing you need to allow into your devotional life with God.

This is not an excuse for any of us, we desperately need daily time with God, but guilt is a tactic of the Devil, not a punishment from God.

God may bring conviction, but He doesn’t bring guilt. The trouble is they often feel the same. The difference is that conviction pulls you back to God, and guilt drives you away from God.

Don’t let the Devil fool you; communion with God is a gift; it’s an invitation from your Heavenly Father who loves you. Prayer is a safe place that restores your soul, provides wisdom and insight, and brings you peace.

2. Miss the Joy

When you make prayer a task with seven steps to complete and mountains of commentaries to read, that can result in the loss of joy.

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Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.