Since March, I have been conducting an intensive study on “Being Led By The Spirit” with the intent of it becoming a study course for our Revival Now Schools of Ministry.
During this time, I have been remembering quite frequently one of the great days of my life in the early days of our ministry. In 1981 while working at a Christian Radio Station in Dayton, Tennessee, the General Manager at that time called me into his office one day and began to pour into me. This was the first time in my young life any minister of the Gospel ever sat me down and talked to me about things I might face in future ministry and share his heart for the Gospel with me.
This particular day though as I sat down across from his desk he said, “David, it’s obvious the call of God is on you and the anointing is definitely on your life. But I must warn you that if you don’t keep a teachable spirit you will never accomplish what God put you on this earth to do.” I knew without a doubt I was hearing from God that day. I remember that day like it happened yesterday. Later, a man that became my spiritual father would tell me the same thing at different times in our working together.
But I want to reverse the question today and ask, how can you know that you don’t have a teachable spirit?
First, you can know you do not have a teachable spirit when you are not willing to admit you don’t know it all.
20 He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
21 The wise in heart will be called prudent,
And sweetness of the lips increases learning.
22 Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it.
But the correction of fools is folly.
23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth,
And adds learning to his lips.
When I read this passage of scripture, the Spirit immediately brought three specific seasons to my mind:
1.When I first began in ministry, I thought I knew it all. I wish I could say I didn’t have that mindset, but the truth finally set me free. I look back now with embarrassment at some of the things I said and even different ways I acted in the pulpit and I wonder now, how did anyone get anything out of that message? Thank God for grace for sure. And thank God for patient people who were listening to me preach.
One of the great joys I have at this season of time is I am honored that some younger ministers want me to mentor and disciple them. But one of the frustrations I have is I see many young ministers who have the same mindset I did when I was their age, thinking they know it all. They are just waiting and wanting some of us older people to just “get out of the way” and let them show us how it should be done. I can remember in the 2016 Republican primaries one of the candidates that was running for the Presidential nomination even made a similar statement telling the older men who were running for the same office to “…get out of the way, it’s time for the younger folks to lead…”
I love all young people. But I am telling you, you do NOT have all the answers when you are between the ages of 16-32. I promise you; your day will come and the sooner you are willing to admit it and be sincere that you don’t know it all, the sooner promotion will come into your life.
2.I realized I didn’t know it all. That was a sad day. But a good day. My pride was definitely crushed. Pam didn’t have to pop my bubble, Holy Spirit got to it before she did. When you truly realize you don’t know it all, it’s not only humbling, but also freeing. This freedom actually opens up your heart to be able to receive from people who have made the same mistakes and learned the hard way. God does not want you to re-invent ministry. Or family. Or marriage. Or raising children. Experience will always teach you what you refuse or fail to learn from a mentor or a spiritual father.
3.Now, I can say in all sincerity, I will never know it all. Instead of discouraging me, this thought keeps me learning, reading, investigating, interrogating, looking for the spirit of wisdom & revelation to speak at any moment to my spirit.
In the coming days, we are going to need each other more than we have ever needed each other in our lives. Many changes are coming for the Body of Christ as we enter the second half of 2020. It will still be A Season of An Open Door. We just didn’t realize it would come in the form of a virus pandemic and racial unrest.
Do you really have a teachable spirit?