What I (Bob) am about to say may seem to be saying too much. For some it seems really far out. But the fact is I wouldn’t know how to minister in any other way. Ministering from the heart and the eyes of Christ is by no means exceptional, it must be the rule. For 12 years my dear wife and I did “Holy Spirit Group Therapy Retreats” for marriage healing and renewal. We had a dozen married couples with us in the Harley Hotel for intensive weekends. It was all predicated upon the conviction that the Holy Spirit would show up and give us the mind of Christ for each couple.
True, often what was needed was simply sanctified common sense. But there were many, many instances that things were so confused and confusing in these married couple’s lives, that things were way beyond my understanding. Rather than being embarrassed by silence and looking dumb by saying nothing, I was tempted at least to say something and thereby put my own spin on the circumstances. Bad news! When I was tempted to do that, I knew deep down that it wasn’t God. So I learned to shut up until God spoke. Those amazing weekends were based upon what we learned from Evangelist Tommy Tyson at ORU – MINISTERING JESUS TO PEOPLE.
It was at times like riding 24 bucking broncos all at once. But the Holy Spirit had gone before us and was always there waiting for us, and enabled us to see these dear husbands and wives as Jesus saw them. I am still awed by it to this day. Glory be to Jesus!
SEEING PEOPLE AS JESUS SEES THEM
Tommy Tyson told us in the Mabee Center at ORU:
“WE MUST ALWAYS ASK JESUS TO LET US SEE EACH PERSON WE
If you will:
“ASK JESUS TO SHOW YOU THE PERSON YOU ARE MINISTERING TO
FROM HEAVEN’S PERSPECTIVE.”
When we do that, only then will the person uniquely be seen as a person for whom Jesus died. Only then said Tommy:
Not only that, but then we will not see someone like we see everyone else, and we will not say the same things to someone that we say to everyone else. Too many times we are more like computerized robots who recite the same lines while moving our mouths and blinking our eyes. We will never see the blessings of God fulfilled in our counseling ministry if we simply see bodies, or prayer objects, or counseling projects. Hear me:
Only then will we be able so say with the psalmist in Psalm 16:7,
“I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs
me in the night.”
Counseling must never simply be or become teaching, lecturing or preaching from prepared lessons or sermons. I taught catechism to my church kids of all ages, and wrote on the chalk boards my lessons and illustrations until the chalk became smaller than a pea in my hands. There is a time and a place for that, but the counseling room is not one of them. Nor should we simply wing it, as they say, and end up flapping like chickens and beating the air based upon a hunch. Too often in counseling we feel like hamsters on exercise wheels making no progress. In counseling, we need a word from God for each new situation, for two reasons:
–No one truly sees what is in the heart of man except God.
–No counselee by nature wants to be seen for who and what he really is – he will try to hide.
In counseling, we minister Jesus’ wisdom and understanding to people. We are told in I Corinthians 1:30 about Jesus,
“…Who became to us wisdom from God….”
Therefore what we read about wisdom in Proverbs 8:14 is really about Jesus:
“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding
and power is mine.”
We are quickly reminded of the words of Matthew 9:26,
“And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were
distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.”
How often do we see the maddening crowds from a perspective of disgust and even disdain. Only when we see with the spiritual eyes of our Lord will we see men as they really are and then be moved with His heart of compassion.
GOSSIP OR PRAYER
Tommy Tyson then told us that this will change the way we pray for people. He then gave us a typical prayer as in the case of a wife praying for her husband. It went like this:
And Lord, You know how easily swayed he is from spiritualthings. He has
so many weaknesses and now he is starting thisnew project. Now
then Lord, in the light of all of that, and inthe light of
my great love for him, now Father touch him.”
“THAT ISN’T PRAYER, THAT IS GOSSIP.”
And he added:
TO UNDERSTAND YOUR HUSBAND.”
Then he said:
GIVEN MOMENT THAN YOU WILL KNOW FOR ALL ETERNITY.”
