I must ask the question! What is your measuring stick in your spiritual life? This seems like an elementary question, possibly one you would brush to the side, and yet it says much about us.
There is much that I've learned in my Christian walk, as you have. But I can say confidently that I've learned even more when the Lord put me in a leadership role. My latest inspiration comes by a good read "The Leadership Lessons of Jesus" by Bob Briner & Ray Pritchard.
Leadership simply means being a person of influence... Pointing people not to ourselves or our ways but to His ways. This requires a "measuring" if you will. And what will you measure with? His word says we have a choice. We can use the "wisdom of this world" , which he says does not come from heaven but is "earthly" and "unspiritual". Or you can use the "wisdom that comes from heaven which is pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere". James 3
As elementary as it seems, I must point people to the answer: God's Word! When you have the knowledge in your mind, then you meditate on it so it stays in your heart. When it stays in your heart then you are passionate about it and it comes out of your mouth.
If you are measuring your actions, words, and decisions against God's standards then you should quickly feel the conviction. This takes place when it's in your heart. The knowledge part is actually the easy step. We all can be knowledgable about many things but do nothing with it. I can be knowledgable about the speed limit but choose not to obey it. It's that convicting voice that moves us to a deep place. A place of depth and intensity. Where is that voice coming from? The world? Your earthly flesh? Your feelings? Or is it coming from the Holy Spirit?
Let me help you answer that question. Does your place lead you to peace, love, forgiveness, submissive, mercy, good fruit? If so, then you must be using Gods Word to direct you.
I love the words from R.C Sprout in his book Pleasing God, " our conscience ( which I'm calling conviction) acts as a kind of governor upon our behavior. It's the inner voice that either accuses or excuses us. It monitors our behavior by either approval or disapproval. ....we are adept at training it in the direction of self-approval....in order to function in godly way it must be influenced by godly conviction"...
My scripture for you to stand on: psalm 119:33-40
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statues, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in your commandments, For I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things ( can I say a big amen here), and revive me in your way. Establish your word in your servant, who is devoted to fearing you. Turn away my reproach which I dread, for judgements are good. Behold, I long for your precepts; revive me in your righteousness.
The Mrs. Pastor