The Believer’s Battle With Abortion

Beloved Fellow Young Minister,

There has been such an uproar of political heat and moral decay in these last days. The adversary and the kingdom of darkness are becoming more manifested in their agenda and sin is more outspoken. The world system is becoming more vocal about calling good evil and evil good. Our generation wrestles with the onslaught of not only the natural battles that occur as a result of these last days, but we wrestle with the spiritual battles, as well. So much of what happens in the natural realm is a product of the spiritual realm acting behind it. Even so, the Bible makes it very clear that the invisible things are understood by the visible things (Romans 1:20). For example, a seed and how it grows into a tree, relates to how the Word of God manifests itself in a person’s life (1 Peter 1:23). Similarly, critters like frogs and parasites give us insight to how devils operate (Revelations 16:13-14).

In confidence and vulnerability, I am trusting you with what I am about to speak of. But I have wrestled with the fact that my hands may be just as bloody. That is, abortion occurs in the Church.

I believe abortion has manifested itself in such an awry manner, because it has already passed a certain threshold in the spiritual realm, where the same sin is committed. What do I mean? I believe abortion is not only a natural sin, but a spiritual sin. I write to you with a heavy heart today, because as easy as it may be to be angry with the uprising of natural abortion, I believe we must be just as angry, if not more, with the sin of spiritual abortion. I am urged in my heart to not only become like Jesus in loving what He loves; but, to also hate what He hates.

Millions of living babies have been aborted, having their lives prematurely taken, for centuries now. For the sake of this heartfelt letter, I will define abortion as that exactly, selfishly taking the life of a baby, for reasons of convenience, while it is in the womb. While this is a sin that is propagated by the spirit of the antichrist and is indicative of the fact that lawlessness shall abound in these last days (Matthew 24:12), I believe it is just as urgent that we ought to make a case for not just natural babies, but spiritual babies, too.

Because, I too, have participated in the sin of abortion. My guilt places me in the same position that many of these mothers and fathers have entered. My heart and soul grieves for them. The Scriptures are very plain that perilous times shall come in the last days; and sins that manifest themselves in the world naturally, can exist in the Church spiritually. So how have I participated in this sin? I trust you to pray for me in this regard, as I will for you, too. I have had times where I deterred the development of spiritual babies, that were yet in the womb, because taking care of them was an inconvenience to me. To be more clear, I have refused to want to nurture an unborn believer, through the love of Jesus, because I did not make time for them or believe in God’s purpose and plan for their life.

How can I make such a grave statement? Is this really my heart? Are those deeds a true representation of my faith? I pray they aren’t. I know the Scriptures say that “the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). It must be guarded (Proverbs 4:23). I do not want to vehemently speak against natural abortion, turning a blind eye on the sin of spiritual abortion.

I confess that I have had times where I lived in a lack of involvement, urgency, commitment, and burden for the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, wanting babies to come out of a womb, or be “baptized by water and/or Spirit”, to then carry on my own agenda of not having to take care of them – or should I say, not care about their discipleship. I hope you hear my heart. We have been exposed to a time where demonic spirits have tried to tempt the Church to participate in spiritual reproduction, but then introduce to us the option of aborting the babies, so that they never fully develop to what God wants them to become. These spirits appeal to the convenience that our flesh seeks after, telling us that we ought to just be “concerned with our own lives, figure ourselves out, or that we are not equipped to train up a child”. The temptation is consistent, naturally and spiritually. Though it may not be widely published, millions of women bear the shame of having committed natural abortion. Many even do it with sincerity, but their flesh secretly authored it’s own self-preservation. I believe the same can be said of believers who commit spiritual abortion. They may have even lived their own religious lives, with sincerity of heart, but were really authoring the preservation of their own flesh.

What are the consequences? We end up with spiritual babies that may come out of the womb, but never live out their God-ordained destiny – simply because no one committed to that particular baby and exercised what Jesus exercised, MAKING DISCIPLES.

It takes a lot of work to nurture a baby. Sleepless nights. Time. Money. Sacrifice. Much training. Much more repetition. And most of all, vulnerability and learning from mistakes. The spirit of this age is appealing to the self-seeking flesh of men and women in this generation to commit natural abortion, all the while also appealing to the self-seeking flesh that the bride of Christ battles everyday, so that the Church would commit spiritual abortion. Are we as committed to the life of spiritual babies as we are to the life of natural babies? I have repented and continue to find more room to repent, concerning the vigor in which I commit to the Great Commission. I want it to consume my life.

