MENTORING OTHERS
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task… So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:5 & 7

In the spiritual life of others it is bringing them into dependency upon God that is our goal. To prompt people into a dependency on us may ensure we acquire their cooperation and get our plans implemented with little fuss, but we will have created a cult. It may be founded on sound orthodox theology, but will never take them beyond spiritual babyhood to a healthy, wholesome maturity in Christ.

In the opening verse, Paul is stating that we are servants, but it is God who accomplishes His purpose through us. We may play a role in people coming to Christ, but the sooner we wean them from dependence on us to dependency on God, the sooner we will introduce them to spiritual maturity and usefulness.

We should never be afraid of letting people discover their own weaknesses. To fail is almost certainly to grow, but that is something we cannot teach. Though people may understand the truths of Scripture, it will only be propositional fact until they learn from their own experiences. Again and again, it has been when people discover their own inherent weaknesses that God breaks in with the revelation of His strength. This has been true not only in Scripture, but throughout the history of the Christian church, and lies at the root of almost any great work and movement of God.

Some years ago, Dr. V. R. Edman, then president of Wheaton College in Illinois, wrote a book entitled, “They Found the Secret”. The book looks at twenty people who have made a marked impact for God. In his introduction, Edman makes an interesting observation: “The details of their experiences are usually quite different; yet as we listen to their stories and watch their lives, either in our reading or in our contact with them, we begin to see a pattern which reveals their secret. Out of discouragement and defeat they have come into victory. Out of weakness and weariness they have been made strong. Out of ineffectiveness and apparent uselessness they have become efficient and enthusiastic.”

“The pattern seems to be: self-centeredness, self-effort, increasing inner dissatisfaction and outer discouragement, a temptation to give it all up because there is no better way; and then finding the Spirit of God to be their strength, their guide, their confidence and companion – in a word, their life.” Our goal in mentoring others is always to lead them into complete dependency on Christ, not only for their own sake, but so that they too will become a mentor for others.

PRAYER: Lord, I pray for everyone to discover how complete dependence on You is what brings them into a deeper experience of You, and empowers them to bear fruit for You.


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