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"May we never forget that the Lord works wonders for every one of his devoted lovers. And this is how I know that he will answer my every prayer."  -Psalm 4:3 TPT

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Professional Acumen
by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of September 16, 2019

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”  -Philippians 3:13-15

        Professional acumen is not just about acquiring knowledge, matching a personality diagnostic or simply dressing the part. It’s about development created from the inside out, and much of the journey involves testing of the heart (Proverbs 17:3).

        To do it God’s way, we must first know Him and trust Him. We must have a heart for Him. We must allow Him to prepare us, teach us and mature us, according to His methods and timing. And we must abide in Him all along the way. There are no shortcuts.

        God has new manna for us every day, and although His principles do not change, His methods do. Many of His promises are conditional.

        We live in accelerated times, and development cannot happen without depth, resistance and stretching, all preparation for what’s ahead.

        We can be like Ruth, who was chosen by the King, set up to step into the unknown, to make a powerful impact that will reach beyond herself and then reap a rich reward (Ruth 2:11-12). Scripture tells us that Ruth married a wealthy landowner and gave birth to the grandfather of King David. 

        When we take to heart God’s business, He takes care of ours.

        Patience is also a key element. Esther 2:12 tells us that Esther had to undergo 12 months of beauty treatments before meeting with the king. We can only imagine all the thoughts and prayers and conversations—perhaps even anxieties—that took place within her during that time. Esther was chosen purposefully and developed before being presented. She knew God and had His hand of favor and protection upon her. God set the stage, guided her and empowered her to impact a nation during a pivotal moment. 

        She and her family were honored.

        I have friend who quit her job after working a single day during a down economy. “I am an executive!” she boldly proclaimed. I knew what she meant: that she was underemployed, and she did not want to go back to the same position she had held years earlier. After she departed that position, she opened a women’s boutique, which lasted about two months before closing shop. Now, she’s back home where she started. Still, nothing is wasted in God’s economy. 

        God ultimately used my friend’s brief journey to do an accelerated work in her, through her and on her behalf. Much good resulted from these fast lessons. 

        Discipline, common sense and insight are also key (Proverbs 5:23, 10:21). 

        We must be led by the Holy Spirit.

        Maturity, which includes wisdom, plays a paramount role in professional acumen. I once worked with a young woman who was brilliant, knew her stuff, executed it well and even took on additional responsibility. It seemed her only downfall was that she belittled others. Not surprising, when it came time to restructure our department, she was asked to leave. It’s not enough to be knowledgeable. We must consistently exercise appropriate social skills, including kindness and humility (Luke 14:11). If we aren’t taught it from childhood, we must learn it in adulthood until it becomes second nature. Hard lessons are not soon forgotten. They are accelerated works. Count it all good, and move on stronger.

        Hosea 4:6 tells us, “My people are being destroyed because they don't know me….” Knowledge is critical, and it takes time to achieve. There are no shortcuts. Taking time to know God and to educate ourselves is invaluable. Although God does redeem time, there is no substitute for dedicated time with Him and learning what He desires for us to learn so He can help us understand and accomplish His will on earth in areas and on levels that are new to us. 

        This is growth. 

        This is building.

        Proverbs 4:7 reminds us to get understanding, insight and good judgment. Pray and ask the Lord to give these to you. I find frequently that whatever nugget I need, God gives it to me very quickly, usually through revelation of the written or spoken Word.

        When we love God, we will find joy in the work He assigns to us, even if it’s a great challenge. Working for the Lord is an adventure. I know wherever He assigns me, it's temporary, and the sooner I receive what He wants me to receive and learn what He wants me to learn and do what He wants me to do, the sooner He’ll advance me to another level and area. 

        2 Timothy 2:6-7 tells us, “The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”

        Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary explains, “If we would partake of the fruits, we must labor; if we would gain the prize, we must run the race. We must do the will of God, before we receive the promises, for which reason we have need of patience.”

        How would you gage your professional acumen? Who or what is your power source? Is it Almighty God, who loves you beyond measure? Have you asked Him to help you? Have you heard from Him yet




"Give, and you will receive gifts--the full measure, compacted, shaken together and overflowing, will be put right in your lap.  For the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure back to you."  -Luke 6:38

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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