Our Father, which is in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread,and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others their trespasses against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the Kingdom.
This part of the prayer acknowledges God's exclusive responsibility for building His Kingdom. Yehoshua said that He will build His Church, and the gates of Hell shall not stand against it.
I have a friend who had a dream that she was trying to build a box, but the sides kept falling down. Then Yehoshua came along, took over, and built the box without any problem while she held up the sides for Him. Afterwards, she asked why she could not build the box. He told her that she could not do it because it was not her job; all she was supposed to do is hold up the sides and let Him do the building.
I think that this indicates that we should be holding others up in prayer while God does His work on them. We can uphold our brethren in other ways, too, but we should not try to put them together the way we think they should be. Yehoshua has their blueprints and He knows the right way to go about it. It is His Kingdom, not our kingdom that is being built.
We need to keep it in mind that it is all about God's Kingdom, and not our ministry. If people go to someone else's meetings, and they are getting the good Word of God there, be happy for them that they found a fertile place to grow. Don't envy the other leader for the people that are attracted to their ministry, and how others are supporting it with their money and talents and prayers.
Envy blocks the flow of God's blessing towards us. Let's rejoice over what God is doing through other people's ministries. It might even be a good idea to give some money to the other person's ministry in thanksgiving to God for what He is doing there and to keep it going strong.
Control issues block the expansion of God's Kingdom. A friend told me about a church that she attended. She had been taking a course outside of that church, learning to operate in spiritual gifts, and a greater anointing had been released upon her spiritual gifts. The pastor of the church, though, wanted to hog the spotlight. She was jealous of how people were getting blessed when my friend prayed for them. She told her to stop doing it.
I was astounded that a pastor would let their personal ambitions interfere with people getting what they needed, no matter who the person was who was ministering. I don't think she had anything personal against my friend; it seemed to just be a matter of her wanting to get all the glory, and being able to maintain control.
A number of years went by and I learned some things about how that pastor had been conducting her life at that time and afterwards. She had very serious issues, which included being involved in an adulterous relationship, and with a extremely dangerous man. She ended up divorcing her husband and marrying that man, though he had confessed to her that he had committed murder. He was a very handsome guy, though, and a lot younger than her. He possibly married her so that she could not testify against him. His freedom depended on remaining married to her. Oooh, boy! No wonder she interfered with my friend exercising her spiritual gifts. She was in the ministry for herself. It was not part of her agenda to help people grow in their gifts and be raised up to leadership roles. She had a huge need for people to be dependent on her.
Most pastors don't have issues as big as hers, but a ministry is not healthy if it is not actively doing something about equipping others for ministry and leadership. There is a lot of work to do, and the more people get raised up to go out and make disciples for Yehoshua, and the sooner we will get the work all done and can go Home.
I was a Christian for many years, but did not seem to be making much headway in my church in regards to developing my highest spiritual gifts and having opportunity to exercise them. I scored relatively low in Helps, but that was the main area where my pastors seemed to want me to operate, and they were like that with a lot of other people, too.
They had no problem with me working in the clothing room, tidying up around the church, helping in the kitchen, arranging flowers, decorating, participating in plays, praising God in dance, and making cappucinos. I have to admit, most of that was quite a lot of fun, not what I would consider a sacrifice.
When it came to giving forth a word of prophecy, though, they had issues. There was not much in the way of spontaneity and trusting the Holy Ghost. In another church I attended, I had given forth words from the Lord line by line, as they were given to me. It was kind of scary to have to trust the Lord for one line at a time, but it was okay. It helped me grow in trust towards the Lord.
In the church that I attended at a later date, the leaders required that people tell an elder ahead of time what they felt the Lord wanted them to say, and the elder judged if they thought it was appropriate; if so, they received permission to speak it to the congregation.
Heaven help you if you said more than what you had told the elder you were going to say. One time when I prophesied, the Lord gave me something more to say. Immediately afterwards, I felt a huge weight come upon my spirit. I wondered what that meant and I talked to the assistant pastor afterwards.
He took me to task for saying more than what I had told the elder I was going to say. It was his opinion that the extra word was not from the Lord, though it was in line with what the Bible teaches. He did not have any issue with the content. He was just really annoyed that I went beyond what I had told the elder I was going to say. I guess that was why I felt a spirit of condemnation as soon as I had delivered it.
As he was talking to me, a couple of women walked by, and one of them told me how much it had blessed her what I had shared at the end of the message. They had not heard what we were talking about. The pastor instantly made an about face and said with a big smile, "You see there, it was of the Lord!" as if that was what he had been saying to me all along. I concluded that the pastors were out of God's order, in regards to how they handled that part of the service.
The Bible says that the prophets are supposed to judge words of prophecy, and it appears that there was an expectation of prophecies coming forth spontaneously. I recall that one of those elders who judged prophecies didn't seem to be much gifted in that area himself. I can't recall him exercising the gift of prophecy, not even when I regularly attended his home meetings. He may have prophesied sometimes in church, but if he did, it wasn't often.
It amazed me that he was made an elder in the church only two years after his conversion. He seemed like a nice guy and had an engaging, extroverted personality, but I suspected that he was made an elder and allowed to speak in the pulpit because he was a successful businessman. After his divorce, without me having said anything negative about him to his ex–wife, she bitterly remarked that the only reason he had been made an elder, and why the church was standing behind him in regards to their divorce, was because he had a lot of money.
This is not how to build the Kingdom of God. This is how one gets improvements done on a church building and gets salaries paid, and builds up their own little kingdom. The Bible says that all things are to be done decently and in order. Decently means that elders are appointed on the basis of their character, not their bank roll. In order means in God's order, letting Him have the control, not according to a bureaucratic system that leaders have set up, so that they can keep things under their control.
A lot of churches don't let God have the control. They have their order of service, and they want to get finished on time. An order of service I am familiar with is to start off with some lively songs for half an hour, then some slow, worship songs to get everyone calmed down and agreeable to taking their seats. Then the anouncements are made. After that, the offering is taken. Next is the sermon, then another song while people come forward for prayer.
God can work in that, and He does, but what would happen if one day, God wanted everybody to just keep on singing those fast songs until noon? Or if, without any advance warning, He wanted everyone to just kneel and pray during the whole service? Or if someone stood up and prophesied and then have everyone come to the altar for ministry?
What if God wanted this to go on all day, and for the people coming in to the next service to join in? What if the people were supposed to move into other rooms in the church and out to the parking lot to accommodate everybody?
What if this resulted in people from the neighbourhood swarming to the church to find out what was going on there, and they got saved by the hundreds? Sounds like a logistical mess, doesn't it? How many pastors, for the sake of God's Kingdom, are open to God vetoing their agenda and making a mess of their schedule?
John the Baptist was a mighty preacher and he had a large following, but when his cousin Yehoshua showed up one day, and he saw the Holy Spirit descending on Him like a dove, John suddenly realized why his cousin was such an extraordinarily godly man; He was the Messiah! After he realized this, he said, "He must increase, but I must decrease."
We all need to keep in mind that the whole show belongs to God. He is the Architect, He has the blueprints, and He also is the Project Manager. Let's just get our orders from Him and go do our jobs, instead of being jealous of the jobs He wants to give to others, and preventing them from doing what they are supposed to do, or ignoring Him about how things should be done. In God's Kingdom, a person becomes great by helping to make others great.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
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Copyright © 2010, Lanny Townsend
Page modified by Lanny Townsend on June 17, 2010
Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.