“Fast-forward to me as a grown woman…and somehow I recognized that there was something, or someone, that I had missed along the way. My cozy memory of asking Jesus into my heart…did not match my current inner turmoil. As I put my journal away that night, I asked the Lord to please, please intervene somehow. I had the very unnerving sense that I would self-destruct, or worse—settle into a lukewarm, mediocre expression of my faith and Christianity—if He did not reveal Himself to me in some tangible way…” Boardroom of the Inner Man, chapter one.
In our leadership roles that have ranged from Church to business, my husband and I have come across many people who call themselves “Christian”, but who have little or no sense of ever having encountered the presence of God in their lives. These people, like me in another life, go to church most Sundays. They step off the world for an hour or so: they sing the songs, put money in the bag, sit through the sermon, shake the hand of the pastor on their way out the door and then step back into the world with a sense of spiritual amnesia…now what was that thing I was supposed to remember…?
Putting spiritual principles into practice, both personally and in the marketplace, sometimes feels like catching a cloud and pinning it down, as the nun’s sang of Maria in “The Sound of Music”. You can see it, point to it, and define it, but you can’t seem to ever hold onto it when it matters. When the conflict hits. When the decision has to be made. When the deadlines loom. Easier by far to just let it go and try to pick it up again next Sunday…
The problem as Christian business leaders—we oftentimes approach our Christian life as a business problem to be solved, rather than looking at it as a relationship to be encountered. If Christianity is a problem, it is easy to put it down and pick it up again at our convenience. If it is a relationship, then it involves a person who is harder to ignore. “We were created for relationship” is no longer Christian-ese rhetoric, but a challenge and a mandate to live out. However, it is phenomenally hard to have a relationship with someone we don’t know.
Do you know God? If you can lay down your Christian principles and ideals when you step into the office or boardroom every Monday morning, then chances are, you don’t.
Do you want to know Him? If it bothers you that you can lay down your Christian principles when you step into the office or boardroom on a Monday morning, then chances are, you do.
Have you encountered His presence today? If you know that He is with you when you step into the office or boardroom, the same as He was with you when you went to bed last night and when you woke up this morning, then chances are, you have. In which case, it will encourage you to know that He is not missing—He is right where He has always been; with you.
As you sit with Him today, ask Him which of these three questions best reflects where you are.
- Do you know God?
- Do you want to know Him?
- Have you encountered His presence today?
Ask Him to show you how to build a stronger relationship with Him. Enter into the dialogue, and enjoy the process of strengthening your relationship with Him!
Julie Appleyard has been involved in Christian Leadership across the world for over 20 years that has included two church plants, as well as turning a small church around to be a community impacting church. While still remaining co-founding Pastor of Crossroads Church just outside of Charlotte North Carolina, Julie, along with her husband Mark, now also serve as founders of Anothen–a Senior Executive Consulting network. Anothen has been activated to fine tune Kingdom business leaders to think, speak and live from heaven’s perspective–to help them become the most influential spiritual leaders in the world. Anothen is gaining amazing momentum, and in just seven months has gone from inception to being active daily in seven US states as well as eight nations. With three kids aged 21, 19 and 17 Mark and Julie Appleyard have dedicated their lives to bringing a nations inheritance to King Jesus by activating Kingdom people to Think, Speak, Live like heaven!