There are some “words” God gives me that are for a specific person, but the principles are worth sharing.
While praying for someone in parish ministry not long ago, God gave me a word for them, but I think it is worth sharing.
The “word” came in the form of a picture. In the picture I was watching a TV programme I like to watch in real life, namely “Dragons’ Den.” You have probably seen it, but in case you have not, the format is roughly this: hopeful entrepreneurs present their ideas to a panel of wealthy and successful business people and investors, in the hope of securing funding from them as well as the benefit fo their established expertise in the development of their proposed venture. Of course there are questions, as the Dragons try and tease out details, to see if any given presentation is as it appears.
What came to mind in the Lord’s presence as I thought of one particular minister is a comment I heard a Dragon make in one episode of the programme. She simply said, “No, I cannot invest in this. I have worked far too hard to get where I have got to, to throw away money on this. It is not for me. I wish you well, but sorry, I’m out. I will not be investing in this.”
I felt this was true spiritually for the particular parish minister I was praying for at the time. There are few I admire more. He has consistently sought the Lord and I have seen him grow in the Lord and in effectiveness over the years. It has cost much, and I know therefore it will have inevitably cost his wife and family dearly as well. Growing in the Lord and having a ministry that is fruitful in terms of the Kingdom of God, always does. He is humble and would be surprised to know he is one of my heroes. I know the Word of the Lord for him is that he must not throw away what he has gained in God on the suggested schemes and ventures of those within church circles, local or national, who are sincere but have not sought God in their thinking, planning and in their proposals and suggestions that they would place upon others.
It is surprisingly common to find that many of those entrusted with positions of leadership in the church come along to leadership meetings, whatever these gatherings may be called , with good ideas; good ideas with no God content, birthed in human reckoning, rather than in a lifestyle of seeking God for the revelation of His will, for the ability to hear from heaven. Most congregations in Scotland are dying not because of sin or evil, but because of the following of sincere and good ideas. The ideas make sense, but have no flavour of awareness of the Living God and have not been birthed in humble prayer, in fact sometimes have not been prayed about at all. The result is that in Scotland there is a prevalence of a form of godliness without power.
Make sure that you do not throw away all that God has invested in you, and all that you have invested in seeking His presence in you and through you, into the proposed venture of human beings who think like any non redeemed human beings can think. Even if it means an eruption of human fury and wrath, stand for what God can do, stand for His wonderful deeds. In Scotland at least it is a while since we have seen what God can do when He steps down from heaven. Though there are good things happening at this moment, there are greater things in our history and our heritage. From time to time the Israelites found themselves beginning to ask, “Where are the wonderful deeds of the Lord, our fathers told us about, when the Lord brought us out of Egypt.” From time to time I read of the wonderful things God has done in Scotland’s history in days of revival in the distant past and more recently in the last few decades, and I ask a similar question, with a mixture of distress and faith and hope.
These are not days hospitable to Revival , or even to talk of Revival as a real event, in Scotland. I think Revival is further away than it was a few years ago. There is a depressing interest in examining our own navel in church circles at the moment, a looking at all we are doing wrong, and coming out of such an examination with another scheme for reorientation that will guarantee we become an effective church. In the face of such pressures, maybe you are one whom God is challenging to sit light to all such talk, to invest your time, your prayers your efforts into something more true to you and more true to the God of the bible you have come to know, at the cost of a few scars to you and even, harder to bear, to your own family. Talk is cheap. Your journey has not been… hold fast to what is good.
God bless you