Tuesday, December 05, 2006

No Longer Will I Vindicate My Anointing

I’ve heard and read so much about the trials of leaders in this season, and I’d like to add some personal commentary. Leaders are under attack! When I say “leaders”, I’m referring to Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists and anyone else operating in a leadership, ministry role. For weeks, I have heard from so many who are being “challenged” by the very ones that should be walking with them. My own Pastor has dealt with the situation, and I’ve found myself challenged as well. So, I’ve been in prayer. Not only about the situation as a whole, but about my personal experience in the matter.

Now, I have to be very honest and transparent in this post. If I can be real, let me just say this is not a word of prophecy, necessarily, but more or less a venting session and testimony wrapped into one! J

For quite some time, I’ve fought the opinions and comments of others about what I was or was not capable of in God. Unfortunately, I allowed it to stop me. I found myself walking as a fireball in God when the “doubters” weren’t around, yet shutting up and becoming exactly what they said I was in their presence – weak, insecure and spineless. Yet, something snapped in me this weekend, and I found myself just wanting to be used more and more of God, not caring about what is said or perceived by others, but feeling completely comfortable in the assignment God has given me.

My Father and I had some conversations this past week, and I feel brand new. He’s showing me how to be confident in Him, yet humble at same time. Godly confidence does not have to be compromised in order for meekness to remain. Hallelujah! During the weekend, God showed me that some tests would come. My very integrity, my calling and my assignment have been questioned, but I am finally convinced in my mind that though I may make mistakes, I am fully persuaded of who I am in God. I am 100% sure that my Father speaks to me and directs me in ministry. I know how I can please Him, and I understand what He speaks to me by way of instruction. No longer do I feel like I have something to prove. No longer do I feel intimidated. No longer am I discouraged by lying tongues that claim they’ve heard from God. Yes, I am fully persuaded, and know that my Daddy has my back.

Just like Paul, so many of us are being pushed in a corner, feeling that we always have to “prove” where God has called us to be. Paul felt threatened by the people’s knowledge of his past. Some of us feel threatened by our demeanor, our emotions, or lifestyles, or anything else that opposition can use to make it seem that we’re in error. Too many people are attacking personalities and saying the person is not of God. May I just say that God doesn’t need every Pastor’s personality to be the same or every Evangelist’s personality to be the same? Can we stop attacking personal attributes, making it sound as if God has spoken against the diversity He gave us? I’m not even talking about sin here. I have literally heard people say that a person is too nice to be a Pastor, too stubborn to be a Prophet, too talkative to be an Evangelist, etc. It’s not biblical. God chooses whom He will use. Sometimes personality adjustments are made, but God doesn’t call whom He doesn’t equip. If God called YOU to be a Pastor, then be a Pastor as only YOU can!

The Lord spoke something that I must share – He said that now is the season to cleave or leave! Yes, if anyone is not able to serve the leadership they have been called to serve under or walk with, it is important to leave. Leaving is better than being found in disobedience. Even if we cannot trust the God in those we walk with and work beside in ministry, there is a problem. The enemy is lying back laughing as we slaughter and discourage one another. We’re fighting the wrong battle. If you don’t feel you’re on a winning team, don’t cause the team to be defeated by sowing seeds of discord and division. Just leave and join one you believe in – it’s just that simple!

Now, back to Paul…

1 Cor 9:1 AM I not an apostle (a special messenger)? Am I not free (unrestrained and exempt from any obligation)? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you [yourselves] not [the product and proof of] my workmanship in the Lord?
1 Cor 9:2 Even if I am not considered an apostle (a special messenger) by others, at least I am one to you; for you are the seal (the certificate, the living evidence) of my apostleship in the Lord [confirming and authenticating it].
1 Cor 9:3 This is my [real ground of] defense (my vindication of myself) to those who would put me on trial {and} cross-examine me.

Gal 6:17 From now on let no person trouble me [by making it necessary for me to vindicate my apostolic authority and the divine truth of my Gospel], for I bear on my body the [brand] marks of the Lord Jesus [the wounds, scars, and other outward evidence of persecutions--these testify to His ownership of me]!

Paul became confident, after some time, in His ministry assignment and directly confronted those who doubted his calling and ministry. Not only that, but he provided the “proof” of what God called him to do. I am always amazed at how the very ones you feed are the ones who turn on you. The people’s lives and conversions alone were proof of the apostolic authority Paul had, yet he had to remind them of this. Finally, Paul said he would no longer be challenged or forced to vindicate who he is in God. His very testimony did that for him. Even in another passage, Paul admitted to his errors, but stressed that his current focus is on target. He said:

Phil 3:12 Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) {and} make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me {and} made me His own.
Phil 3:13 I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured {and} made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
Phil 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

No, he had not done everything right, but he had a goal to accomplish – a calling to fulfill. He pressed, as God called him, to complete the assignment on his life.

Last week, I learned that one of my mistakes is that I hide my testimony. I don’t allow people to see the deposit that God has made in me. I keep my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself. Don’t get me wrong. The focus is not on getting the approval of man. However, they need to know that I am a prophet of God, that His word will not be missed. It has nothing to do with Joy, but because of the assignment that’s on my life, people need to know that I am sent, especially those who walk with me.

My Pastor has expressed some pains over the last few months, and I want to publicly say that I understand. I understand, because I’m going through the EXACT SAME THING, though it may be on a slightly different level. Not only do I understand, but God has shown me many ways in which I’ve contributed (in my Pastors’ case). One of those ways is by not walking in the boldness He has called me to. My Pastors, in their support of what God has said, seem ignorant when I don’t walk as I have been called. My disobedience causes their integrity to be challenged. Hmmm…

I know I'm not the only one being challenged. Nor am I the only one causing a leader to be challenged. If you can relate, be encouraged. We’ve all heard about false humility. It is still lurking. I’m excited to be breaking free!

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