LISTEN TO EP.98
Are you a Wisdom Hunter? Here’s Why We Desperately Need More of Them
Imagine if you had an increase in wisdom…how would that change your life? Boyd Bailey, founder of Wisdom Hunters, a ministry whose daily devotional emails help more than 100,000 readers connect with Christ, reminds us that God uses imperfect people to accomplish His perfect will. Bailey shares the importance of being intentional to love and invest in the lives of those that are closest to us and explains that Christ can take our flawed faith and move us to a place of closer communion with Him when we abide in joy and who He says that we are. When we do this, we will gain the wisdom to understand our true identity and increase our effectiveness as salt and light in the world around us.
Welcome to The Influencers Podcast. I’m Scott Young cohost, along with Dave Donaldson. Dave is out on assignment, not in the studio today. So we will do our best to carry on the objective of our time together is to see the influence of your life grow, to make your world a better world. And the world we live in a better world. You know what really helps with that wisdom? Let me ask you a question. When’s the last time you needed wisdom, you came to a crossroads, should you go this way? Should you go that way? You may be there today trying to make a decision. Do you know, the Bible has some great promises? And one of my favorites is in James chapter one. When it says, if you lack wisdom, you can ask and God will give it to you. Liberally our guest today. Boyd Bailey is a wisdom hunter.
In fact, he’s the founder of an organization called Wisdom Hunter. It reaches out to some 86 nations, every day hundred thousand emails go out to direct people towards wisdom and towards Christ. He’s also co-founder of Ministry Ventures, which helps to coach and through its history has helped to coach over a thousand faith based nonprofits and board development administration, fundraising, and, and finding wisdom. He’s authored a new book, which we’ll talk about Spirit Calling, but other books, including the Spiritual Life of a Leader, Wisdom for Leaders, The Way of Wisdom. Can you hear a theme, wisdom, wisdom, wisdom, and Boyd we’re glad that you are with us today. And let me just start by just asking, what does it mean to be a wisdom hunter?
What is a Wisdom Hunter?
Yes. Scott, great being with you today as well. For me, a wisdom hunter is, is a humble teachable follower of Jesus who really wants to understand the heart of God for their life and what he has for them and becoming the best version of a Jesus follower. So I think wisdom and humility are so closely linked that he gives wisdom to the humble and the wise are humble. And so it’s a lifelong pursuit that I think over time the love of Jesus continues to just seep in our hearts and the mind of Christ Christ, who is wisdom then becomes kind of our, our thought process. As we discover in scripture.
Now, are you a natural hunter? Do you go out and hunt?
Yeah. As a young man? I did. And I think that kind of kept me outta trouble a little bit. I would hunt hunt, hunt and fish with my uncle. But no, not in my adult life, but, but I do think there’s that theme through scripture of seeking the Lord, you know, being intentional.
So you’re directing people to hunt, to seek for wisdom. Maybe some of the, the people that you’ve helped connect, maybe some of these people that listen to the devotions that you send out to the various nations H how has the wisdom that you’re directing them to help them in their life or people that are today listening to us that wanna connect with wisdom hunters how will finding the wisdom that you talk about help our lives,
Scott, you know, how the Holy Spirit works, always surprising. Some ways that we, we, we haven’t necessarily been thinking about a friend told me years ago, Boyd as long as you write and speak out of your challenges, weaknesses, and failures, you’ll never run out of content. And and I have lots of content. And so really what we’re experiencing is we’re trying to write, there’s three of us that are writers now my son-in-law and another friend Shannon out of Colorado Springs, but we, we try to write real time out of our own struggles challenges. And so we feel like if we’re vulnerable and honest and empathetic with others, then there’s that crossroads of where the Holy Spirit can take our experiences in scripture and hopefully comfort, encourage challenge, teach, instruct, inspire others that that would like to have that routine of a daily word from the Lord, a daily devotion.
