"And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel." Mark 5:18-20
Friends, here is today's blog. It's my podcast that I am sharing for your listening pleasure. I am talking about The Spirit of Counsel: The Demoniac's Story. This is based out of Mark 5:18-21 as I shared above and this message highlights the needs, responsibilities, and boundaries of those graced with the spirit of counsel. I share a personal testimony here that changed my approach to leadership. Leaders, I encourage you to not take it lightly. In my zealousness, I found myself in trouble with the Lord but thank God, I escaped! Don't make that same mistake. Take a listen, share it with someone who needs it, and be blessed by it.
Job 12:12, "With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding."
In this dispensation of time called, "Hurry up!" it is also incumbent upon us to slow down and listen. As a therapist in training, one of the skills I am learning to develop is a term called 'active listening.' Active listening involves using more than your ears to listen to your client, it also requires listening with your eyes, your mind, and your heart. Similarly, when graced to sit in the presence of someone blessed with the gift of wisdom, it is likewise helpful to utilize active listening. Why? Because a wise person imparts wisdom in a variety of ways. You can learn wisdom by the way they conduct themselves, by listening to their conversations, by studying their movements, and, believe it or not, by meditating on their mistakes. Yes, a wise person can you teach you a lot by the way they handle their mistakes.
The scriptures say that with the mature, there is wisdom, and among those who are older, is great understanding. I have found out that in many areas, those who have been engaged in a thing for a longer period time than you have can teach you a lot. We know that older does not always translate to wiser; however, we cannot deny that older does point to a person with more experience, good or bad. Therefore, active listening is a skill set to use when allowed to sit in the presence of a mature person. This will make for a learning experience, undoubtedly.
As a child, I would often find myself in trouble because I loved being around my elders. I was mature for my age because I had to grow up quicker than I should have so I felt more comfortable around older people than those my own age. I now know that God created a thirst within me for wisdom. Of course, my elders didn't always perceive it that way! And I got my share of rebukes for, "not staying in a child's place," but I could not deny what I gravitated to.
Being an elder now, I appreciate the gift of wisdom. I embrace those who have gone before me in a particular thing, and I also know when to stay in my lane and be quiet when wisdom is crying out to me from the lips of my elders. I found wisdom to be an intrinsic part of who I am and what humors me, even at this point in my life, is when I am in the company of someone whom I can impart wisdom to, and they cannot discern the difference. It is painful and reminds me of what the Preacher said in Ecclesiastes 1:18, "For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." Listening is half the battle, and in some cases, determines who wins.
One of the things I often focus on is the word “inventory”. In fact, I hear myself often saying, “You have to take inventory,” and what I have found out is that not everyone knows what that means. When I say, “Take inventory,” I mean that each person should take the time to discover what God has placed inside of them.
My husband is a sales manager in the building industry. A few months ago, he was obligated to work a few Saturdays for ‘mandatory inventory’. It means that he and other staff had to take time out of their weekend to personally count every single item in the warehouse. Go figure! So, when I say, “Take inventory,” it means to take the time out of your life to count every skill, talent, gift, and ability God has placed inside of you. And check this, don’t even think for a moment that you can accomplish that on a Saturday afternoon. No, it will take the rest of your natural life to take inventory because you grow, develop, and unfold as a person every day. Again, you have to take inventory of who you are. When you do that, you identify what is in within you and THEN you are in better position to apply who you are in whichever environment you find yourself in.
Many times, when we hear the prophetic words that, “God is sending you to the nations,” for some reason, we define that to mean we are about to travel to some remote country somewhere and start preaching. Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t do that, I will say that you shouldn’t limit yourself to ministering with a passport. When God sends you to nations, He is sending you to a certain group of people. These may be nations of women, men, and children. These may be nations of wealthy, impoverished, or underprivileged people. These may be different races, different mountains of culture, and nations of subcultures. Shall I go on? When you take inventory, discover what you are carrying, then you are properly positioned to do something with who you are. Listen, when you know what you carry, you won’t wait for someone else to PERMIT you to execute your purpose. Stopping here for now, but think about it!