While a natural pregnancy lasts around 40 weeks, Jesus dedicated three and a half years to unborn world-changers.

Unborn? Yes. Unborn.

The disciples did not receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, neither were baptized in Jesus name, until AFTER three and a half years of being nurtured IN THE WOMB. Then, receiving the born-again experience on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus did not give up on them even when they abandoned Him in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus still returned to them after He resurrected and they had stopped preaching the gospel. Jesus did not abort these unborn babies. He did not live in such a manner where He considered Himself too busy to invest in others. Jesus did not consider it an inconvenience to vehemently pray for 3 hours in a garden, while His unborn babies fell asleep on Him. Jesus did not consider it a waste of time to invest in disciples who had not received the Holy Spirit or were not baptized in Jesus’s name. Jesus poured into them, whether or not they believed like He did. Jesus did not abandon these unborn babies because they “didn’t have anything to offer Him”. Instead, He gave His life for them, that the plan of God would be fulfilled in their lives.

My friend, I pray we consider the perilous times and guard our hearts from sins that are committed naturally and spiritually. If I am too busy for unborn babies, I am busier than God intended me to be. Please pray for me, as I will pray for you, too. This is the mission that Jesus trusted us, equipped us, empowered us, and prayed for us to live out. Just like the natural representation, spiritual reproduction is not for entertainment, it is a holy communion between Jesus and His bride. All life is sacred, naturally and spiritually. Take a look at the emphasis the Spirit of God is placing on discipleship to the Church all around the globe. God is positioning His Church to spiritually combat the kingdom of darkness. We must make whatever accommodations are necessary to give birth to the unborn babies that come with end-time harvest. If it means to repent, I will repent. If it means to pray 3 hours, I will pray 3 hours. If it means to bear a cross, I will bear a cross. I believe that if we, as the Church, would humble ourselves and pray, seek God’s face, and turn from OUR wicked ways, then God will hear from heaven, forgive OUR sin, and heal OUR LAND (2 Chronicles 7:14). I realized that if we would truly combat the spirit of this age regarding abortion, we would not just pray and vote, we would disciple.

2 Corinthians 10:4-6 King James Version (KJV)
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Reaching Beyond Greatness

Dear Fellow Young Minister,

Recently I’ve been reexamining a question we contemplated a few years ago. The question of “What are we supposed to be?”. At the time, we were tossed between the secular and spiritual and seeking direction through the fog of adolescence. Despite the ambiguity, we were able to hear the consistent, calm but compelling voice of God calling us to be, APOSTOLIC. Hence forth, from every camp meeting, HYC, every young ministers’ session we could attend, we attempted to fashion our lives after what it took to be “apostolic”. Shockingly, in recent months, after obtaining a portion of what we’ve sought. I find myself unsatisfied with what I have. Nothing brings us to a place of self-evaluation than when we reached for our dreams and only awaken to a sad reality. This reality put me on a quest to sort out the truths on what it meant to be apostolic. 

 In an altar late at night, finally moving beyond my pompous state of prayer, God was able to move through my brokenness and speak to me. The same voice of God that called me, began to explain the call. I’m beginning to listen not only for the call but for the explanation. His words to me were, “Benjamin, you’ve confused being “apostolic” for being great!”. Taken aback, I restated the comment to myself attempting to internalize it. Realizing I needed more information I asked Him, “What do you mean?” Now, before I get into the answer, I want to get into the misconception of what I, and possibly you’ve defined as “apostolic”.

Thru the camp meetings, and HYC’s, and young minister sessions, we unintentionally were given a perspective that only highlighted the glory of the apostles, but not the fundamentals of an apostolic. It was the lame leaping, Peter preaching on the day of Pentecost, Paul’s garment being used as the item to perform “special miracles”. Though these things were great and show that being apostolic necessitates spiritual demonstration. It only highlighted the results, not giving credence and explanation to the root. Because of this there was a misappropriation of priorities, seeking apostolic results without solidifying apostolic root, I was indelibly going to feel unsatisfied and disappointed.