We must remember the words of Matthew 5:8,
And I John 3:20,
Then Tommy gave the wife a prayer the spirit of which we must all have if we are to minister the heart and mind of Jesus to people. It went like this:
“Dear Lord Jesus, You know my husband better in any moment than I
will know him forever. Thank you for sharing with me Your love for
him. Please let me see him in the light of Your love. Let me behold
him in the light of your grace. And Lord share with me Your
concerns for him and let me feel Your love for him. And
then use me as an instrument of your love. Amen.”
Our “Holy Spirit Group Therapy” marriage restoration weekends were essentially based on the spirit of that prayer, and it was amazing what God did. Tommy then gave us this ministry absolute:
“ONLY WHEN WE LOVE WITH GOD’S LOVE CAN WE AFFORD
TO KNOW THINGS ABOUT EACH OTHER AND
HANDLE THEM ARIGHT.”
We were reminded of Ephesians 4:15,
“But speaking the truth in love….”
Then he gave us this worse case scenario about gossip sessions which are often called prayer meetings. Husband John comes home to wife Sadie after work, and Sadie has been to the “Ladies Prayer Group.” Sadie says to her husband John,
“John, have you see Jim lately?”
“Well yes I have, just the other day.”
Wife Sadie then says,
“Did you notice anything strange about him?”
Sadie the prayer warrior says,
“Well, this morning Mary asked us to pray for him, and she told us something,
and I don’t know if I should tell you or not.”
Then Sadie tells husband John the “Prayer Secret.” God save the rest of the church from that prayer group.
By the way, the Sadies in churches would be the last ones to admit their own faults to anyone, let alone to God. Like the Pharisees, they generally polish their humility with a high luster, and thank God that they are not like other women.
Only when we love with Calvary’s love can James 5:16 powerfully and effectively happen when we read,
that you may be healed.”
But Calvary love was not in Sadie’s ‘Prayer’ group. For the very next day Sadie met a woman who had been absent from the prayer group and who asked Sadie, “How did it go, did I miss anything?” And Sadie eagerly responds, “Well you did, and I will share the prayer need with you if you promise not to tell anyone.”
So who in the world in their right mind would confess their sins to Sadie or anyone in her prayer group for the purpose of healing. The next morning it would be in the town paper thanks to the gossip mongers. That is why we read about true Calvary love in I John 4:8,
“Love covers a multitude of sins.”
Frankly, when you love with Calvary love, you really don’t want to know or uncover people’s nakedness. When we love with Calvary love, we will never have to say, “Curiosity got the best of me.” No it didn’t, it got the worst of you, and remember, “Curiosity killed the cat and it killed Jim’s reputation as well.” When Calvary love is absent in a church, gossip and rumors will multiply unchecked and travel faster than the speed of sound. More churches and people have been destroyed by gossip-sonic booms than anything I can think of.
LISTENING WITH THE THIRD EAR
Remember James 1:19,
slow to speak and slow to wrath.”
Sad to say, all of us by nature are slow to hear, quick to speak and quick to wrath. Certainly one of the most glorious virtues of our loving Heavenly Father is that He hears and listens to us, and is attentive to our cries. We read these awesome words in Psalm 116:1-2,
“I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because
He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call
upon Him as long as I live.”
Isn’t it annoying and demeaning when you talk to someone, and they give you the strong impression that they can hardly wait until you are done so they can tell you what they think. If you love with Jesus’ love, you will have the great willingness to listen as one of the strongest characteristics of that love.
Tommy then reminded us, or made us aware for the first time:
“REMEMBER THAT ALL OF US IN CHRIST HAVE THREE EARS. PHYSICALLY
WE HAVE TWO EARS ON EITHER SIDE OF OUR HEADS. SPIRITUALLY
WE HAVE A SPIRITUAL EAR DEEP IN THE HEART OF US.”
That is the very ear that Jesus was referring to when He said about His sheep and Himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:4,
That is to say as Tommy put it:
“LIVING IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIVING BENEATH THE
SURFACE. THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM IN THE
OUTWARD VISIBLE WORLD.”
Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart! So must we!
It is said of Jesus in Isaiah 11:2-3,
understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of
knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”
“And He will delight in the fear of the Lord, and He will not judge by what
His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear.”
