Leaderology By Jeff Rawlins Launching soon.

Tag: holy spiri

A Clear and Distinct Advantage.

A Clear and Distinct Advantage.

10 Leadership Awards and 7 promotions in 20 years, As if it could have been anyone or anything other than God! The successes and victories over the years have not been a surprise to me. The game is a little rigged, the competition not fair. As a Christian, I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me, he is the Game Changer!

 

I have been successful because of God’s favor and blessings in my life. Yes, I must show up, work very hard, make intelligent business decisions and motivate associates. The difference that I have seen in my personal relationship with the lord over the last 20 years is how we are molded into the image of Jesus over time.

 

I didn’t start out successful, I started out with a chip on my shoulder and spent the majority of late teenage years and early 20’s comparing myself to other people and becoming bitter when I perceived they had a better life than I did all while blaming God at the same time.

 

Then something changed- I began to change. As I spent more time reading the Bible and proclaiming and speaking out loud the promises of God, I literally began to view things/situations in a different light. My situation didn’t change, I changed.

 

The more time we spend in the word and in prayer the more we change and begin to see things differently. In most cases, when we pray we ask God to change our circumstances and situations but more often God changes us.

 

At the point of conversion or when we invite Jesus Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior and ask for forgiveness of our sins, The Holy Spirit comes and lives within each of us. His job is to reveal the character and love of the father and to lead and guide us until the time we are called home.

 

The Holy Spirit is the difference maker in our lives! The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 2:26 “For God gives to a man that is good in his sight, wisdom and knowledge and joy.” If that is not a competitive advantage in our lives, I am not sure what is!

 

To realize that competitive advantage in our lives and receive the wisdom, knowledge and joy that God promises us there are a few things required on our end and here they are…

 

 

  1. Stop the sin in our lives. Nothing will stop the favor and blessings of God in your life and business quicker than sin. We cannot expect God to bless us if we are cheating on our spouse, lying on our tax returns, gossiping about others, being deceitful in our business transactions. Sin stifles the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  2. God has to be # 1 in our lives.If God is most important in our lives that will be shown in the amount of time we spend with him in prayer, supplication, thanksgiving and praise. God should be our first and last conversation every day.
  3. Giving. Tithing and giving regular offerings is non-negotiable with God. According to the Bible everything we have belongs to God, he doesn’t need our money to spread his word, he gives us a free will and allows each of us to choose what we do with that money. I have been both a tither and non-tither in my relationship with God and based on my personal experience it’s a no-brainer. Show me a Christian who doesn’t tithe regularly and I will show you a Christian who has a Luke warm relationship with God at best! We can also give of our time which is also very important.
My Scripture Cards
  1. Speak the Word. God’s word is powerful. The bible says that the “power of life and death are in the tongue”. We have a choice we can speak the life giving words of God over our lives and businesses or we can speak the world’s word over them. Which do you think will have a greater positive impact? The moment that I began to speak God’s word over my life, I changed. I saw things differently, become more patient, and began to evolve more into the image of Christ in terms of how I lived my life. The word of God as I spoke it out audibly over my life changed me. What I did was I went to the Bible and created Scripture cards on various promises of God for our lives and I wrote them down and created a rolodex of Bible promises that I have been speaking out over my life, family and business for the last 20 years. Mine have coffee spilled on them, been ripped, had 3 different kids drawing on them over the years yet they still survived and are used daily, There is nothing in my opinion that has brought me closer to the lord (except fasting) than using and speaking these scripture cards over my life. They travel with me everywhere, I now have two sets with over 350 different promises of God. I speak them out in the car, at the office, in the airport whenever I get a chance. They work! It takes less than an hour to create them.

 

 

As a Christian, God is on our side, he searches for ways to bless us and draw us closer to him. Think about that it terms of the advantage that we have over Non-Christians. Where do they go when the “storms of life beat upon them?” Who do they turn to when they are sick? To whom do they look to for strategic business advice or favor when an important budget meeting, interview or Dr. Appointment has the ability to be life changing?

 

We have hope and faith that our God promises to never leave us nor forsake us! A clear and distinct advantage over the competition. A difference maker in our lives! When I think about this I think about an experience I had when I was in High School at a wrestling tournament.

 

Each year we had a 30-team dual tournament from across our state where we had Class A (the big schools) and Class B (the little schools) wrestle each other for the only time each year. There had been a huge rivalry for years between the fans of the different classes, each thought they were superior. We could not wrestle each other at Sectionals/Regionals/State because of the different classes so this tournament because it had many of the top teams was as close to being fully loaded as you could get without the State Tournament.

 

The dual tournament featured the top teams in the state in my sophomore year. The top in Class B was a small town about 100 miles from where I lived. Their entire town was consumed with High School wrestling, the whole place closed down and everyone traveled with the Team. It was eerily similar to the basketball movie “Hoosiers”. Not only did this town have the top wrestling team in Class B they also had one of the top heavyweight wrestlers in the state who had already accepted a college wrestling scholarship to a division 1 school. Oh, what made this more interesting was this was also the town that my father had moved to when he remarried a few years earlier.

