In light of Hurricane Isaac touching down on the southeast, I pondered a thing. The very thing that was to bring you joy, may bring you pain. It’s not to say that pain is an indication of what is wrong, pain may be an indication that God is not finished. There was a story years ago that a women giving birth encountered tremendous labor pains even after her delivery. The doctors could not understand why she was still experiencing labor pains after her delivery. Upon examination, they determined that she was carrying a multiple pregnancy. The second baby was hidden behind the first. I say that to you today, that pain is not always an indicator of what is wrong. There is something else unexpected on its way and pain is telling you to get ready for another birthing.
Of all the people Pharaoh could have trusted with administering the affairs of Egypt, he chose Joseph. He bypassed all the statesmen, the wise men, the diviners, and the temple officials to pull a dirty, dusty, sweaty, Hebrew slave from prison. Of course we know Joseph was divinely appointed to save Israel from starvation but what we also know is that even a heathen and a pagan knows to put the righteous in charge of his stuff! God intentionally gave Pharaoh a dream that no one could help him with but Joseph and from that point forward Joseph was his right hand man. How many businesses and organizations today would prosper under the hand of God if they appointed the Godly to handle their affairs? How many banks would triple in revenue if they had Joseph prophets on the Board of Directors. How well would this country be governed if there were Joseph Prophets assigned to the President? One thing my husband has wisely done is to put my name on all of his accounts because at the end of the day, God never allows His prophets to starve! He provides for that which He has anointed. Proverbs 29:2, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
It may seem like it’s an inconvenience or even a major disruption to your plans and goals but the Lord is using it to accomplish His will in your life. It might seem as if this is the worst time for you to be dealing with this right now, but it is working for your good. God is going to take what you considered a mishap and reveal His purpose through it. It doesn’t make sense and you can’t begin to figure it out because you weren’t intended to. This is a fork in the road, a detour to your destiny. God’s hand is working behind the scenes through what looks impossible and even hopeless. He will grace you through the seemingly difficult times because He has a vested interest in you.
In Israel when shepherds were considered low class, smelly, dirty, and undignified, the Lord our God chose to announce the birth of the Messiah to them. Not only did the Lord reveal His plan of salvation to them, but the angels gathered in concert to honor His salutation and celebrate this divine announcement. People may consider you unworthy, undignified, or less spiritual then they, but it is to those, the humble and meek, who will receive divine visitations. For He has said, I resisted the proud and give grace to the humble. You may sit quiet now, may be unpopular now, may go unnoticed now, and may be ostracized now, but one thing you will soon proudly boast in (if you don’t already) is the fact that you hear the voice of God. The salutation did not reach the ears of the Scribes nor the Pharisees, it was personally delivered to the shepherds by God, Himself. Your name may not be blazing a headline and your phone may not be ringing off its hook, but there is one thing you have that the pompous, arrogant, the religious can hardly comprehend, and that is the delight and sheer pleasure of hearing the voice of Almighty God and knowing His holy angels are encamped around about you. You may not have much of an audience on earth, but in the spirit realm, the Lord has graven you (your picture) on the palms of His hand and your walls are continually before Him. (Is. 49:16)
I want to encourage those of you who are beginning or perhaps maintaining in ministry with the barest of essentials. I am talking about those of you who may not have a building and are using the living room or den in your home to conduct service. I am talking to those of you who are meeting in hotel banquet rooms to conduct service. For those of you (us) who are in storefront buildings, warehouses , vacant restaurants, etc., this is for you. And also for those with no musicians, no instruments, no praise team, no padded pews or his/her deluxe restrooms, this is for you. For those of you with 5 members, 10, or even 100, this is for you, too. Consider how Jesus started His earthly ministry. He began in a barn, laid in a feeding trough for goats and sheep. He had burlap cloth as a covering; no fine linen ministry robes. His congregation began with a doting mother, a weary father, and dirty shepherds. He didn’t have a choir or praise team, so the angels sung. He didn’t have an armor bearer or a covering, God, the Father raised Him up through the Holy Ghost. He didn’t have a degree from seminary, Holy Spirit taught Him (His human nature). He didn’t even have a band of intercessors, they fell asleep on the job. His congregation grew from 2 to 12 in 3 LONG years. He then had 70, 500, and ultimately the multitudes but then most of them abandoned Him in time of distress. I won’t even mention His ministry staff, namely Judas, who betrayed him to the enemy. I know we are living in modern times, but the fact remains the same. If God, the Father has announced your ministry and only a few have the ear to respond to it, that has no bearing whatsoever on the potential impact you have been given to rock the world. There is just as much power of God in your living room, the den, the basement, the hotel, the storefront, the cathedral, the backyard, and the restaurant as there is anywhere else. The power and anointing of God is not limited by number. In fact, if only 2 wholly yield themselves to Holy Spirit, they are more effective in ministry than 10,000. From this day forward, don’t you dare look down on the work God has called you to because of the number. Jesus took 12 and turned the world upside down and He said you shall do even greater. If God has blessed you to minister to the masses, God bless you, but even you don’t have the right to look down on your neighboring church with 20 members. Those 20 may not have the financial backing to push the ministry like yours, but with the providential power of God on their side, they can move mountains and they don’t need a board meeting to do so.