Nor may we! God does not want us, in ministering Jesus to people, to always be rummaging around in the dark in people’s lives. We are not rummagers, we are ministers of the living Christ! We are not following a stranger in unknown terrain. We are following our Savior and Lord!
Tommy went on to say:
TO THAT PERSON AS A PERSON, WE CAN AND MUST AT THE
SAME TIME LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF GOD ON THE
INSIDE WITH OUR SPIRITUAL EAR.”
IS OFTEN NOT ABLE TO PUT INTO WORDS OR RIGHTLY
DISCERN THE ROOT CAUSE.”
Tommy then gave this illustration from His ministry:
“I was visiting a mother and her son on a hot summer afternoon. We were sitting in the shade having some lemonade. While this was visit was going on, I suddenly saw beneath the surface of the boy’s face something that appeared as a jagged white form. I saw it again a few moments later very clearly. Jesus was revealing symbolically something beneath the surface that needed to be taken out. The Holy Spirit moved on me and in the name of Jesus I commanded,
‘Get out of him!’
The little boy fell on the ground as though he were dead. I was fearful, and went and held and stroked the little fella. The mother then said to me sharply,
‘Leave him alone. God did that. So get away and let God minister.’
The mother’s prayers were being answered right there as she had been praying for some time that her son would be healed of convulsions.”
Tommy warned us that he was not talking about the “Gift of Suspicion.” That is not one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but it is a gift which many people including ministers have. All of this requires a close walk with Jesus in a life saturated daily with prayer and being immersed in the Word of God. Only those who faithfully have gone to God can tell a demon to be gone!
Tommy went on to say that he had seen many bad cases, and so have I, where there has been the brutal invasion of people’s lives with the words, “Tell me your name and come out of him.” So he reminded us of the following:
“A HUMAN BEING IS SACRED. JESUS SHED HIS BLOOD FOR HIM, AND
YOU WILL NEVER FACE ANYTHING MORE SACRED OR HOLY
ON EARTH THAN ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.”
“PLEASE DO NOT FORCE YOURSELF ON ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. GOD
DOESN’T DO THAT. THE DEVIL IS THE ONE WHO DOES THAT.”
OBEYING THE SPIRIT’S VOICE
TO FOLLOW HIS COUNSEL.”
If you will:
“HEARING GOD IS STILL DEAFNESS UNLESS WE ARE WILLING
TO DO THAT WHICH WE HAVE HEARD.”
As we have seen, the Holy Spirit will often suggest a root, a cause, a reason beneath the surface. When we are moved upon and moving with the Holy Spirit, God will often speak in a whisper, as in the still small voice. (I Kings 19:12-13 KJV) Yes, in a whisper. And you and I will have to think, “Is that you Lord? If that is really you, Lord, I will follow through. But Lord, I don’t want to make a mistake. And Lord, I don’t want to build up someone’s false hopes.”
Then Tommy suggested the following to us:
–I don’t really think it is other people’s hopes that we are worried about.
–I really think that it is our reputation that we are worried about.
–Remember, He who made himself of no reputation isn’t really worried about ours.
TO BE HEALED, AND BUILT UP HIS HOPES. AND LO BEHOLD HE
DIED AND WENT TO HEAVEN WITH HIS HOPES BUILT UP.”
Tommy went on to tell the heartwarming story of Oral Roberts when God called him to begin his ministry back in the 1940’s. Oral recalls praying, “Lord, what if I rent that Assembly Hall over in Enid, Oklahoma, and announce to the people that you called me to bring healing to my generation. And people come, and nothing happens. Lord what if I fail?” Oral then told of how the Lord spoke right back to him and said, “You need not worry about that son, you already have a good history of that.”
–Very seldom will the Lord in answer to our question as to whether or not it is Him say, “Ah Huh!”
–Rather, we will have to take a step of faith, and sometimes we will make a mistake.
–That’s fine, for we all have a good history of that and there is more to come.
–God will take the mistake and redeem it, like he did all of the others.
–All Christian success is redeemed failure! Amen!