Skills are things you can learn to do to accomplish something. In this Summer Series, I will focus on three of these: The Voice of God, Service, and Love.
This skill does not evolve around liking people or any kind of emotion. If used as a verb, then Love is a skill. 1 Corinthians 12:31, tells us, “Earnestly desire the higher gifts, and I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in tongues with men of angels and have not love, I am a noisy gong and a clanging symbol…” This is like what Jesus is saying in Matthew Chapter 21, “…not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But the one who does the will of my father who lives in heaven. And on that day, many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name and do mighty works in your name? If I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have and deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."
Finally, in Matthew 7:23, Jesus tells them, “I will declare then I never knew you, depart from me you workers of lawlessness." What is he saying? "You did the right things, but you didn't do them with the right heart. I didn't know your heart. You didn't know my heart." We must know His heart because we're pretty sure He knows our heart all the time. But they didn't know His heart. They did not have a relationship with Him. They were doing His work without relationship.
Being a leader or having influence is all about relationship. It involves at least two people and the idea is that you are going to impart something as a leader. You are going to influence them in some way. In the same way, character is also about relationship. It's about how you behave, not just yourself, but with others. How you behave by yourself is a whole different thing. But how you behave with others has the potential for significance.
In both cases, the ones who knew the Lord and the ones who didn't know the Lord had to be doing the will of the Father. Notice, the doing part was the same. Both groups were casting out devils, prophesying and doing great works. One group did it with relationship, the other group did it without relationship. Therefore, the key for you personally is to be in relationship with the Father, with Jesus. Everybody should be in relationship with the Lord.
Relationships about you and the Lord, but skills are about you and others. God doesn't really need your skills. He's got all the skills He needs. He can always find skills. He can impart them if He wants to. That's not the way the way it works for us. He leaves it up to us to follow Him and do what He did to be like Him. All based on decisions He had to make. It's not something that gets imparted to you. Skills are not imparted.
Nor is it about your reasoning. In fact, it has been said that reason is the enemy of faith. The person that said that was not a believer, but it is a common understanding, or misunderstanding, among believers that rationality is somehow anti-faith. That is not true. God made us rational beings. He would not have made us rational being in contrary to His nature. We're made in His image therefore, rationality is a skill not the foundation. The foundation is belief but our foundation with God is believing in Him.
In Matthew 16:23, Jesus is about to get arrested He’s telling Peter about it and as usual, Peter's not happy. He turns to Peter and says, "Get behind me, Satan. You are a hindrance to me, for you are not setting your mind on things of God, but on things of man."
Peter was being called an enemy, that’s what Satan means, the enemy. Jesus is saying, you’re being an enemy to me, because you let your mind go natural when I wanted your mind to go supernatural. See what happened? He said, "You're not listening to Me, you're listening to your own rationality. I need to change your mind, so you stop doing that, because what you're doing is making you My enemy.” We get the idea that rationality is the enemy of faith, because it sometimes is. It doesn't have to be though. He's telling him, “Right now, get your mind right.” He's not saying, “Avoid your mind.” He's not saying, “Get rid of your mind.” He's saying, “You've got your mind on the wrong things and when you put your mind on the wrong things, you become an enemy to God.”
In Matthew 22:37, everybody knows this passage, "… the Lord said to them, 'You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’" I understand heart and soul, but how do you love the Lord with your mind? Or, how do you get your mind to love the Lord? You do this by developing skills, that train your mind to love, because love is a verb.
You become what you think. When you think holy, you become holy. When you think enthusiastically, you become enthusiastic. How you think frames who you are because that's what you become. That's why the power of the tongue is so important because it causes a reality to be formed inside of you. When that reality becomes formed inside of you, it becomes the reality. If you confess that you are going to be poor, that you're never blessed, that everything is bad, guess what? But if you confess that Jesus is caring for you, that He is going to meet all your needs and give you blessings upon blessings, then that is what you will receive. That reality follows the way you think, because, “As a man thinks so is he.”
I encourage you to develop your “Love” skill over the next few weeks. Believe in all that God has for you and actively participate in the relationship part of His Love.
Dr. Tim Hamon
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