I mistakenly saw the platform on which the apostles stood on and perceived THAT to be the determining factor for being apostolic. Because I correlated their platform with apostolic success, was there any reason for me not to pursue just that, a platform? Though my platform was not built upon oratorical skills and flashy puppeteering – excuse me, pulpiteering; it contained elements of the gifts of the Spirit and powerful demonstration of God. Though these things weren’t wrong, it seemed to be that the person who got the most attention in these spiritual exploits and aspiration was me, not God. Might I insert that platforms that exploit the work of the Cross are far more displeasing to God than platforms that entertain crowds. I had to realize that the apostles’ platform didn’t make them apostolic, but rather THEY made the platform in which they stood apostolic.

Now back to my answer. It came from considering the first time in which the disciples transitioned from being just disciples, to apostles. The apostles were first called apostles before the book of Acts. This made me look beyond the historic narrative of Acts, forcing me to look within the gospels for an answer. The search led me to Mark 3:13-15. It was here that I was able to realize the process that transitioned the disciples from average to apostolic. Before Jesus ever installed them as apostles, the Bible records that He (Jesus) called them (the disciples) unto Himself. It was here that I found the foundational point for being apostolic. We have to acknowledge that our first call is to Him. They were called to Him, then sent into the field. Their identity was wrapped around relationship and obedience. They were apostolic before the results came. Why? Because their apostolic identity was in direct relation to their relationship and obedience. Jesus called them to Himself. In doing so, He could send them out into the world.

 I looked at their results and gave that as the definition of what it meant to be apostolic. But what made the apostles the apostles was that they could follow Jesus and be obedient to His voice. Imagine if Stephen misconceived his call to be “apostolic” as a call to be “great”? What if his standard of apostolic was ours? Would he still be willing to be obedient to the Holy Ghost and preach a message that would end his ministry? A message that couldn’t be retweeted because there were no “HG’s” or “H2O’s”, but just simple obedience. Our standard of apostolic gives room to preach messages that creates more opportunity. The only motive of Stephen’s message was that he was determined to be submitted to the leading of Jesus. How different would things be if Stephen sought to be great and not apostolic? What would Paul’s journey look like? Stephen understood that he was apostolic because he walked with Jesus and was obedient to His voice.

That night when God readjusted my definition of “apostolic”, it did something for me. I stopped seeking a platform of greatness, rather I sought for His presence. I realized that I felt validated by miracles, signs, and wonders, rather than by my obedience. The relief that followed this change in thinking, was beyond words. I was released from the pressure of performing and was granted access into fellowship with His presence. Friend, my challenge to you is to ask yourself are you attempting to be great or apostolic? If the former is your reality, in love I ask that you let the shackle of production go to grasp the hand seeking relationship, and truly become biblically apostolic.

The Best Friend & Worst Enemy of Growth

Dear Fellow Young Minister,

Remember when you were in your earlier teens and you suddenly started getting this super weird sensation in your lower back? Maybe your hamstrings, too? It’s not a Charlie Horse; we’re not dealing with devils today. But, not everyone gets it at the exact same time during their adolescence. Some, in fact, barely get it at all.

If you haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about growth spurts. You got yours sooner than I got mine. But why are they so uncomfortable? I believe it boils down to the pain that is associated with growth. You’re wiggling in your seat almost all day long trying to get the pain to become comfortable and massage your back and legs when you get a chance, but it just won’t go away. It almost seems as if the thought of, “Woah. I’m actually growing”, is NOWHERE to be found. And why the BACK AND LEGS? The largest muscle groups on the whole body! Couldn’t it have been a little more subtle?

Fortunately, the growth DOES happen in our largest muscle groups aside from others. If it doesn’t, we would look very unusual and maybe like an inverted T-Rex. I would aspire to have ears to hear this sort of illustration in a spiritual context when I think about growth, in the present and future. I’m writing to you today concerning the best friend and worst enemy of growth.

Pain.

I want to challenge you to think of most, if not all, the situations that challenged your faith, patience, expectation, attitude, consistency, and passion. I believe you could identify pain as one of the biggest opposing forces in that process. Whether it was pain on your reputation, pain in your character, pain in your emotions, pain from rejection, physical pain, pain in your ego, pain in your family, or pain in your relationships. Pain.

