There is so much judging in this area. But we need to get past that and please the Lord! If we get saved and frozen because we can't really believe we are forgiven, what good is that? If we say we are too unworthy to serve God, who will serve Him???
But let's say we go on a bit past that and choose to offer what we know we have to God. That also is a blessing, but is it the perfect blessing? Only if it's the perfect gift. God as our Father is touched when we give of our hearts and He will make those gifts count for something. But if we never mature past our way of giving to God's way of giving, we still aren't getting the big picture or getting the job done!
Later we may get excited because we discover that God did give us Spiritual gifts to use, and those gifts have some power. Oh Wow, look at us now! Suddenly it becomes a big competition over the gifts. Our charismatic pentacostalism may stink to some...
We need to find out what the gifts are for, but we can't even really do that well until we find out what God wants done with us and with them.
When we begin to judge others for how they use or don't use the gifts, or if they even have the gifts, we don't do well. We ALL have gifts. We have to get past the excitement of "God saw me" to "God sees others, too," and then grow up to see that God really has a Plan that is bigger than all of us.
In fact, it's taking us over!!! When we get past "God sees me" to "We see God," then we will have accomplished something in the Body corporate.
One reason I have been so excited about the International House of Prayer ministry (IHOP) is because it is not just the Body ministering to one another, but it is the Body ministering to the Lord. The vision is getting the focus off of us and onto the Lord. We are learning how to do that.
When we are comfortable in our personal worlds, we often don't think too much about what is going on outside those worlds until it just imposes upon us. It's not that we just don't care, we are just self absorbed in our arenas! And if there are good works and right living involved with that, we will have a pretty strong internal peace and probably outer peace, too.
But do we care about what God cares about? Why should our country care about Israel? Seems like a lot of problems going on over there, right? Well, if we are halfway faithful Christians and read the Bible, we will see pretty plainly that God cares about Israel. Israel is His Plan and signpost for the world.
The Israelites had their greatest glory in the time of King David and especially King Solomon. David overcame evil enemies and through his son King Solomon, he established the House of Prayer for all nations in order for them to pray AND to minister to the Lord in praise and worship and thanksgiving and receive forgiveness and get blessings.
Israel's job was to minister to the nations and that was their way to receive the blessings of the nations and to receive and impart Spiritual giftings that would glean blessings for the world. As God told Abraham, "In blessing, I will bless you." (Genesis 22:17)
But flesh always wants to creep in and the self exaltation that controls and limits others and seeks to bring others into servitude to others and subjection is the same problem that we still see in the churches today. Nehemiah dealt with it in a (Biblically) very descriptive way.
When we lose our roles and true definitions for living, we become "sleepy" and let things slide when we need to awake unto righteousness. So many want revival but will see predominantly five different ways for it to happen. The apostles want to take territory, the prophets want to call to order and vision, the evangelists are ready to reach the lost, and the pastors want everyone churched and the teachers want everyone to know it right! Everyone else who is just observing is just ready for a good time at church and seek entertainment or babysitting.
Instead of growing up into responsibility and awareness, we just are fat babies who say "Feed me!" and get mighty fussy at that! And woe, woe if someone tries to correct us for our sin! But there is no motivation for correction if we don't see a bigger picture and so we tremble and spout off our "big prophetic words of doom" and wait for the judgments of God to slap us silly and wake us up! I've been there!
But if we dig a little deeper, we will get off of what we want and find out what God wants. Yes, God loves me, just for little old me, but He also loves my neighbors and my friends and the lost. And we can get groomed for personal evangelism which is a great thing, but I think it's time to push for the even bigger picture.
God is getting the attention of the nations. And He wants the territories and He wants the prophetic gospel and He wants the lost won everywhere and He wants to establish and grow churches and for people to know the details of the truth of His word. He likes showing off with miracles even, but we tend to glorify the miracle and the pray-er more the the God of the miracle! He is Creator God!!!
God pretty much holds the miracle power back until we get the idea it comes from Him. When we exalt Him, He releases power in bits and pieces and spurts here and there, but if we get the big picture, we will see the glory waves roll in like a River! God wants the Light of the Glorious Gospel to reach all people in all nations! And people will be motivated in different ways to see that happen. But competition and jealousy and controlling spirits shut it down.
I have a good friend whose greatest desire is to go to the jungles to the totally unreached peoples and minister. He loves the strangeness. Personally, I am not as comfortable with that, hardly at all in fact, but I love getting the prophetic word out. To him that is not as exciting as what he does, but we are good friends. We agree with each other for the Gospel's sake, for Jesus and what He did. He has bugs in the jungle; I have bugs on the computer. Which is worse? I am not sure. Okay, that was some humor.
But the idea is that we need to worship and serve God. As I shared, one reason I get excited over the IHOP vision is that it is a ministry that doesn't just seek to minister to the people, but also seeks to minister to the Lord - and that is the Tabernacle of David. After King David and King Solomon's time, the Tabernacle fell down. We need to lift it up again!
Jesus came and was concerned that the Temple be a House of Prayer for ALL nations. He has a zeal for it that He is coming back to (2 Thessalonians 2:8). The IHOP vision I know about wants to see Houses of Prayer (or even several of them) in all the cities of the earth. God has put it into the hearts of people to be a part of this.
It's not trying to compete with churches but serve churches. Many churches are locked up five days of the week! Many prayer groups have been attempted but are sometimes hard to keep going for at least these three reasons: format and function and style. If intercessors do not know their roles as servant ministries, they can miss it. And if ministries want to just use intercessors, they miss it. (Pastors and ministers, don't complain if you feel used if you have used the intercessors!)
And some meetings are hard to get going and keep going because the real burdens are so heavy, but as true intercessors have learned, if you minister TO the Lord as you pray, especially with good praise and worship music going, ministering praises to the Lord for his goodness and mercy and join others in that, that style makes it much easier to pray and the job gets done!
This prayer movement is going to restore the Tabernacle of David that has fallen down in Jerusalem Israel. As we praise the Lord, the glory is going to come in and cover the earth as the waters cover the sea and people and the Middle Eastern countries are going to get so hungry for it, they will come in dramatically with all their strength, determination, tenaciousness and zeal. Want to get in on it? Now is a good time! It's not about man, it's about God.
My job is to get the word out there. What's yours? Bless you!!!