In my previous post, When a Young Brother Presses!, I spoke briefly about what can potentially occur when a young disciple enters a season of “pressing” as directed by Father and the dynamic that it can bring into a discipling relationship. Such times are critical in the development of a young brother’s life because usually when a young brother presses, he is being pressed himself by Father. Regardless of the issue/topic, what is at stake in pressing times is either a young brother clinging to his own will or Father’s Will being firmly established in his life regarding the matter. As I stated, there is always a great responsibility upon the elder brother who is graced to do the discipling throughout the entire process of discipling a young brother, but that responsibility is only multiplied in pressing times.
When Father first started connecting me with disciples, I remember sitting down and considering my days as a younger man who was on his own search. When I was a young man seeking to discover God’s purpose, calling and destiny for my life, I had a sense of what it was but I sincerely did not have a clue as to what all it entailed or what was required of me to get on that path. Having been raised in a minister’s home and having access to many seasoned men of God, it was instilled in me to have a great respect for Godly men and a heart to willingly submit my life in service to them. As I grew older, I constantly craved for an older, wiser man, who in my opinion knew the Lord in much fuller and dynamic ways, to speak into my life in order to validate, confirm and encourage what I was sensing.
As I willingly submitted my life to serve these elder brothers, the intimacy of relationship wasn’t present. I had no problem finding a minister who would willingly allow me to serve him and his concept of ministry but any time there was any talk, and I do mean ANY talk about what I was hearing or sensing in my calling or purpose, I was instructed to simply “fall in line” and stay within the confines of the particular system in which we were operating. The result: I was extremely frustrated and I was tagged with the moniker of “maverick” and “rebellious”.
It wasn’t until after I exited the religious system(s) completely that I finally became connected to a spiritual father that was concerned first and foremost with the Christ in me being formed rather than how my grace/anointing/talents could be used to build his thing!
The biggest thing I noticed in this true father/son discipling relationship was that in times of my pressing, we had conversations more than we had teaching sessions. Rather than telling me what I should think/believe, how I should act or what I should do, he would ask me questions about where I was in my head, heart and situation.
Those conversations and the love and concern I felt from the heart of my spiritual father during those conversations was always enjoyable, edifying and life changing. What I received from him THEN is what I prayerfully and respectfully try to employ in discipling these young brothers NOW!
Please do not misunderstand me. I realize that in the scope of discipling there are times when instruction in doctrine, basic tenets of faith and practical knowledge derived from experience is necessary. My spiritual father was a virtual walking Bible Commentary. I would use college football games as an excuse to spend the entire day with him on Saturdays. I would ask him a Bible question and by the time he finished talking, he had answered questions I didn’t even know I had!
Furthermore, you would be hard pressed to find another brother other than me, who has spent more time sitting at the feet of older, more experienced Godly men listening to the stories regarding their walk with God and the revelation that they have received. I grew up doing that on a nightly basis. I’ve always craved it and I still do. By Father’s Grace, I still have those men in my life that provide such a critical aspect to my life.
But, again, these pressing times referenced in this post are not ordinary times! Pressing times are critical, strategic inflection points in the life and relationship of a young disciple with his Lord and should be treated and respected as such. Especially in these moments, I don’t have to be the Bible Answer Man who has all of the answers! Knowledge (usually what I think I know) puffs up and the last thing a young brother needs in moments of spiritual pressing, whether apparently good or bad, is not a hubris laden, revelational charged diatribe that does not truly speak to the reality of his pressing.
On the other hand, I have learned that what is required is…………listening!
Listening is often confused with hearing. While hearing is a biological process that can be scientifically explained, listening is a neurological cognitive regarding the processing of that which has been heard. In other words, when you master the art of listening, you are able to truly process what you have heard and you gain the full import of it and know how to respond accordingly.
Sometimes, as equippers, we’re so eager to have an opinion or share our great revelation, that we skip the step of working to understand. Why is it the way it is? Why do they believe what they believe? What is the true issue in this specific instance that cannot be touched by mere knowledge but requires His specific Wisdom in relation to this young brother’s purpose and destiny.
We can easily skip discerning the whole matter because it’s easier to jump to what we assume the Father wants for the impressionable life sitting before us. We forego truly engaging young brothers in pressing times because it’s quicker to assert we know what they want and what is best for them. It was truly liberating for me and an incredible blessing to the lives of young brothers that I disciple when I finally realized that I don’t have to fix everything for them!
So, I strive to listen long before I speak. First I listen to them, in order to truly gain an understanding of what they are saying, feeling and experiencing. Equally, I strive to listen to Father during the process in order to pick up on His heart, Wisdom and Intentions regarding the young man and the season he is in.
These particular times have become very sacred and holy to me. I feel the weight of their importance in my spirit and know that Father desires to bring significant impact to a young brother’s life in moments such as these. It is vital to make room for Father, to give Him His rightful place and not crowd Him out of such consequential conversation. Father’s Will must be done!
As one who equips, the goal is to mature a young brother in knowing and hearing God and assist him in yielding to Father’s Will. What better way is there for such a lesson to be learned than by having it demonstrated to them at such a sensitive and critical time in their lives? When a young man perceives that you are truly identifying with him in his situation and then, hears you speak words that are not your own but have winged their way down from Father’s Heart by the Spirit of God, the ministry in the moment becomes transcendent.
One of my favorite Proverbs is 25:11:
A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible explains the verse this way. (emphasis, mine)
A word fitly spoken,…. Or, “a word spoken on its wheels” (d): that proceeds aright, keeps due order, is well circumstanced as to matter, method, time, place, and persons; a discourse well put together, properly pronounced, roundly, easily, and fluently delivered to proper persons, and adapted to their circumstances; and “seasonably” spoken.
The words may come in the moment or later. They may come in the form of prophecy or governmental prayer. They may simply be an encouraging phrase or sentence, not religious at all, but spiritual in nature. They may form a question that spurns thoughts before unconsidered. They may be instruction or serve as confirmation.
Whatever they are and whatever the form, they must be birthed by the Spirit. If so, they will hit their mark every time and carry the proper impact and intended result in the life of a young brother.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear!