Being in a relationship indicates communication between two people. Imagine going to Facebook and changing your status to say that you are “in a relationship” when only one party agrees to those terms. You might expect some taunting or teasing for such a public declaration.
In a growing relationship with Christ, we should expect two-way communication. The Bible compares a relationship with Christ to the way a bride relates to a groom. Following Christ is a serious matter and indicates that both parties be involved intimately. Those in relationships know one another well.
Knowing His voice matters to a person in a relationship with Christ. Christians listen and hear the voice of Christ. Likewise, Christ should also expect to hear from His children regularly. During these conversations, which include prayer, Bible study, and meditation on His Word, Christians begin to sense when they are being called to leadership. A call to leadership may not occur immediately but may happen over time as Christians mature and learn to follow the voice of Jesus daily.
There is nothing strange about a believer hearing the voice of Christ. Instead, it matches perfectly what the Bible teaches in John 10:2–4, “The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
Spiritual fruit is an indicator of a person in a relationship with Christ. Christians are meant to bear fruit. During different seasons of life, the journey may change directions in order that Christ followers may be pruned and ready to produce fruit. John 15:4 says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
Integrity can be seen in the life of a person in a relationship with Christ. A person who does what is right when no one else is looking shows integrity. When a Christian is called to lead, he or she must put away sin and be a person of integrity. Though we all sin, when we are connected with Christ we confess those sins and then walk obediently with integrity. We don’t remain in sin.
The call of Christ is not stagnant but is a step-by-step journey that leads us to fulfill the purpose He has for us. In order to walk daily in obedience to that call, we must stay in communication with Christ and follow His voice. As a result, we will be fruitful and have integrity.
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Claudia Johnson, CWLC Leadership Consultant