When I reflect on the times that produced the most illumination from God’s Spirit, it was when the times were darkest. The principle is very simple. Although, I have sadly observed in others’ lives, as well as my own, that the strongest temptations to become stagnant or give up were also in times of much pain. Pain is such a paradoxical force. If it is in the hands of God, it produces a peaceable fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11). But if it is in the hands of the adversary, and EVEN OUR OWN, it produces more pain. Be mindful. I, by no means, am talking about self-inflicted pain. That is a completely other subject and important to address at another time.

The Scriptures speak of the fact that “NO chastening in the present seems to be joyous, but grievous” (Hebrews 12:11). It is also stated that Jesus “learned obedience through the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). There are a myriad of verses that speak of the blessings that come as a result of ENDURING pain. It is because pain is perhaps the greatest teacher in life, after the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, yet fortunately, the best lessons are learned through personal error that is restored. It is a mighty thing, on behalf of God, to be able to make a human being at peace with their previous mistakes, not fearful of the next one, yet instill in them a desire and determination to not do it again.

That is absolutely amazing.

Pain must always be viewed in the context of Jesus Christ. If this is not done, it very easy to feel a sense of victimization. I have fought the torrential onslaught of compromise because of heights of pain in my life. The mental temptation would show itself, “It is easier to give up! Because the PAIN will go away!” This is absolute deception, and we must not allow this thought to be labeled as our own either. On the other hand, I must admit there have been times where I, as a young minister, thought I was embracing a blessing, but it really was a package of pain. By the grace of God, I am grateful that I have fallen flat on my face, because it taught me to become dependent on the Lord again. We are children of God that are, and are becoming. We are whole in Him, and being made whole. Yet, it is crucial to be able to identify between a blessing from the Lord and a “blessing” from the adversary. The Scripture says that “the blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he adds no [pain] with it” (Proverbs 10:22, sorrow in Hebrew is pain). How does this align with the fact that God allows pain in our lives to shape and bless us? Well, I believe pain is even possible, because of the simple fact that we have humanity in our frame. The frailty of our humanity and it’s desire to preserve SELF and flesh, is why we experience it. Our flesh is not supposed to survive the trials that we go through – only the precious fruit of our faith. Consider the fact that we have been called to be ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since freely we have received, therefore, we must freely give. The blessings of God come with no sorrow or pain because we are supposed to be conduits of these blessings, and not containers. Jesus was pained in His flesh, so He could be a healer of those in pain. Could we do the same?

Let us look ahead and not fear. We walk with the one who was bruised and wounded on behalf of us all. In the last days, perilous times will come, but if we submit our pain to our Lord, we will become as He is; wounded healers, made whole in Him, for a broken world.

Hebrews 5:6-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 As He also says in another place:

“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek”;

7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”

The Blessing of Anonymity

Fellow Young Minister,

Remember Jamie, from when we first got into the Church? We’ve talked with him a few times. He’s often digging deep at youth rallies with a puddle of snot and tears at the altar. Nobody knows who he really is, but the guy goes after it. You can tell he’s quite involved with the local church but in terms of being “known-known” – I guess just at youth events. I overheard a conversation that someone had with him, in fact. They asked, “So what do you do?” Jamie proceeded to say how he taught and enjoyed bible studies, helping various ministries on a consistent basis. Very few words, although. Then he was asked by a young man, “By any chance, are you called to preach?” You could tell Jamie was caught off guard, “Well…”. He lightly bobbed his head, “Yeah.”

It was an unusual response. While Jamie was confident, it was evident he was pondering another definition of “preach”. So I invited myself to the conversation, “That’s a rather unique response. What do you mean when you say ‘yeah’?” I lightly bobbed my head to imitate him, but I became very intrigued in what he had to say. Jamie replied, “It’s a lot of ‘under-the-radar’ stuff. Ya know?” My mind immediately jumped to a series on prayer I had attended, where the minister was teaching on the ministry of intercessory prayer. I had such a strong feeling this was what Jamie meant, but he was keeping it to himself. It totally went over the head of the guy who asked as he replied, “Cool! How do you preach?” The question made me want to clobber the face of this moment’s shallow culture, for this young man’s ignorance was plainly revealed.