Wisdom: A Constant Resource
And so we, we literally write these two weeks ahead of time. We’ve been doing this, I’ve been doing it personally for almost 20 years. Wow. And our team for almost 10 years. So, yeah. And, and what’s been fun to watch is for example, recently there were some Asian leaders and I, I really can’t mention the country because of the, the climate in that country right now. But they wanted a digital copy of one of the books, the leadership books. And I was like, absolutely. And so they went through that book as I think eight or 10 of them together. And, you know, they just do not have access to resources like we do here in the states. And to the man we received this long, thank you email of how God used the principles of seeking wisdom and the principles of the character of Christ as we see in the scriptures and how that, that just really gave them strength of the journey and insights in how to serve their, their flock or to serve their business and to, to try to lead like Jesus and to love.
Well, and so hearing those stories, I feel like it has that multiplier effect of trying to love the leaders who are then leading to others. And then literally every day we receive encouragement from marriages that, you know, just, just need to understand better empathy. You know, trying to respect your husband well, or cherish your wife. And what does that look like? And thank you for giving us a reminder to do that, or, you know, training up their children or whatever it might be. And so those individual notes are so encouraging and it’s, and then what really brings me great joy is, is then directing them to other resources to say here, if you need an additional teaching or training or discipleship and prayer or sharing your faith or whatever, it might be finances, or, you know, that’s fun too. It’s like, we just want to be a broker for the Lord and what he’s trying to do in people’s lives.
So, so when you’re writing, when you’re sitting, you’re praying, you’re gonna write a devotional, first of all, are they super long? Are they bite size? And then do you begin with a topic in mind and go, I wonder where there’s some wisdom for that, or do you begin with a portion of scripture and say, what’s the wisdom in that portion of scripture? Or how does a devotional flow out from your team? Literally around the world,
We do have themes from time to time, sometimes around the calendar, you know, mother’s day, father’s day, many times, it’s what we’ve been experiencing ourselves. So I’ll give you an example this week I’ve been writing what is the value of the good name? And, you know, what’s the role of integrity in our lives as, as leaders and as followers of Christ. And I just felt a burden around that because of some a friend recently that I saw made a, made a, made a sequence of bad decisions and not, not being wise and how it’s really how it’s really damaged you know, 40 years of ministry now that because of these unwise decisions. And so, so for me, it had to flow out of my heart and then we do kind of have our own rhythm. It’s about 400 words, 500, maybe at the most we always like to have a worship song at the end.
I feel like worship is such a beautiful way to kind of finish up a devotional idea and it starts with a topic and a scripture, and it just kind of works through many times. We’ll quote other Christian leaders that maybe have spent years or lifetimes meditating or thinking about that topic. It’s hard to improve on that kind of wisdom. So yeah, and, and it’s kinda like in speaking, in writing for me, I have to be myself, you know, I wanna find my voice, what is that voice? And then be myself and try to get those words down and, and more than anything, try to communicate my heart about what God’s teaching me.
The Personal Impact of Wisdom
And you’ve been seeking wisdom for over three decades. How have you seen your own personal life? How do you view the world differently than you did 30 years ago?
I think I, you know, looking back Scott, so I became a Christian in college and I was discipled by a businessman and he taught me from the very beginning, you need to spend an hour with the Lord. I thought that was kind of in the scripture. You know, we should spend an hour with the Lord, but I, so I just didn’t know any better. I started doing that and it’s actually grown over the years. I’m in a season of life now where I got much to do today. I need to pray for three hours. So I could discern what I shouldn’t do, you know, I think is where he was going with that. But having that mentor and then being able to, to, to grow really in empathy, I feel like I feel, I feel like my understanding of love is much deeper and broader, my motivation to serve and make disciples through the great commission is motivated by the great commandment and, you know, in the past, I think I’ve, I’ve reversed that, and, and maybe in the past, I’ve made disciples of void, you know, instead of disciples of Jesus.
And, and, and I think with the motivation of love having that, it’s, it, it really has transformed my relationships. I’ve I feel like I’m more available now in my life for people that are gonna be at my funeral, especially those that are gonna be sitting on the first two row in the reserve section. I’ve, I’ve tried to block off time on my calendar to, to reserve time for them and to be there for them and, and trust God that these other relationships and these other projects will either take care of themselves or find another person that can, you know, give leadership there.
