Saturday, February 2, 2019
It's February already! I can't believe 2019 is moving so fast. Late last year the Lord spoke so much to me about wisdom and understanding, that I honestly started to wonder at some point whether He was trying to tell me that I wasn’t being particularly wise in my walk and conduct in that season. However, early this year, the Lord clarified to me that wisdom was one of the things that I would need to excel in my 2019, which He’d said to me was my THRIVE year – a year in which proper articulation of my thoughts, words, actions and assignments was critical; a year in which modulation of my emotions was key; a year in which I needed to be careful to respond and not to react. I can I tell you sis, that since the beginning of this year I have seen quite clearly why in a 2019, wisdom and understanding must be the things that under-gird my every action, my every thought process, every perspective I allow into my spirit.
I've been doing a study of the book of 1st Kings and one of the things that saddened my heart afresh was to see how a mighty King Solomon, the one that we hold up and who the Bible tells us was the bastion of wisdom, got to the point because of his love for foreign (strange) women, that he allowed his heart to be turned away from God. 1st Kings 11 v 3 tells us he had 700 wives, princesses and 300 concubines, and we see that because they served other gods and his own heart was not perfect and complete with God, he began to go after gods of his wives, set up temples for those gods, worship and make sacrifices at those strange altars. You know the story, sis. God was angry with him and decided to take the kingdom away from Solomon. Faithful as our God is, He purposed not to take it away in Solomon's time because of His earlier commitment to David, Solomon's father - who the Bible also tells us was a man after God's own heart.
Sis, as I read this, I was reminded the actions we take have the potential to entrench or to negate the foundations that have been laid before us. When we move away from well established, laid down godly principles, while we might not feel the direct impact…. we're actually setting up our generations to struggle through challenges that God would not otherwise have them contend with. In 2019, we must choose right intentionally, sis! Irrespective of the choices we have made in the past, every day is a new opportunity to choose the path of alignment with God’s will and way!
Ultimately, Solomon died and his son Rehobaom reigned in his stead. Israel assembled together to declare him king (1st Kings 12). They pleaded with him to be kinder to them than his father Solomon had been, in return they would be faithful to him. Rehobaom asked them to give him three days to think it through, to take counsel, which was a good thing. Truth is that when we transact from the place of wisdom and understanding, we are required to respond and not to react; to not be in a hurry to speak; to not allow our flesh and physical senses lead. Sis, in the place of wisdom and understanding, we must never be in a hurry to assume that what we see with the outward eyes, or what we hear audibly, is the true representation of any situation.
Sis, as you do life this 2019 let me encourage you not to be quick to react. Let this be the year that you more often than not respond; a year where you always step back, seek godly counsel, think through, press into the Holy Spirit and let God enable you discern what really ‘is’…. over and above what looks or sounds obvious in the physical. This is that year to transact from the place of the spirit, sis. I promise you it is!
Wisdom! Understanding! This is the key for us this year, sis. Rehoboam started off well, seeking counsel from others. The challenge became which counsel he allowed to drive his decisions. He consulted the older men who had served as advisers to Solomon, and he consulted the young men who grew up with him. Both came back to him with diametrically opposed counsel. The old men asked him to serve the people, that they be faithful to him forever in return. The young men insisted he impose a harsher call to service on the people, such that they would be unequivocal about who was the boss of them! The result? Israel was torn apart!
This is the interesting thing about leadership and it’s what the Lord would have me share with you today. Sis, when the Lord begins to lift us into places of leadership, influence and authority, we will always have a choice as to whether we want to serve, or we want to be served. We will always have to choose whether flesh will rule, or we will allow spirit hold sway. Why did Rehoboam resist the counsel of the elders? Very simple, in my view! You see, they were asking him to serve …but he had been the son of a king, no ordinary young man, a Prince no less; and now he was king, the big gun, exalted above his people positionally. In his mind, by the pull of his flesh, leadership was about position; authority; power…expressly so! He didn't see leadership through the lens of God, the God Who so loved us that He gave and gave… and gave; serving us in love so ultimately through the gift of His son Jesus Christ Who came not to be served, but to serve.
Rehoboam didn't take the elders counsel because it sounded like he would have to put himself under and allow his subjects to be above him. He didn't count the cost and consider that the undiluted lifelong loyalty of his people is the greatest gift a king could ever have. He went with the counsel of the young men who in effect said to him, ‘You are a king. Kings don’t serve. You deserve to be served’. They spoke to him words that fed his flesh, words that puffed him up. What he didn't think through was the fact that these young men lacked the benefit of experiential wisdom; that these elders were men who saw Solomon rise and saw him fall. They had counselled from the viewpoint of helping him avoid the same leadership pitfalls. The younger men? All they had were ulterior motives. Because they grew up with him, they were themselves now in a position of privilege as the king's inner circle. They were the most likely candidates to be appointed into special positions if they moved him in a direction that pleased his flesh. If he was a harsher, more powerful ruler, then they themselves would also have higher levels of power and would also be greatly feared in the land. If he served, then they would – in their minds, be reduced to servants themselves.
Sis, as the Lord places us in leadership positions at various levels, and if we're not attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, we will very easily be counseled into the wrong places. The Bible tells us clearly that there is wisdom in the multitude of counselors, but it is wisdom factor that we must be on the lookout for. Wisdom is literally the principal thing, sis. As we reach out to others, it is imperative that we test the spirits behind any counsel we receive. Sis, you and I have the Holy Spirit in us, we each have the capacity to hear His voice. There is a depth of knowledge and understanding that comes only from the place of transacting in a close personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. If we are to thrive this year, if we are to have a year where our emotions will not hold sway, if we are to operate this year from a place where we're not fighting the same sorts of battles that we fought last year; we must allow the counsel of the Lord and the spirit of service come rule our hearts and minds.
Can I ask you sis, that as you think about the rest of your year, you approach it with a heart of service? If the Son of God came in service to you and I, then none of us is greater than the opportunities that the Lord gives us to serve. In leadership, there is an imperative for us to stretch in the giving of ourselves, in the building up of and adding of value to others. The benefits of a life of service transcend our lifetime and flow over unto our generations to come. I promise you that many of us are today living in the overflow of the goodness of those who have gone before us. I want to ask us today to be very mindful and intentional about the true legacies we leave for our children. My greatest prayer is that my generations find themselves walking in the abundance of blessings that my life invests ahead for them. My hearts cry is to live and leave a legacy of true leadership, authenticity and humility…exemplified by a genuine heart of love, a willingness to serve, and a commitment to deliver glory to God as I follow through on the example of Jesus….as the Holy Spirit helps and empowers me to do!
This is my heart's cry, sis. I pray it is yours too. Please choose to serve! Don’t let the world counsel you to expect or demand service. Of what use is man’s acknowledgement of your leadership, authority, influence or power, if the Lord is not pleased with your life? Sis, please allow the Holy Spirit show you how best to serve, even and especially at those times when it is uncomfortable, when it looks like you're being put under, when you so desperately want to speak but you know He would have you be quiet, when everything in you would rather push back. There is a form of service that is not of or unto men, it is that service that is of and for God Himself. Choose to serve as the Lord leads, sis. Choose to serve from a Christ-like example of true leadership and allow God reward you and your generations to come with the loyalty of heaven itself. The Holy Spirit will help you sis, even as surely as He's everyday helping me.
Be blessed sis….. for you surely are!