Tag Archives: listening

Who Is on the Wall?

wallI love lessons in leadership. It truly is where my heart lies much of the time; seeking wisdom of God as to the expectations of leaders in a church.  I’m especially interested in leadership as it pertains to women. Now I realize this differs at every church, and I know that varying denominations have varying beliefs, but I think one we will all agree on is that our church is “our church.” And how we believe is our choice. That being said, this is not about gender as much as it is about the ears on the side of every head be they male or female. One of the greatest leadership lessons learned of recent date was the 2016 National Election. The ears of Washington D.C. had been plugged with the cotton of conspiracy by Satan himself and they had long since stopped listening to the people. Unless of course you were Hollywood’s people. Which is a liberal mindset not fit to listen to and by no means should carry a greater weight than that of the rest of the country. And because they didn’t listen, the election was a shocker for them! Well, I don’t want a shocker in my church and you shouldn’t want a shocker in yours either.

That’s why it’s important to listen, rather than labor in vain.

2 Samuel 20 finds King David trying to reestablish his Kingdom having been ousted by his son Absalom who was then killed in the battle.  And once that battle was over there was a man of Belial (evil ungodly man) who’s name was Sheba the son of Bichri and he refused to accept the victory of David. Sound familiar? I guess Sheba was a democrat of the day (okay, I’ll stop). This is not about politics so don’t fret! This is about one woman in her community who saved the day and one leader in David’s army that stopped to listen.

2 Samuel 20:16-20

Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee.  And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear. Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter. I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the Lord? And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.

A Woman of Wisdom

The unnamed woman, a mother of Israel (she was a leader), took her plight to the leader of David’s Army and saved her whole city. She went “in her wisdom” back to her people and they cut the head off of Sheba and threw it over the wall to Joab. He didn’t have to lift a finger, he just had to listen.

A Woman of Willingness

Much like our nation, I believe that church leadership isn’t listening to their people. There’s a battle against the church from within and without but if everyone would just listen to one another we could throw the head of Satan outside our walls and dwell in peace. Of course I speak metaphorically, but this scripture pierced my heart when I heard her plea for her city “I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful.”

In other words, “I’m not trying to cause trouble, I’m one of your people and I’m willing to serve, tell me what you need and I’ll make it happen.” Joab listened and the woman acted. That’s what will make our churches great! When leadership puts the battle into the hands of the people. The congregation knows where the trouble is. They see when a family struggles, they see when disagreements and dissention is arising in the ranks, they know when something works and when it doesn’t.

A Woman of Watchfulness

Everyone in the congregation? No. But the woman of wisdom who had kept her eye her people, not for the latest gossip, but to keep them alive! No doubt there were men of wisdom. We know who’s mature in the faith and who’s still a baby and likes to tattle. A whole city was saved because a woman without a name had the nerve to speak boldly to a leader and that leader had the wherewithal to listen.

Here’s was my lesson from this woman’s story:

  • She cared, and she cared deep ( she was willing to stick her neck on the line)
  • She went to the leaders to find out what needed to be done, and he answered.
  • She went back to her people and had them handle the problem. (I highly doubt she killed Sheba) but she knew who could.
  • She didn’t care if nobody knew who she was, her mission was to serve the people of God.

The lesson: Leaders should listen, and listeners should feel led to lead, so that everyone on the inside of the wall has a voice.

Are You at His Feet Today?

at His feet

Matthew 19:14

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Early on in my salvation the Holy Spirit may have gone to bed a few nights saying “Wow! that was quite the workout!” It seemed that minute by minute He was guiding and instructing me in a better way to live and removing 34 years of bad ideas or misnomers of what was acceptable for a Christian to do and not to do. I remember sitting in a revival service one evening when Dr. Norris Belcher preached at our church, feeling as though every thought and sin in my life had been revealed. His sermon hit on everything the Holy Spirit had been dealing with me that day. I ask him when I shook his hand that night “Who opened my heart and allowed you to see in?” I don’t think he understood the magnitude of what had happened to me that night as he preached, but I certainly did. I discovered that sermons were supernatural events where, if you allowed, you could be ushered into the Lord’s presence and the light that shined during that time would illuminate every speck of dirt in your soul, and I loved it.

I wanted Him to show me what was wrong and I wanted to get it right. But not always. Many times I would flick the switch back to the flesh and say I’m not ready. It began during that time of my life that I couldn’t get enough preaching. I listened to preaching like many other Christians listened to music, it stirred my soul in a way it had never known and I couldn’t get enough. Not much has changed, I’m still a preaching fanatic. There’s an old time image of Christ with children all round His feet looking at Him adoringly, that’s how I envision myself during those early years, I sat in awe.

But just as we do in the physical realm, I grew up. I’m not just sitting at the feet of the Savior I’m also teaching as I had been taught; I teach Sunday School, I write and speak at ladies events when given the opportunity. Sometimes I get so busy doing life that I forget to spend time at His feet. I go to church, I take notes, I ponder the Pastor’s thoughts but I don’t always prepare my heart to hear the message as God would like.

As I prepare to go to church today, that is my heart’s desire… I pray the same for you.