Personal Growth

I strongly believe that there is almost no other element as important as leading by example. (Flickr/Guseppe Milo)

What is our story?

How did we get there?

Where do we want to end up?

"that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing to all, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col. 1:10).

"I Live 4 U" means to live a life that brings honor to God. When we obey God in our thoughts, our attitudes, our words, our decisions and our actions, we are fully pleasing Him.

Your unique, one-of-a kind story can have a significant, life-changing impact on the lives of others. In ministry, I have discovered that a story has great power. The reason is because people connect to the story of our heart. All of us want a story that relates to our lives; we want an example, an illustration and a depiction.

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I strongly believe that there is almost no other element as important as leading by example. The way in which we live our lives vividly and explicitly tells our story.

Most everyone has heard the saying, "Do as I say, not as I do." What a poor witness this establishes for other people. If we have genuinely accepted Jesus Christ into our life, it becomes evident that a new nature and spirit is working in us. His divine seed produces God's life in us, in such a way, that people don't have to wonder if we are really saved—Our life will give proof of it, making them desire to hear our story.

Paul makes this idea clear in Philippians 4:9, when he tells the church, "Do those things which you have both learned and received, and heard and seen in me." He is clear that his whole life is a living illustration of the power of intimacy with Christ. The gospel influenced Paul's messages and lifestyle. There were no hidden areas in his life. Jesus transformed him dramatically with a purpose. The purpose was that Paul's life would serve as a living demonstration of the power of the Spirit in the human heart.

When someone's life is changed through intimacy with God, their heart is fueled with a passion that unlocks their story. There is something relatable about these kinds of people. We identify with their lives and embrace their stories.

As we surrender our thoughts, emotions and works of the flesh to the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, we become a worthy vessel for the work of God's kingdom. Our lives are to be an illustration, leading by example. We are to think like God, act like God and possess a non-tolerant life-style towards sin that encourages people to connect with Jesus Christ.

People believe when they see something tangible, and they are encouraged when our life story continues to grow in Christ and depict His Spirit's transformational power.

Is your life a witness of the power of intimacy? 

Is the gospel transforming you?  

Are you living a life of obedience that honors God?

1. "I live 4 U": opens our heart to intimacy and connecting with God.

2. "I live 4 U": moves our life to be inspired by faith and expectation.

3. "I Live 4 U": inspires our thoughts to be informed in order to grow.

4. "I live 4 U": shares our story with others to be an illustration of honoring God.

Mikel French has challenged "Spiritual Awakening" all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with The Book of Hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide Soul-Winning Celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the Annual Pastor's Conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Rebecca Moore contributed to this article.

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