I hope our fellow influencers that are listening just caught the wisdom that you just dropped, that Y you’re being more intentional to love and invest on those first two rows of people that will be sitting there at the end of your journey. That that’s wisdom right there. My brother,
No, I was just gonna say, I, do want those who know me the best to feel like I love him the most, and sometimes that’s hard to do.
Wise, But Imperfect
Yeah. So you, you write about people’s stories and bringing wisdom and you, you emphasize the faithfulness of God, the love of God. And, and how can God in his wisdom work with many of us that are flawed and unfaithful at moments to to find wisdom when we’re really not perfect. How does that
Work? It’s a really good question. I’m, I’m so glad that God uses imperfect people to accomplish his perfect will I really, I really believe that. And that’s the beauty of grace and the beauty of the Holy Spirit empowering us. I think for me what I’m learning is as, as I’m flawed, and as I make mistakes, I have to reset back to abiding in him and resting in him. You know, he says in that John 15, he five times in, I believe it’s the King James. He says to abiding him, to abiding his love, to abiding his joy and to aide his word, maybe this just four times. But, and of course we know we’re abide means to remain. So, especially when I’m feeling unloved or I’m feeling like a failure, or I’m feeling like I don’t deserve this opportunity, or I don’t deserve this relationship by really abiding and, and really who He says that I am.
I was, I love during my shaving time each morning, I’ll, I’ll put on worship music and I was listening to Maverick City. And one of the choruses was repeated. I am who you say I am. You know, I am who you say I am. And it’s just a beautiful beautiful chorus, but there’s this little plaque. I have Scott in front of me every morning during my time of the Lord. And I thought it’d be appropriate if I could just read a couple words here from Henri Nouwen. Oh yeah, sure. Go ahead. This, so this is called You are Beloved by Henri Nouwen personally, as my struggle reveals, I don’t often feel like a beloved child of God, but I know that this is my most primal identity, and I know that I must choose it above and beyond my hesitations, strong emotions, self rejection, even self hatred, justifiably toss me about, but you are free to respond as you will.
You’re not what others or even you think about yourself. You’re not what you do. You’re not what you have. You are a full member of the human family having been known before you were conceived and molded in your mother’s womb in times when you feel bad about yourself. Yeah. Try to choose to remain true to the truth of who you really are. Look in the marriage day and claim your true identity act ahead of your feelings and trust that one day your feelings will match your convictions. Choose now and continue to choose this incredible truth as a spiritual practice claim and reclaim your primal identity as a beloved daughter or son of a personal creator. And so I, I try to reset and renew every morning with that truth, so that whatever frame of mind I find myself, maybe I’m celebrating the success. That’s great. I’m reminded of who, who the person is that gives the success. Maybe I’m struggling over a health condition that I’m fearful about. I’m still his, and I’m gonna trust him through the process.
Wisdom is Identity
And, and whether you’re quoting Maverick city or Henri Nouwen, the truth is, is real wisdom, I think is when we find our identity in who God says, we are not who this world, that swirls around us pulling us this way in that way. And I really think that’s a central call to wisdom and know who you are in God. And as we walk this journey, we don’t have to be perfect to receive wisdom. God’s grace gives us wisdom at the place that we’re at, but let me ask about just a lot is going on in the world, a lot of tragedy trauma how, how can God’s wisdom come into people who have gone through trauma facing tragedy or what the, what the scripture calls they’re in the, the fellowship of suffering? How can goodness come out of dark valleys? And what’s the wisdom in going through dark valleys?
You know, we’ve been in community with four other couples for 12 years now, and I really believe Scott that a, that a critical part of, of what we’re talking about here with tragedy and hurt and pain and suffering is we’re so much better together. And the body of Christ is exactly that it’s the body of Christ. And I know right now that I’ve got a brother just right down the road, that if I, if I needed to call him, he’s here, he’ll drop exactly drop, whatever he’s doing. We, we know each other inside and out. I mean, each couple has argued with each other in front of the other couples. I mean, I mean, real arguments, you know, that’s real, not the, not the real you know, courteous arguments, but
We call those hum dingers
Hum dingers. And so having a having a safe environment for our pain, so we can say out loud, our pain and our hurt and our challenge, and verbalize it in a way to say, you know, I know God’s for real. I know Jesus is on the throne. I know he’s in control, but I just have to say right now, I’m, I’m afraid. And I don’t know what’s going to happen. And I don’t know where my child is gonna end up right now. My child won’t even talk to me, but, you know, so having that safe environment to truly love one another as Christ loves us. And so, so it goes from kind of that abiding ourselves with Christ, but then it also continues in communities. We move into community and we abide with one another and we’re all, we’re all seeking to encourage one another, love each other, you know, even call each other out. You know, when we need to.
