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A Lesson in Following from the Sioux

September 22, 2011

I attended my oldest son’s field trip today to one of the few prairies left in Iowa.  I thought it must be a model prairie for future prairies because I could still see homes across the street!  Anyway, I learned something today that I really always knew, but was taught in a little different light.   It has to do with the Native American Sioux and their source of life.

The Bison were the life of the Native American Sioux.  They provided food, clothing, tools, dyes, and much more.  The skins were used to cover their tipi’s.  The sinews were used to sew skins together to make clothes and blankets and the bones were used for tools and utensils.  The stomach was used to cook stews in and the spleen was dried and used as a canteen.  They used every part of the bison except what was in the stomach (according to our teacher, if you have heard otherwise, please keep it to yourself 😛 ).

The Native American Sioux set up their tipi’s (spelling is new to me today) and tore them down based on the migration patterns of the bison, if the bison stayed, they stayed, if the bison roamed, they roamed.   They designed their tipi’s to be set up and tore down at a moment’s notice.  Their existence was tied to the movement of the bison.  I was thinking as the guy was teaching my son, what if the church’s existence was tied to the movement of the Holy Spirit?  What would that look like?  Wouldn’t it be awesome if we broke camp at the movement of the Spirit?  And what does that look like in my life?

Like the Sioux’s existence being tied to the bison, our existence is tied to the Spirit of God, where He moves, we move and when He moves, we move.  How are we sensitive to the Spirit?  John tells us in his first letter that: “Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1Jo 3:24 NIV)  It’s simple (truly) obedience.   God desires obedience to His Word.  I am here to tell you it is that simple.  As we lead we are “teaching them to obey” (Matthew 28:19-20).  Leaders, that’s your goal!  Are you able to pack up your “tipi” and follow the bison?  Are you ready at a moment’s notice to make the most of every opportunity that God gives you for His Glory’s sake?  I hope so.

Lead with Love,



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