One day on the way to a church meeting the Lord said to me, “it takes 20 years to make a man”. I had been counting in my mind how many years I had been in the ministry and how many years I’d been saved when suddenly I heard that phrase in my spirit. Whenever the Lord makes a statement like this, almost out of left field, I pay very close attention to it because it is a seasonal statement, meaning something is about to change…get ready…what you’ve been prepared for is upon you.
During this recent drive to a church meeting I was also rehearsing all the seasons of my life and ministry in my mind, and wishing I had learned certain lessons earlier. I was also rejoicing in the goodness and mercy of God shown to me. Then the thought hit me, “it is good to die young”.
Now I certainly don’t mean that literally, but spiritually. It is good to learn to die to your flesh and to your own will and ways when you’re young. You’ll make far quicker progress that way. Paul said he died daily.
How do you die daily? By making every motive of your heart like the Son of man, who said he came to serve and not to be served. A spirit of love and servanthood will keep you at death’s door to your own flesh and desires. This must be the first order in your life.
Without this foundation all you do will be in vain because it will have no eternal reward. There’s a reason why Jesus began his public ministry in Matthew’s gospel by teaching on the motives of the heart (Mt. 6). It is foundational to the kingdom of heaven. I wrote the book, “Purity of Heart” based on that revelation.
CEILINGS AND FLOORS
Concerning this issue of servanthood, years ago a respected minister ministered by revelation to me when he saw my tombstone. I was scared for a moment thinking I was going to die, but he told me a new Bert would be resurrected. He then saw a servant’s towel in my hand.
I have to admit I did not fully yield, receive, nor totally understand the magnitude of that vision. As a result, for nearly the next three years, I suffered needlessly because of my lack of meekness and a true servant’s heart. You see, I unknowingly was refusing to die, and be the servant God wanted me to be. Outwardly many close to me probably thought I was a true and humble servant, but God desired a far greater depth of it in my own heart and life.
Then in 2002 during a long season of prayer and fasting (that’s the quickest way to die) while I had been pondering a constant spiritual impression of a glass ceiling over my head, and of the glory on the other side, God began to speak to me about the floor. I had been mindful of the ceiling that represented increase, anointing, power, opportunity, favor, etc., but the Lord directed me to the floor. In other words, my foundation.
To tell you the truth, I thought my foundation was just fine. I had been in the full time preaching ministry for 15 years. I had been a faithful missionary. I had seen God work healings and miracles through my hands and my mouth. I had taught and trained thousands of people. Why was the Lord directing my attention to the floor and to my foundations? The ceiling is where I wanted to go. That is what I was thinking and praying about. If I had not been in a position of humility through prayer and fasting, I would’ve missed it again Thank God for His patience and long-suffering.
From early January to early May of 2002 I prayed in the Holy Ghost hours every day, starved my flesh, and fed my spirit on the Word of God. On March 24th of 2002 I entered another room of fellowship in the Spirit and have not been the same ever since. Revelation flooded my soul for the next several weeks…revelation about my character and revelation about my call. God talked. I listened and wrote. Over the years I have shared some of that experience but not fully until I put it in a book (The Journal Of A Journey).
In everyone’s life there are ceilings and doors, and rooms and floors. We’ll deal with ceilings in people’s lives that stunt spiritual progress and how floors determine our fruitfulness and longevity in life and ministry. We’ll also instruct you on how to enter into new doors and new rooms. Stay tuned…