Mentors Matter

“God will use any witness to start but no one can substitute for Jesus Himself. The new life has to be born in us and the new life will not be born until Christ and the sinner meet.  And through Christ, the sinner defeats his will and comes out of the dust.  He will always remember that encounter. That kind of encounter, the meeting of the soul with God, comes with the freshness and the brightness of the new dawn.”

A.W. Tozer, No Greater Love, Experiencing the Heart of Jesus 

Life is filled with so many ups and downs, challenges that we’ve never faced, obstacles meant to grow us, and seasons of doubt. What do we do in these new seasons?

Today, I want to share about the importance of mentors and the difference between a mentor and an authority in your life. These are notes from a sermon shared with teen’s at Heroe’s Church in Fontana, California.

Here is a link to the message: Heroe’s Church Youth Night 4.30.21

 I pray it encourages someone.

Competing Voices:

Authority is defined as: (Merriam-Websters Dictionary)

  1. Power to influence or command thought, opinion or behavior 
  2. Persons in command 
  3. Convincing force 
  4. An individual cited or appealed as an expert 
  • Synonyms:
    • Expert
    • Guru
    • Hotshot
    • Maestro 
    • Master
    • Scholar
    • Whiz
    • Wizard

Who would we consider an authority?

  • President, Prime Minister or King 
  • Judge 
  • Police
  • Pastor 
  • Teacher 
  • Boss 
  • Parent 
  • News
  • Celebrities 
  • Athletes
  • Friends 
  • Social Media 

Authority: 

  • AUTHORITY is ANY PERSON (or group of people), we grant access to influence our thoughts, opinions or behavior.
  • This person only needs “perceived” authority to influence us. 
  • This can be good or bad

Who have we given authority to speak into and over our life? Who have we given access into our life?

ROOTED IN SCRIPTURE: 

1 Corinthians 11:1

Paul said, 

“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (ESV)

“I want you to pattern your lives after me, just as I pattern mine after Christ” (TPT)

Paul is saying, imitate (to copy, to mimic) me to the extent to which he imitates Jesus. 

MENTORS MATTER:

Mentor is defined as: (Merriam-Websters Dictionary)

  1. A trusted counselor or guide 
  2. Tutor
  3. Coach 
  • Synonyms:
    • Coach 
    • Counselor 
    • Guide
    • Lead
    • Pilot 
    • Shepherd
    • Tutor 
  • MENTOR is ANY PERSON who has a guiding influence over your life. 

Authority vs. Mentor

What is the difference?

  • AUTHORITY we grant access to influence our thoughts, opinions or behavior. This can be one-sided. 
  • MENTOR we grant access and time.  This is a two-way communication / relationship. 

Let’s look at some biblical examples of mentors. The Good, the bad and the ugly.


1 Kings 12:1-17

1Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned froma Egypt. 3And they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam, 4“Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” 5He said to them, “Go away for three days, then come again to me.” So the people went away.

6Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” 7And they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. 9And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?” 10And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to this people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us,’ thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs. 11And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”

12So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, “Come to me again the third day.” 13And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the old men had given him, 14he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfill his word, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

The Kingdom Divided

16And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents. 17But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah.

  • Rehoboam gave ACCESS and AUTHORITY to his peers and it cost him half the kingdom. A split that would never be reconciled 

Mentor: Peers 

We must consider, what are some of the pitfalls of having peers as mentors?


Read: 2 Kings Ch: 8-12

Jehoram was a king over Judah.  He was considered a bad king.  He married the daughter of king Ahad and queen Jezebel. Her name was Athaliah. This was done as a political alliance of sorts. 

Revolt led to Jehoram’s death then his son with Queen Athaliah became king.  His name is Ahaziah and he was 22 when he began his reign. 

He led for 2 years then he was assassinated.  His mother heard the new, and as queen mother Athaliah she took the throne.  She was considered a “usurper queen”. (one who illegally seized power) She then proceeded to have anyone and everyone killed who could possibly take the throne. But much to her surprise, one heir is saved.  

She is the only woman to reign during the time of Kings.  She reinstated Baal worship and it is a dark time for the kingdom of Judah.

Mentor:  Jezebel, mother  

We must consider, what are some of the pitfalls of having non-believers as mentors?


2 Kings 11: 1-3, 21, 12:1-2

Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. 2But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she puta him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus theyb hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. 3And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the LORD, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

21d Jehoashe was seven years old when he began to reign.

In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoasha began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2And Jehoash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all his days, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 

Joash anointed King over Judah at 6 years old and his mentor was a priest. Joash reigned for 40 years and did right in the eyes of God.

Mentor: Jehoiada, a priest (someone of the Faith)

We must consider, who is or can be your spiritual mentor?


