“We must not only have learning in Divine things, but we must ourselves be Divinely learned… we need much acquaintance with the human heart, and with our own heart in particular – a deep-searching knowledge of Scripture – a careful study of the best works on casuistical, and experimental divinity – most of all – a spirit of humble and importunate prayer for constant and increased supplies of “the wisdom which is from above. Add to this – a knowledge of the constitutional temperament of the individuals is obviously most important” (Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry, 382-3).
How can I plan to grow in these things? Well for acquaintance with the human heart, especially my own, I could journal more and invite more evaluation from my wife and others who care for my soul and are discerning. For a deep-searching knowledge of the Scripture I must continue to read the Bible all the way through and do more intense studies of particular books or passages. I haven’t done the latter lately except when teaching since I use all my time to do the former. I need to do a careful study of the best works casuistical and experimental divinity which motivates me to want to read through all the CCEF books in print and the journal of biblical counseling along with other great works in this category, like John Owen and CJ Mahaney’s stuff. A spirit of humble and importunate prayer for wisdom has been helped by my reading through Proverbs and Ecclesiastes these past two months, but I need to “continue steadfastly in prayer” by scheduling and guarding a concentrated time of prayer in my day. I’ve been inconsistent in this for a while now. Knowing individuals can increase by being more intentional in the conversations, asking good questions, listening carefully, taking time to talk to people, coming up with a plan to get to everyone in the congregation with a good conversation, and praying for people with following up on discerning answers to those prayers.
Lord help me to pray to you and seek your grace for wisdom that is from above and not within myself or my ability to obtain. Help me to grow as a Christian minister. I love you and look to you to fulfill every resolve for good in me and every work of faith by your power. In Christ’s name I pray, amen.