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Authentic Living and Leadership in Christ
by Joanne Alexander
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Being able to lead ourselves is a foundational element in living our lives authentically and being a great leader in our specific sphere of influence. In order to lead ourselves we must have a clear understanding of who and whose we are. This can only be facilitated through the revelatory process of an intimate relationship with the breathe of Life that is within us, the Spirit of God, whom demonstrates great leadership in, through and as us. By His grace, we get to the place where we are able to understand that all things no matter how presented serve us for our wholesome development (Spirit, Soul & Body).

There is always something new to learn about life and ourselves. We grow in maturity as we are transparent within ourselves, able to demonstrate personal accountability
 and cast out dis-serving beliefs and mindsets. As intimacy in relationship unfolds between a person and the Spirit of the Living God within, the unfailing restoring power of love carries us through the process of the divine manifestation of our true identity, being sons and daughters of the Living God. We know and see ourselves from God's perspective...and that is as EMPOWERED! For As HE is so are WE!

God's written word in the book of Hosea 4:6, states My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. A lack of knowledge can be simply translated as ignorance or in spiritual terms darkness. Ignorance breeds fear, suffering and torment. However, Christ came to set the captive free. Our true identity is hidden in HIM and there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed. Within our hearts God Himself has set eternity. We have the power of GREATNESS within us.

Many associate having a title, gifts, talents or accomplishments with leadership, however, the truth is we are ALL created to be leaders. We all have a specific sphere of influence. Having a title, gifts, talents or achieving certain accomplishments does not always equate to being an authentic leader. For example, leading by the principle ..do as I say, but not as I do, may seem to work for a period of time but eventually will not stand as a house built on a solid foundation because authentic leadership is transformational. It doesn't impose its perspective on another but demonstrates the truth through relationship. There isn't one person on this earth who doesn't fall short in character.

Actions in word, thought or deed that do not line up with the Spirit of the Living God reflects double-mindedness or a lack of balance which surfaces through as childish behavior. However, this is part of a spiritual breaking and growth, allowing room for maturity. A mature individual has the capacity to acknowledge or own up to shortcomings and wholly move forward in humility by grace and love, this is what sets an authentic leader apart from the rest. An authentic leader demonstrates the biblical principle of removing the beam from one's own eye.

As intimacy in relationship unfolds between a person and the Spirit of the Living God within, the unfailing restoring power of love carries us through the process of the divine manifestation of our true identity, being sons and daughters of the Living God. The Light & Fire of the Love of God orchestrates the inner manifestation of Sonship; exposing and consuming the vain imaginations and condemning thought patterns of the mortal mind. This process releases the LIFE that Christ came that we might have and it being LIVED in abundance.

As this Sovereign Reign of the Kingdom of God, which is our inheritance, is experienced as having dominion in and through us, the radiance of the fullness of God's Glory is thus being lived in the present moment. As we live this truth out from within our hearts (spiritual and throne room of God) it is known beyond the perspective of human comprehension at the very essence of our existence where we move, breathe and have our being. God's Spirit is experienced as being always with us thus eventually spilling over and flowing through as us. This is how the authentic self manifests within and outwardly. It affords us the freedom to display our unique personalities and unfolds in and through us Gods divine purpose for our individual and corporate existence.

The process of personal development by the Spirit is an intimate one. Even when God uses others as a means to demonstrate or impart what He maybe revealing in a given moment, it is still a personal experience thus always received in Love. Lord knows, at times these lessons can be painful. For instance, what child loves being chastised by a parent? I know I sure didn't. Nonetheless it is part of the process of growing up and embracing maturity. These lessons strengthen the very characteristics of being an authentic leader such as demonstrating accountability, compassion and love. A genuine walk with the Holy Spirit allows us to be transparent with ourselves and others. No longer are we hidden in fear of rejection or insecurity; but perfect love is revealing our true identity, which is in Christ. We are all masterpieces created by the Master Himself for the purpose of His Glory! \0/

Being transparent with ourselves is a fundamental element of true personal transformation. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines the word transparent as having the property of transmitting light, free from pretense or deceit, easily detected or seen through, readily understood and characterized by visibility or accessibility of information. According to Edward W. Taylor and Patricia Cranton, authors of The Handbook of Transformative Learning, the most personally significant and emotionally exacting transformations involve a critique of previously unexamined premises regarding oneself.

The Word of God, in 1 Corinthians 2:11, states For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. As the process of intimacy in relationship unfolds with a person and the Spirit of God, an awakening or realization beyond human reasoning of one's true self and spiritual inheritance is also being experienced. The Holy Bible in 2 Corinthians 5:17 states: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. No longer are we complacent in the old thought patterns that governed our minds, but by God's Grace are released to be transparent within ourselves as we experience the transformation of our thinking by the renewing of our minds and through intimacy in relationship with and in Him (Spirit and Truth).

The ability to be transparent with oneself also influences an individual to demonstrate personal accountability. It's easy to point out or acknowledge everyone else's shortcomings but being accountable or accepting responsibility for one's own actions is a staple of maturity. How often have we judged and/or condemned another for things we have done or continue to do in our own lives? As stated previously, everyone falls short at times. It is the Holy Spirit that causes one to acknowledge shortcomings within oneself without the burden of condemnation because it is done in, by and through love.

As this aspect of growth unfolds, it manifests within the individual the experience of true compassion, which can then be demonstrated to others because it was first revealed inwardly. In this process, which has a wholesome effect in Spirit, Soul & Body: We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marriane Williamson, A Return to Love

The Spirit of the Living God ushers us through the process of identifying and/or acknowledging dis-serving beliefs and mindsets within our own selves such as illustrated in the above quote where one questions their God-given brilliance, beauty and talent. In this process we awaken to the Love of God which moves in, through and as us..being the very ability to cast out all fear and continually manifest our authentic selves in and to this world.

Once revealed this process never ceases as we gradually move from glory to glory (ascension and growth) in Christ. Hardships, stress, trials all serve us for our good. Through them we learn to rise above demonstrating Love, the fruit of the Spirit and its manifestations being joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control to our selves and to one another. So we come to understand that we will fall short at times but the Spirit of God within will always consistently raise a standard of excellence and by grace we RISE as overcomers demonstrating the Reign of the Kingdom of God within. To Be Continued...

email: info@reigninginlove.com

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