Recently, I picked up a new car at an out of town dealership. The car came equipped with a GPS system. When it came time to drive back to Dallas, I punched in my home address and listened for the instructions on how to proceed. I did not have a physical map so I was completely dependent on an outside source of navigation to get home safely.
Very soon a very nice, warm, and professional female voice came on line saying, “turn left on Jarus Street and proceed .5 mile and turn left on Highway 67”. I started to follow her instructions because she came from a very credible source- the manufacture’s GPS System. However, as I pulled on to Highway 67 I felt a check in my spirit. I remembered that two different CEO Institute Members said that the best way to get back to Dallas was to take Interstate 35.
I pulled off to the side of the road and whipped out my Apple IPhone. Many times in the past when I had been either lost or did not know the way home, I would ask Siri how to get home. She had for the most part been a very loyal and truthful source navigation. So once again I said “Siri, what is the route to take to get to 54 Crenshaw Court in Dallas, TX? Shortly thereafter Siri told me to turn left to get on I35 going south.
So now I had a full-fledged dilemma on my hands. Two different credible sources were telling me to take two very different routes home. The consequence of my decision would determine my fate over the next eight plus hours. Hmm, to whom am I going to listen? For a few moments I hesitated. But then that inner voice spoke to me and said follow the course suggested by your trusted CEO Institute Members. They always tell the truth! I made a conscious decision to let Siri be my guide the rest of the way home.
I made a conscious decision to turn off the navigation system on my new car and follow a different voice.
Don’t we run into similar dilemmas like this in businesses too? We constantly have tough decisions to make and we have competing voices vying for our attention, our resources and time. So we constantly have to make decisions on who do we trust and who do we listen to hear wisdom and truth? In greatly simplified terms there are two main voices vying for our attention. One voice can be really seductive trying to get us off the path and make decisions that may be contrary to God’s will for us. It is the voice of the world beckoning us to chase money, power, position, and SELF! It can be a really seductive voice at times and we may end up following this voice because it sounds so good and often very credible. This voice greatly appeals to our flesh and frankly it sounds like a lot of fun!
The other voice usually is a lot quieter, does not demand our attention, and at times can be harder to discern. The voice is not usually audible. It more likely comes as an impression, a leading or a strong feeling. It is a voice that we have to search out. It is God’s voice and Jesus says that His sheep know the sound of His voice and will follow Him.
So how do I hear this voice of truth and how can you hear it too? For me, it is critical to spend time reading several different daily devotionals written by some Top Gun authors like Tony Evans, Rick Warren, Greg Laurie, and the good folks at Our Daily Bread. God speaks to me through the words of these authors and the Scriptures that accompany them. Then I also need to just flat out have some prayer time with my jaws shut tight! I am trusting in these times of silence that God is somehow speaking to my spirit and fueling me with wisdom, discernment, knowledge and understanding for that day.
Then I also listen to my trusted, Spirit filled advisors. Two very important ones are my wife Melody and my daughter Allison. Yes believe it or not, my 23 year old daughter has provided old Dad with some very great wisdom regarding business situations over the years. I also have four guys from my Church that I meet with almost every Friday morning for an hour of discipleship and spiritual accountability. When I had an important business decision to make recently, I called a War Council after our regular session and outlined my situation. I felt God was speaking to me directly from the council I received that morning.
Finally, I have several other go to business people whom I know care about me and will always speak the truth in love to me, even when I may not want to hear it!
So here is my challenge to you as a senior business executive. What voice or voices are you listening to right now? Be assured that Satan would love to feed you with mistruth, half-truths and no truth. He will say anything to you to get you off the path that God has for you. It is pretty easy to be deceived because he is a very good liar! However, if you are really plugged into God, have surrendered yourself to the leading of the Holy Spirit and are obedient to do what He shows you to do, you will make the right decisions almost every time and walk in a way that is highly pleasing in your Father’s sight. Please remember the choice as to which voice to follow is yours and yours alone!
1. What voice are you listening to right now? What is the source of that voice?
2. How do you know that you are listening to the right voice in order to make God honoring decisions at your place of work, worship and home life ?
3. Can you think of a situation you are now facing where you are hearing two different voices ?
Lane Kramer is Founder and President of The CEO Institute, a Dallas, TX based Company that helps senior Christian business executives to grow highly successful and spiritually significant enterprises. See www.ceoinst.com