You may be thinking these stories are interesting, but I am not going to be a King, so how important is a mentor to me?  The right or wrong influences can change the trajectory of our life. Mentors Matter. We are not meant to do life alone.


Prophets: Elijah and Elisha and Gehazi 

Elijah Summary: 

  • His name means My God is Yahweh (I AM)
  • Story in 1 Kings
  • Showed up on the scene out of nowhere 
  • Not much is known about his background 
  • Kinda like us, we are not from famous or prominent families 
  • We may not have studied in seminaries 
  • BUT GOD – can work in our lives and through our lives to touch others 
  • God’s prophet during the time of King Ahad and Queen Jezebel 
  • Miracles included (16 total miracles)
    • Elijah on Mount Carmel with the prophets of Baal
    • Prays for rain and ends drought 
    • Fed by divine supplies – ravens, widow and an angel 
    • Fed the widow (oil miracle)
    • Child restored to life 
    • Captain come to take Elijah captive and he calls fire from heaven destroying 2 armies before the 3 asks for mercy 
    • Divided the water at the Jordan river 
    • Mentor to those that attended the school of the prophets
    • He dressed like wilderness man who wore clothes made camels and a leather belt 
    • He was a man of influence because all the prophets began to dress like him 

Elisha Summary: 

  • His name means My God is salvation 
  • Story in 2 Kings
  • From a very wealthy family 
  • He gave up his comfort and wealth to follow the “crazy prophet”
  • He followed even when Elijah told him to stop and go back 
  • He saw Elijah taken up by the chariots of fire 
  • He received a double portion anointing and did twice as many miracles as one of the most famous prophets of the bible 
  • He served as a prophet of Israel for nearly 60 years 

Gehazi Summary: 

  • His name means Valley of Vision 
  • The was servant of Elisha 

2 Kings 5:15-27

Gehazi’s Greed and Punishment

15Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.” 16But he said, “As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused. 17Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the LORD. 18In this matter may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this matter.” 19He said to him, “Go in peace.”

But when Naaman had gone from him a short distance, 20Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” 21So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, “Is all well?” 22And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me to say, ‘There have just now come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.’” 23And Naaman said, “Be pleased to accept two talents.” And he urged him and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants. And they carried them before Gehazi. 24And when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and put them in the house, and he sent the men away, and they departed. 25He went in and stood before his master, and Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went nowhere.” 26But he said to him, “Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants? 27Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow.

We must consider, what was Gehazi’s pitfall? Even in the school of prophets, not all have a heart after the things of God.  Who had Gehazi allowed access to his heart?  Who and what had he given authority to over his thoughts and life?  Even after being with Elisha and seeing the Lord provide in so many miraculous ways.  He still sought after riches. 

Can this happen to us?


Final Thoughts / Call to Action: 

Guarding our hearts against Authorities with the help of faith-filled mentors:

  • AUTHORITY we grant access to influence our thoughts, opinions or behavior. This can be one-sided. 
  • MENTOR we grant access and time.  This is a two-way communication / relationship. 

So, you may be wondering what was all that talk about “Authority” if the discussion was about Mentors.  I feel it is my duty to sound the alarm about ALL influences in our life.  We need to ask ourselves, who and what are we granting access to our lives. 

When a mentor is present, it is intentional.  Even obvious. 

BUT like carbon monoxide, there are silent influences that are seeping poison into our souls. 

We need to be aware.  

We need to be alert. 

NOT EVER VOICE that demands your attention deserves it. 

When that toxic voice presents itself

On our screen 

In our thoughts 

In our ears

Recognize it is poison and walk away 

Be PICKY

We need to be vigilant in protecting access to our hearts and minds. 

The WORD OF GOD is the standard to which we measure all of life. DO NOT take anything as the gospel in any area of life just because it comes from someone with authority.

We need to train yourselves to read the word of God consistently 

We need to train yourselves to question the culture

We need to train yourselves to fact check the fact checkers 

Please do not take my word for it.  Go, search the scriptures for yourselves.

The bible is not just for scholars.  Remember, the gospel was preached originally to thousands of people who never heard the word of God. 

Authority: 

  • Who are we allowing authority to speak into and over our lives?
  • Who’s authority do we need to revoke?
  • What doors do we need to close?
  • What channels to do we need to stop visiting?
  • What voices need to be eliminated?

Mentors:

  • Do my peers draw me closers to the things of God or further away?
  • Do I have god-fearing mentors in my life?
  • Do I allow the right adults to speak life over me? (Not just any adult)

Mentors Matter. 

1 Corinthians 11:1

“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (ESV)

Many Blessings,

Misty

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