I tried not to be hostile and retorted, “Anointed. That’s how.” Jamie was surprised, yet relieved I answered on his behalf. But he and I both knew I had never heard him preach. Jamie peacefully excused himself to help out his youth group as everyone was dismissed to the afterburner.

Guess what? I saw Jamie on the flyer for a popular conference I attended. He recognized me and gave such a welcoming greeting. It wasn’t 30 seconds before someone showed up and asked, “Hey Bro. Jamie! You got to preach this conference! How do you feel? How did you get this opportunity?” Jamie chuckled, “God knows. Just do the will of God everyday and stay in your lane.” The answer seemed to satisfy the individual as they dismissed themselves. I quickly grew to appreciate Jamie. He spoke in code, too. But what Jamie said next was very clear to me.
He lightly snorted to me and said, “Want to know the real story?”
“Humor me.”
Jamie proceeded, “I was told my name was brought up a year ago. But when it was mentioned, nobody in the room knew me except the person that submitted it. So, my name was pulled from consideration. And God was answering my prayer.”
“Your prayer?”, I inquired.
“Yeah.” He replied. “I was praying a lot, at the time, to be hid with Christ in God (a Colossians 3:3 reference). It was a blessing for me to have such confirmation that while I was not known among men, I was known by God. Besides, I wasn’t seeking opportunities and preaching isn’t a sport, anyway. I don’t need to convince the coach of my abilities. Jesus has seen me train.” He continued, “Most, if not all, of the heavy-lifting of preaching is done in prayer, anyway.”

Jamie hit the nail on the head. Intercessors go unnoticed many, many times. But without them, there is no Church or move of the Spirit. In like manner, it is more valuable in the kingdom of God to be an effective pray-er, than it is to be a mere preacher. Biblically, preacher means “messenger of divine truth” (Strong’s G2783) and a short study of Acts reveals that the WHOLE gospel was declared to the WHOLE world by the WHOLE Church. Being a preacher in the New Testament was not a status symbol, it was obedience to the Great Commission. Jamie helped shine light on the fact that the ministry of preaching with the ministry of fervent, earnest prayer – that only God knows of – is the objective of Spirit-led ministers. Without biblical prayer, preaching is either dead-weight oratory or sensationalism of speech. Without biblical preaching, prayer is just a river that feeds itself and has no deeds attached to it. In other words, declaring the gospel (preaching) is the release of prayer, while prayer is the reservoir of preaching. These two are New Testament commandments for every believer. One very well-known man of God taught, “When you’ve done all of the praying you ought to, go out there and act on it!” It’s like praying to be a light and talking to nobody that day!

Concerning these areas of supernatural ministry, the blessing of anonymity is that any impure motive is challenged. We will no longer focus on preaching as a ramp for reputation and prayer as a Boy/Girl Scout badge. They are both acts of faithful service for our heavenly King. And He takes good notes of us.

Even Paul sought to preach the gospel in certain regions and churches but the Holy Spirit FORBID him (Acts 16:6, Romans 15) I am not assuming that Paul had impure motives. But what I am saying is that a closed door can secretly be advancement. Paul ended up reaching ALL of Asia Minor later on through teaching in the school of Tyrannus. If we are not careful, we can allow cultural conditioning to make us equate anonymity with ineffectiveness. The kingdoms of light and darkness know who the difference-making young ministers are. The sons of Sceva found that out real quick (Acts 19:11-20).

Whether seen or unseen, let us do the will of God with our whole being!

See you next week, my friend!

Same Gift. Different Administration.

Fellow Young Minister,

Merry Christmas! I hope its going well for you on the road. I hear traveling weekly and preaching can get pretty lonely and presents its unique challenges. People are expecting you to show up with the same results everywhere you go, yet each church you’re with has a large variety of differences that show up. Talk about pressure. We know, its only pressure if we let it become so. But, I remember you mentioned how you felt the people expecting you to preach a certain way, because you are an evangelist; which typically means people are going to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, be baptized in Jesus name, miracles and healings are going to show up. Despite the expectations of the people, you mentioned you went ahead and followed God’s Spirit and there was demonstration of the Spirit and of power. This letter is not about the definition of demonstration, but I’m thankful for how you said that you focused on just “doing the will of God, and staying in your lane”. That really went a long way with me. I decided to look into the office God has appointed for you, from a biblical perspective, and the subject became bigger than I thought it would be. I have other friends called to the same office and became very intrigued, because while the Spirit and gift is the same, the administrations are different (1 Corinthians 12:1-4).

