Keeping Our Spirit Fresh

You communicate in three ways: through your words, your gestures, and through your spirit. Which do you think is most important?

I bet you guessed it. Not through our words, but the spirit with which we speak those words. That is what gives our words meaning, depth, credence.

But our spirit can flag. We become fatigued with the daily-ness of leading, and we end up still doing the deeds but they are done “absent of spirit.” Zephaniah teaches us a leadership lesson that would do us well to heed:

“It will come about at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are stagnant in spirit … (Zeph 1:12)

“Stagnant in spirit.”

What a graphic picture. A spirit that is putrid, rotting, decaying, and rancid. Not a pretty sight. But it’s a reality and a fact of life. Zephaniah tells us that our spirit is prone to getting rancid and stale. Without intentional maintenance, our hearts go bad, like the moldy fruit in the icebox that we forgot was there since last summer.

The people of Judah had let their spirits go beyond their expiration date without renewing it. It was now musty and the sell-by date had outlived its freshness label, and now it was decomposing rapidly.

Our spirit has an expiration date … I think its “every morning.” Every morning, each day it has to be refreshed and updated. That’s how God made us. Like farm fresh produce, if it’s last week’s harvest, it’s too old.

I need to stay current with the Holy Spirit as He renews my spirit every morning … for my family, my ministry, my physical health, my speaking and teaching. They will all go stale if I do not renew my spirit. Otherwise, I will go “stagnant in spirit” and I become dull to God.

Judah did. So can we.

That is why my time in the Word each morning is a non negotiable. I must renew my spirit for what is before me.

For today. For this weekend. For life.

A Leader’s Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, please renew my spirit today. I have so much to do, and often I flag in my spirit and get polarized. I need to have the zest of heaven. As a leader, I need to keep my wits about me and my spirit strong. Will you help me to do that on a consistent basis? Thank you for your care and love!”

The above is a reposting of a previously published article from the Mentoring Leaders archive.

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