“The greater your suffering, the greater your anointing. The greater your anointing, the greater works the Lord Jesus can manifest through you. The greater the works manifested through you, the more of God’s glory being revealed through you. The greater of God’s glory being revealed through you, the more threat you are to the enemy’s camp. The greater threat you are to the enemy’s camp, the more the Lord of Hosts wars for you. The more the Lord wars for you, the greater peace you will have. The greater the peace, the stronger the relationship with God. The stronger your relationship with God, the more you worship.”
If the enemy comes to distract you from doing a work God called you to do, realize that the distraction is not so much an attack against you, but against the Lord God Himself. During times like these all you need to do is keep building and keep pressing because if it is God’s work you are engaged in, He will come and fight against those who fight against you. Don’t take it personal, it’s strictly spiritual and when you react in the flesh, which is what the enemy wants, you take God’s place in the battle. Remove your hand from it immediately and let the Lord handle His business. This is not witchcraft, it’s warcraft!! Major difference! Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. – Psalm 35:1 “
It takes discipline to be obedient to the voice of Almighty God. This flesh is by nature unruly, rebellious and greedy. We have eyes that are never full of seeing. We have ears that never full of hearing. We have mouths that never stop talking. And we have hands that are always touching. The Spirit of God is imperative for every believer to define the voice of God AND respond in obedience to His voice. As leaders, we cannot successfully complete this spiritual journey on earth in the absence of Holy Spirit. We may get away with certain things and may get around certain things, but the time will come when we will have to face the solemn truth that we need the Hand of the Lord upon our lives to be effective in ministry. Having said that, the time is coming when people of fire are going to look for people of fire. The people of God are hungry for truth and are tired of boring, dry sermons with no practicality. People don’t just want information, they want revelation. They don’t want a rehearsed, stale song of praise that repeats the vamp over and over again. They want a refreshing song of the Lord. They want to be healed, delivered, and set free. They don’t want to return home the same way. They want to experience the God of the Bible. Leaders, it is imperative that you seek to be filled with Holy Spirit. You only receive a measure of Him at salvation, but we must seek Him and tarry in prayer for Him. We need the power of God resident and evident in our lives. Jesus breathed on the apostles and they received the Holy Ghost in a measure. But He told them to wait until they were endued or filled with the Power of God. The Lord has already breathed on you but He wants to breathe through you to the point that your tongue is set on fire for Him. We owe it to the people we have been called to serve to be FILLED WITH HOLY SPIRIT.
There is a global epidemic of prayer-less churches. Everyone shows up for prophetic presbytery or Sunday service, but why is there such a small crowd of gatherers on nights and times of intercessory prayer? Prayer is not just for the deep, spiritual folk, prayer is a commandment for every believer. And truth be told, for many believers, they only times they do engage in prayer is in church. The prayer altars at home have been desecrated and replaced with video games and Netflix! Where are the praying saints? What makes you think God is anxious to release a fresh and fire burning prophetic word to you and you don’t possess the stamina in prayer to birth it through? We have not prayer-conditioned our spirits to receive the Word of God when it is released and we wonder why the promises of God are not being manifested in our lives. We have found time for everything and everybody else but the God we claim to love, worship and adore can’t get 15 minutes of private communication with us. That’s a shame but we want to preach, we love the mic, we love to sing, and we love to be seen and we want the anointing to do everything there is but there is no prayer altar burning in our hearts. The prayer chambers are empty. VACANT signs in big, bold, red letters proclaim our lack and failure to occupy the rooms of prayer. God help us.