 

My brothers and I had travelled to that town many times over the last few years, so I was well acquainted with the wrestling team. For the last few years, every time I went to see my dad, I ran into someone connected to the wrestling team including my 3 step brothers who every visit proceeded to tell me that if I ever had to wrestle “Marcus” (the best wrestler they ever had) I would be beaten quite badly and pinned within a minute. LOL.

 

My father was no stranger to wrestling as he had seen my brothers and I wrestle for years and he knew how good I was, but he had to hear it every day in his new community. This tournament was huge a 4 day meet, day 2 into the meet my team found itself in the same bracket as this team! It was on! The Top class A and B teams with the two best heavyweight wrestlers finally going at it.

 

That night, I got a knock on my hotel door around 9pm. It was my dad, he looked at me said “Jeff, I need you to go out and kick that kid’s a _ s tomorrow, If you lose I will never live it down”, do you hear me? I don’t even know to this day, how he found where we were staying, I think he drove to every hotel in the city 😊. When my team arrived to the gym the next morning, it was almost like overnight it had turned into a home match for this team, they literally packed about 1,000 fans into the tiny section that their team had roped off.

 

 

Almost immediately, I was approached by Chris, a junior wrestler who lived next door to my father and step brothers. Chris was the 125-pound wrestler on their team. Chris looked at me and said, “Marcus is going to destroy you today”, I just laughed and told him to take a hike.

 

You see what no one else understood except my coach and I already knew, that I was the much better wrestler, I had been on the biggest of wrestling stages, had beaten many wrestlers much better than him and his wrestling style matched up perfectly against mine. Marcus was 6’3″ and I was 5’9″and the only chance he had of beating me was to not tie up and try to take me down and keep me on the mat. I knew Marcus was way too arrogant for that, He was going to try and “throw me” to make a big show of it. If he tried that would be his downfall. I wrestled year around and had a Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling background and with my low center of gravity if he tied up he had no chance.

 

This would have made for a great Made for Television movie, as heavyweights ours was the last match. The score was 32-27 going into our match. We needed 6 points or a pin to win. If Marcus beat me or if I won by decision my team would have lost the dual. In order to win for the team, I need a 6-point pin.

 

As I walked out onto the mat, all I could hear was “Marcus, Marcus” . As we shook hands at center mat, he purposely held the hand shake longer and tried to squeeze, in an attempt to intimidate me. I laughed. I caught my dad in the 5th row eyes glued staring me down, three shades white like his life depended on the outcome of my match. The whistle blew and the rest was history…

 

The next thing I knew, my dad literally leaped from the fifth row landed on the center mat, practically knocked over the referee grabbed my arm almost ripping it out of the socket raised it as high as he could and then proceeded to “shoot the bird to crowd and said,” I told you, I told all of you”. Class act dad! Class act. LOL

 

He next looked at me and said, “I am proud of you” the only time in my life my dad ever said it!

The match went exactly like my coach and I knew it would, Marcus wrestled the type of match that did not favor his style, and he put himself at a major competitive disadvantage against an upper body wrestler like me. After tying up with me, Marcus was launched for a 5-point throw called a “lift lateral drop” that saw his feet clear all 5′ 9″ of my height right onto his back and was pinned in 42 seconds. The match was over and so was the debate of class A versus B, at least for that moment.

 

The Non-Christian world or the Christian who is not living for God is a lot like Marcus trying to wrestle my style of match, its fruitless and puts them at distinct disadvantage although they are incapable of seeing it. I want to encourage you today as a Christian that we have big advantages over the rest of the world and those advantages began 2,000 years ago on a cross. Our lord willingly died on the Cross to give all who belong to him that significant advantage.

 

Have you given up your advantage as a Christian? When we do not live in the right relationship with God, we struggle to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit whom comes and lives within us the day we are saved. We have zero chance of “winning” in this world without being able to hear clearly his voice which gives us a “Clear and Distinct Advantage” over the competition. When is the last time you not only Read but actually studied your Bible? Does your language and behavior line up with Scripture?  If you give up your advantage by not placing God as #1 in your life, you become no different than the Non-Christian world and you will never truly fulfill the plan, purpose and destiny that God has for your life. What a waste that would be.

You have a chance to hit the reset button today if you have not made God the #1 focus in your life. Ask today for his forgiveness and that your priorities align with his will and he will be faithful to forgive you and help you. The first place to start is in prayer, the second is begin speaking his word out over your life, take it one day at a time. God and the Holy Spirit will help you. I promise.

As Christ followers we must allow our light to shine in the darkness! Home, Work, the locker room, grocery store, on the phone- everywhere! Continue to thank him daily for his blessings and strive to make a difference in people’s lives the same way Jesus made a difference in yours and always aim to leave people better than when you found them!

Should our Lord decide to return today we want him to find us faithfully serving and living for him! I would love to pray for and with you. If you would like prayer please contact me.
Thank You!