Writing with God
Now, now your most recent book is called Spirit Calling, which is really a yearlong journey of devotionals and finding wisdom. But as, as you’ve delved in to a study, how is your relationship? You talk about community community with other brothers and sisters, but how is your community, your communion with the Holy Spirit been in this journey of writing and maybe your relationship with the Holy Spirit growing over, over this writing process?
The study of Holy Spirit was a huge blessing in my life just knowing that he’s available to comfort, to encourage. And it was, it was, it was something that I’ll never forget. And I, and I want to continue to keep the Holy Spirit as part of my regular rhythm of depending on God and, you know, be encouraged Jesus and forgiven. But, but the project, the Spirit Calling book really kind of reset my thinking back to, you know, really the fruit of the spirit working through my life and how important it is for me to depend on the Lord, you know, as the branch. My wife is a great gardener and she has a, a small greenhouse, and I’ve been watching my show, YouTube videos around gardening. And one thing that I’ve learned from her and watching these videos is on branches.
The Theme of Love
There’s really have to be careful to look at these small twigs that pop up and they literally suckers it’s kinda suck the nutrition from the the branch and doesn’t allow it to bear the fruit to the point that it needs to. And, and so I, of course, I’m applying that to my life. You know, how do I need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal in my heart, those little twigs of, you know, maybe it’s sin or maybe it’s unbelief or fear, whatever it is in my life, that’s popping up, allow him to prune back whatever those distractions might be, so that I can be totally full of the Holy Spirit and, you know, seeking to follow him, to love him, to allow the fruit, to grow in my life. And, you know, another thought about the holy spirit and the fruit of the Spirit, you know, the, their very first fruit is love.
And I think that’s important. You know, every word in the Bible is there precisely for a reason. And, you know, love to me is kind of that four year into the Christian life. And, you know, then the other rooms of the house of our life are full of the other. So when I’m resting in, God’s love, allow him to love me, well, loving others. Well, the Spirit expresses itself the most, you know, that is our brand as the Father of Jesus. Love is our brand and, you know, they old him they’ll know we’re Christians by our love. And, and so I have to ask myself regularly, am I living on brand? Am I, am I living in the fullness of the spirit? Am I striving in my own strength? And so, yeah, these 365 devotional in the Spirit Calling book each one is really prayed over and the theme of love is throughout each one of them.
And so I’m really excited about this book. I think I’ll bless those that can pick up a copy and it’s, and there’s shorter devotionals as well with a, with a prayer at the end. I think it will bless them. I did wanna mention kind of lastly, my favorite scripture verse, that’s kind of tied to everything we’ve talked about today, about wisdom, about love, about God’s faithfulness. It’s in Psalm 143:8 in the NIV version. “Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I’ve put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go for to you I entrust my life.” So I’ll leave you with that. Just starting each day, allowing the Lord to love on us with his unfailing love so that we might trust him to show us the way.
Boyd I wanna thank you. Your wisdom that you have shared today has been absolutely amazing. And I wanna encourage people to get Spirit Calling a devotional walk, finding wisdom in the scriptures. You can go to www.wisdomhunters.com, and you can find this amazing resource as well as some of the others that Boyd has talked about today. And I just wanna say, here’s a simple, we started with a promise from James chapter one. And so just together, we humble ourselves and we pray and we say, Lord, we admit, we lack wisdom. And we’re coming to you with open, humble hearts and saying, Lord, give us wisdom today to do the right thing at the right time, that glorifies you blesses the world and increases our effectiveness as salt and light. Amen. Thank you friends for being part of the influencers podcast. I’m Scott Young.