by Ron & Barbara McGatlin | email@example.com | Basileia Publishing, 107A W. Independence Blvd., Mt. Airy, NC 27030 USA, Phone: (336)786-9588
The return of the apostolic ministry coming forth today in the church, and the return of the prophetic over the past few years, has indeed changed and is changing the church. Re-defining the role of leaders is a major change as we see the 5-fold ministry model being restored. The church in general needs to understand the true gift of pastor and the church wide perversion of the term and office.
Perhaps it is time for teaching regarding the offices and their place in the body, such as the teaching by Pastor Jim Wies called, "Pastoring - A New Mindset". This is worth reading: http://www.cornerstonemin.org/archives/article101.htm
One hindrance to the coming forth of the prophetic in past years and the apostolic today is that many people including the apostles and prophets themselves do not understand the area of rule and its limitations their gifts and offices poses. So we have ministries that are reluctant to receive the apostolic and prophetic ministry and we have apostles and prophets who think their gift sets them up over any and all ministries or ministers they come into contact with.
The thing that fixes it all is the love of God coming forth with the gifts. Love gives the ability to receive and makes room for mistakes etc. Love also will cause the apostle or prophet to function in such an orderly fashion that they will not assume authority where it is not given and will seek to fit in with what God is doing and work with the flow of the Spirit in any given situation. To prevent disorder we must seek to know the love of God and to daily take up our crosses and follow Him in laying down our own lives and agendas before the One whom we serve. Power is not without humility when love prevails. It is sad that some with gifting are still without the humility of love that will allow them to function with the flow of what God is doing in various ministries and with various ministers.
The day of the lone ranger is really over. There must be connection and there will not be connection without humility generated by the love of God flowing in and through us in daily situations. It really does not matter how right we are and how good a word we have from God, if we do not have the relationships in which to bring it forth. Those who will use their gift and connect and flow with others even when all is not yet perfect will be used of God. Others who feel their message is supreme and they have the right to put it out anywhere and anytime they believe is best, will work alone and will not produce the change in the Body of Christ that God desires.
If one thinks himself a leader of men and turns and looks behind him and no one is following, he is deceived. He is not leading, he is just out for a walk by himself. Those who can come to the place of healing in their own lives and take up their crosses can walk in humility and can become true leaders whom many will desire to follow.
The really sad thing to me is that when we are the ones who do not fit in, and think we must do our own thing, it always seems to us that the other people just will not receive the word of God in us and are therefore the fault of the situation. We can then excuse ourselves for not having died to self, and for not walking in humility and true love of Christ. I speak this from many years of experience of believing the other people were always wrong in not receiving me. I could not see that I was much like a bull in a china shop, attempting to do the work of God without establishing relationships of love and without having the true humility to love the people and continue to seek to relate to them. I have found that there is something good from God in every believer and that I will miss it unless I can humble myself and be connected with them in Christ. We must learn of Christ how to be yoked to Him and move only as He moves, and do as He does, and allow Him to pull the heavy load.
Timing is all important when God gives us a word or a ministry. Early in my experience with God I thought because I heard something now that I was supposed to minister it now. I have learned that hearing the word is the first part --- hearing what to do with it is the next part. How is it to be ministered? Is it for teaching, prophesying, preaching, or whatever. When is it for? Is it for this moment or for teaching, or preaching, or prophesying, in the opportune time such as a ministry service? Who is it for? Is it for one person, one group, one church, the church in general, or what?
Prov 25:11: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.
Isa 50:4: "The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.
Prov 15:23: A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
1 Cor 14:32-33: And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
Jesus reserved the hostile words and works for the Pharisees who had no part with Him. They were willing to accept Jesus as a prophet or teacher but never received Him as the Son of God. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy. (Rev 19:10) Jesus will do today as he did in the first century. He will bring a hostile word and kick over the tables of the crooked religious Pharisees and the religious perversions they have set up.
But, never did Jesus, nor will He now, bring hostile words against those who are seeking Him and may yet be immature in their walk with Him. Neither will He withdraw himself from those who are seeking to follow Him and learning to love Him. As the Son of God did in His natural body, so will He do now in His universal Body. He humbled himself and give His life on the cross. He has instructed us to take up our cross and follow Him.
Jesus will indeed confront our sin and give us heavenly instruction in how to walk in the Kingdom of Heaven way, now. But even God Himself waits for man to open his heart to Him and to invite Him to flow the river of His life and Word by His Spirit. As faithful servants and carriers of the Anointing of the anointed One within us, we must patiently wait for the opportune time to pour into the lives of others.
At the local church I attend, we had an incident of immature understanding of these things take place Sunday morning at the close of the pre-service prayer. The pre-service prayer is a time for getting hold of God and getting ourselves into His presence in preparation of the services to follow. Often God releases words and visions to be ministered to the whole body in the services to follow and sometime even messages or teaching to be brought at a later date. It is not the time for major release of ministry to the group that is praying. Although of course there are exceptions to that. I still remember an occasion in the past when at the close of pre-service prayer one person humbly asked the Pastor if she could deliver a word to him. He not only received it but asked her to repeat it to the Body in the service later.
This past Sunday the pre-service prayer was very good and had gone a bit overtime. After people had gotten up and some were out the door headed for their classes, a called and gifted man who had attended only twice before and calls himself an apostle called everyone back into the prayer room (all except one who was already out of sight) and told them to set at a certain table. Those that were still seated at another table were told to get up and come to the one table. He did not think it needful to ask the Pastor about bringing the word or ministry at this time but fully took charge of the situation. Pastor was still standing as the man began by telling us that he was called years ago, went to college, turned his back on God, and then returned to ministry etc, instead of starting with the word from God. At this point, he told Pastor to sit down. Pastor told him that it would be alright to continue this ministry later. but that right now he had to teach a class and the others needed to go as well.
Well, we never got to hear the word or ministry that probably could have been brought to the whole body at the opportune time. I suspect the word or ministry would have been very beneficial, but was so out of time and out of order that it could not be heard at the time. I am concerned that the immature "apostle" (not immature in years, 40+) feels that the church leadership was out of tune and rejected the ministry he offered. I am also concerned that he does not seem to understand the need for connection and flowing together with the authority that God has given in a specific church or ministry.
It was a good thing for this to have happened because it brings things into the open that can and must be dealt with for the church to continue to grow spiritually into the vital living organism that God desires. Please join me in prayer for the young "apostle" ( again not so young in years) and those like him. It is very important that they get connected and give up the "lone ranger" mentality that has plagued the prophets and ministers over the past charismatic renewal years. This is a new day---one in which God is working in relationships and true spiritual authority. Power and gifting must flow through men and women with godly character qualities of true humility and love that brings connections in the body and not isolation.
This Pastor truly has a pure heart and desires the gifts to flow in his church and ministry and is gaining spiritual discernment beyond what he has had. I believe he made a good decision in this matter and opened his heart to the immature "apostle" afterwards in a meeting with the elders and myself. I was disappointed that the "apostle" could not humble himself and continued to assert that he was right and everyone else missed God.
In these developing times of reformation it is important that we remember to pray for our leaders including those that are now developing. This time of reformation and change is not familiar to any of us. As we sail in unchartered waters we must remain closely connected to the One who made the seas. And since we individually have only a part of the light of God, and none of us individually have all the light of God, we must be connected to our brothers and sisters who may have a portion we need. ~ Ron & Barbara McGatlin
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