Walk This Way
“The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” — Proverbs 13:20
Barry Spofford, a friend and spiritual mentor, passed away on April 25, 2015. Six days later, on April 30, hundreds of people attended his Celebration Service in Colorado to honor a life well lived! Throughout his journey with cancer, his focus was always on his sweet Jesus.
For 23 years, I had the joy and honor to serve on staff with Barry in FCA. God used Barry as a spiritual coach in my life to show me the importance of spiritual disciplines, especially prayer. Barry taught me how to develop a deep prayer life by showing me that prayer is not a last resort but a first response. Spending hours of prayer on my knees with Barry in the early nineties, I saw God move mountains.
We didn’t talk about prayer, but we prayed. Barry would slip off his Timex watch and set an hour on the timer, set it on the table, then get on his knees. No talk; just prayer. He modeled for me that our lives need to be built on prayer. Barry, who was 20 years older than me, was an example of a man of God who sought the Lord’s face daily…and always laying a foundation of prayer! Barry was my mentor for many years, and he shaped me and molded me into a man of God.
“Serve the Living God who wants to take your life and use it for His honor, His glory and His praise.” — Barry Spofford
Today, I have others who have picked up that torch and are helping me live a godly life. I call spiritual mentors like Barry in my life Watchmen, because they are wise teachers who have more life experiences and desire to pass on in-the-trenches, real-life wisdom to me. Life is all about surrounding yourself with the right people. Proverbs 13:20 says if you want more wisdom, then walk with the wise. You have the opportunity to capitalize on what your mentor has learned, avoid similar mistakes, and implement principles and practices with a proven track record.
The characteristics of the Watchman:
- Pours out what God has poured in
- Shares life experiences
- Applies the Word to your circumstances
- Helps you navigate life well
A Watchman guides and directs, because that person is in a different season of life that allows him or her to invest in your future. A Watchman plants greatness in others by watering the seeds of greatness with opportunities and fertilizing them with encouragement. With constant evaluation of progress, the Watchman has a clear vision and can warn you of potential dangers in your life by communicating God’s Word.
A Watchman is like a spiritual coach who trains you up in many areas of my lives. As a result of many Watchmen in my life over the years, fruit is still growing on my tree today. Are you walking with the wise? If you are, then you are benefiting from their wisdom…and so are those around you.
- Who has spiritually impacted your life? How?
- Make a list of 3-5 people who you respect and look up to spiritually. Go have a cup of coffee with them and share with them the Watchman relationship.
- When you find the right person (chemistry, fit, connection), ask them to be your Watchman. Arrange a consistent time to meet so you can begin this vital mentoring relationship.
Proverbs 13:20; Ezekiel 3:17; Isaiah 52:8; Proverbs 4:6; 1 Timothy 4:16
“Father, I need a Watchman who can direct and guide me. Show me who needs to be in my life who can clearly communicate Your Word and teach me to follow hard after You. I want to learn from their experience and apply the wisdom they pass on to me. In Jesus’ name, amen."