In Acts 8, Philip, biblically-known as an evangelist, went about Samaria preaching to people who had not heard of Jesus, having miracles and deliverance confirm the preaching (Acts 21:8). Likewise, people were being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, but no one was receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We don’t hear of Philip getting frustrated over why none were receiving the Spirit, he simply sends word for Jerusalem to send Peter and John. These two apostles show up and Samaritans receive the Spirit. EVERYONE rejoices.

There are a few things I want to denote before going further. Philip ACKNOWLEDGES that there is still a need not yet met, that another individual is gifted for. In the same manner, when people receive the Spirit after Peter and John show up, we don’t hear of Philip thinking he’s a good-for-nothing evangelist. It doesn’t stop there. An angel speaks to Philip to pack his bags and go to a desert where he finds ONE man, an Ethiopian eunuch. He proceeds to preach Jesus to this man, who reads the Scriptures, and baptizes the man in the middle of the desert. Then, God literally translates Philip to another region, like straight out of the movie “Jumper”. What’s astounding to me is that Philip is fully confident in his office and gifting, whether or not he was ministering to a whole region, one man, people received the Spirit, or people were being baptized. I wonder how many places Philip would be “invited to preach” nowadays, if no one ever received the Spirit where he went. Nevertheless, God would speak to him and Philip would listen. Peter had his place. John had his place. Philip had his place. ALL were effective.

Allow me to take this further. You know who else was gifted as an evangelist? Timothy (2 Timothy 4:5). The Scripture emphasizes that Timothy needed to be intentional about making “full proof” of his ministry. Yet, we discover that Paul had STATIONED Timothy in the region of Ephesus (1 Timothy 1). So how does one make full proof of their ministry, as an evangelist, when you’re stationed? We see here that the office of an evangelist isn’t limited to an “itinerant preacher” that’s invited to church services. Paul fully expected Timothy to appoint elders at Ephesus and still grow as an evangelist. It is for this very reason, I believe that Paul told Timothy to “not neglect the gift” that was within him (1 Timothy 4:14). Biblically, evangelists are individuals that are gifted for bearing the good news to SINNERS, not saints. Many times, we call traveling preachers evangelists, when they really may be operating as an apostle, prophet, pastor, or even teacher. I have witnessed young ministers become frustrated or skeptical of God’s gifting for them because it was not administered in the same manner others administered their gifting. They felt called to be an “evangelist” but never had “preaching opportunities” show up. Consequently, they felt like the bible studies they taught, souls won, and evangelistic equipping done in the local church weren’t good enough for a phone call to preach somewhere else. When in fact, it was the most terrifying thing that young evangelist could do to the kingdom of darkness in their hometown – and more importantly, to glorify the name of Jesus Christ.

Scripture talks about the “same Spirit” distributing “manifestations”, “administrations”, and “ministries” to every individual in the church (1 Corinthians 12). I would apply this principle to the five offices in Ephesians 4, as well. The same office, but a different manifestation or placement. BOTH just as effective. All evangelists are traveling preachers, but not all traveling preachers are evangelists. Whether or not traveling takes place right down the street, you’re traveling towards the destination of a soul’s heart, in order for God to intervene where they are at. I love how the Lord has such diversities of gifts in His body, and ALL MATTER. Paul talks about how the “unseemly” and overlooked ones end up mattering the most (1 Corinthians 12:23). It gave me so much encouragement to find this out, because our Lord really has a part for all of us to contribute through. Likewise, I am grateful and excited to know that I will continue to see God glorified in the manners He is through your life, in the years to come. It may be that you are in the same place Timothy was, in 20 years from now; but, God won’t be done doing marvelous things through you.

I suppose I can end this letter with saying, we’ve all received gifts from Jesus on our spiritual Christmas, and we rejoice that though our administrations may be different, the gift and Spirit is one and the same. Thankful to be partnering with you.

