7/11/17 Properly Responding
“Would anyone in the body of Christ miss what you’re doing if you stopped doing it? Would they feel the absence of your input in their lives? Would there be a spiritual void because the wealth you give them is no longer available to them? If there is no void, what are you really doing to advance the Kingdom of God? Maybe you need to make some modifications to your life, so that you are properly responding to what Jesus has done for you on the cross.”
2 Cor. 1:8-10 NIV
8) We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.
9) Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
10) He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us…
The following is a message of encouragement to the many ministers and missionaries on our mailing list, those in foreign countries and those here at home. It is a minister to minister encouragement. It is for the many who continue to ask us why they have no help to continue what they are called to do, when they believe that they are in the perfect will of God for their lives and are seeing much spiritual fruit from their efforts.
First of all, I believe that the above word is not for you. It is for those cold of heart that have ceased to hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to His church.
Having been in full time ministry for many years, Merry and I know of those times everyone in ministry encounters, when it seems as if no one would care if you stopped ministry and got a job at McDonald’s. We know of your pain as you pour everything you have into others who seem to only care about themselves, when you go without even the basic necessities or the tools to continue on as others consume God’s money, time, and commitment upon themselves.
Today, Father God has asked me to encourage you. You need to know that a spirit of stupor - a dullness and inability to respond to the heart of God - has been placed within the church by the enemy. People cannot hear your pleas, nor can they comprehend your need. Most, who feel that everything is right between them and God because they have much, have been so distracted by the riches of the world, the fear of personal loss, or the desire for personal gain that the work of furthering the Kingdom of God falls somewhere behind that new car, that piece of jewelry, that bigger house, or maintaining the lifestyle they have created. They only give crumbs from their banquet tables to His work and believe that they are doing enough. If they can’t help, they don’t even see a need to pray for those on the front lines of God’s work. You are not doing something that is causing the lack of provision, they are. God will deal with them in His time.
God, however, knows your need. He asks you to keep pouring into those to whom He calls you. He asks you to continue to care when it seems as if no one cares back. He is your source. He is your provider. He is your advocate when you can find no one that cares for you and your work.
Today, you must forgive those who cannot see. Forgive those who cannot hear. Today, you take up your cross and follow Jesus. Today, you be an advocate for others who are responding to God’s call. Do not give up. Do not despair. He is for you. He sees your need. He hears your plea and will respond. You are very valuable to Him.
You must not be discouraged by the hardened hearts of those who should know better. Many need you to continue. Many need what you have. Serve them with the heart of Jesus. Do not look for response or gratitude from those who cannot see the importance of your work. Your Lord is pleased with you. He will take care of you and meet your needs.
Those of us who hear Your call will go on by Your power, Lord,