Merry Christmas!

You Mean, Me? Yes, You.

Fellow Young Minister,

I am writing to you because I want to let you know I believe in you as a Kingdom partner in the Lord. I was very confused at times wondering if I was “called” or not. I mean I KNEW I was called, but I didn’t know WHEN I was called – rather, I didn’t know when I was going to step into it. We hear “calling” a lot, don’t we? We’ve been in some powerful services together and separately, where we so strongly FELT that mission from God, to do SOMETHING. Then time after time, saw our friends or peers doing SOMETHING significant in the Lord, and we were in awe. You know, there’s only so many microphones to speak from during a service. I used to get so frustrated in the beginning because I didn’t understand the concept of roles in the Kingdom.

Roles. Not the Texas Roadhouse rolls, but the roles where I do something that is in alignment with God’s mission, and you do something that is in alignment with God’s mission. But, what I am doing doesn’t overturn or obstruct what you’re doing – and vice versa. It’s God’s mission. So when I hear people are receiving the Holy Ghost when our buddies preach, victory is ours too! I’m so thankful! I have been so jealous of wanting to see God glorified in such a manner that I started praying for them because I want to be involved with what’s happening. They wouldn’t mind my prayers showing up, anyway. That’s why they’re our friends. 

And that means you, too. I haven’t “preached” a Sunday service in awhile. In fact, I currently cannot remember the last time I held a microphone. What’s the deal with the microphone anyway? Jesus never used one and “pulpit” only shows up once in the Bible. Not to mention, it is very likely I have become more edified by my Pastor’s intimate leadership, daily prayers, and personal investments with me, than the allotted time of preaching from the pulpit in our church building. Don’t you love our pastors? They’re God’s chosen leaders for us.

You inspire me. You’re faithful unto the Lord and rock solid. That’s much of what we are going to be called anyway, when we get to the other side: “good and faithful servant”. We don’t always think so of ourselves, I know, but He does. It’s probably because we define the “successful” ones as “great and powerful”. The ones we love! I’m not saying we should change that up, really. But we can’t forget the grandest of our Lord’s compliments will be that: “good and faithful”. If you won’t remind yourself of your integrity, I’ll remind you of yours.

You showed up to the youth functions when it didn’t “apply” to you. You know what I mean by that statement. You greeted that young person when it was their first visit to the church service. You took a few moments before the service and reconsidered why you were even there. That tells me you sought to be purposeful in your attendance, whether or not your flesh was screaming at the top of its lungs the whole service. You liked the posts where our peers saw demonstrations of the Spirit and of power, and God used them. You’re about the Kingdom. Jesus told us that that was the first thing we ought to seek. I love your passion. You put on music that helps you focus on God and you’re studying to know God, not to preach. Furthermore, I saw you look at that person when we went out to eat and contemplate how you were going to pray for them or invite them to service. I love you for who you are in God and who God is in you. That’s the kind of heart I pray for, at least. So I’ll speak it over myself, too. You are a minister of integrity. I heard this statement recently, “in worship, we need less industry and more priesthood.” That’s who you are. You’re a royal priest, and a mighty one in my estimation. I discovered biblical might is capacity of strength, while strength is the effort and execution of it. If you don’t believe me, read Strong’s H3581 and compare it with Strong’s H202.

You are so capable. I know it burns inside of you. You can pray prayers that no one else can pray. My my my. I need you and your prayers. Our friends need you and your prayers. The Kingdom needs you and your prayers. You can touch God like nobody else can.

Thanks for taking the time to read my letter. I have one more thing to share. You know I can be long-winded. I found out that Paul asked for prayer from every single church except one. And the problems that local church faced were about doing spiritual things through the flesh and believing in another Jesus (Galatia). I’m so glad to call you my friend, because you’re not looking for excuses to do either. I need that in my life. Golly, we all do. I’ve had some carnal moments and you helped me out. I hope to catch up some time. I had to write you this letter because your words burned in me, from the last time we spoke, like the words of Jesus burned in the hearts of those men on the road to Emmaus. Yeah, just like Jesus that day, we can go unrecognized, too. Yet, those men couldn’t escape the impact of Jesus, and neither can we escape yours. I’m thankful the Lord is using you mightily.

I hope to hang out soon.