FROM A PASTOR:
“We cannot begin to put into words the gratitude that we feel in our hearts for you both. Thank you so much for seeing the beauty in our “baby” (the church), for embracing her, and for feeding her! Not everyone has the eyes to see and the desire to embrace her. We have all felt the embrace in the natural as well as the spiritual.
“We love you both, your son, and your entire family. We know that God brought you here to tie our hearts together. We pray that God continues to bless you and use you in a mighty way. We know the Lord is going to reward you both greatly.
“We love, love, love you both and shall miss you. But we know we shall meet up again. And we praise God we shall be friends and family for eternity. What God has joined together let no man put asunder!
“It was an honor to have you come. We believe next time you come the child will be too big to carry. Haha!”
Let me explain the backdrop to this narrative. This is a church in Florida pastored by a precious couple that has about 20-30 people. The husband also has a full time job to supplement their ministry finances. They lay their lives down each and every day for their church and people, whom they refer to as their “baby”.
Often when we travel to churches the Lord gives us a word of wisdom or a word of knowledge concerning the church. In the case of this church, it was no different. My wife Carolyn received a dream the night before we were to minister here. In this dream was a baby girl who was feeding from her mother’s left breast. There was not much milk coming from that breast, and the baby girl was having trouble feeding, but then when switched to the right breast she began to suck ravenously with such intensity. The Holy Spirit shared some other precious things with us concerning this local body, but this dream was the nucleus of it.
This was a three day meeting, and we did not feel led to share this dream until the second or third day, I can’t remember now. At first the dream did not seem that significant until the pastors told us that they have always referred to their church as their “baby” girl. When we shared the dream the couple started crying and then laughing with great joy and gratitude. Then they shared with us this clincher.
You see, when they took over the pastorate of this rag-tag group of precious people they had been under some false heretical teaching. That was the reason the baby girl was having trouble feeding from the left breast. But this pastoral couple has been faithful to feed her the sincere milk of the Word, when others did not see any beauty in her at all. At times visitors would come to the church and because it had no outward glitter or glamour and the small building was not one to be desired, they wouldn’t return and would even criticize the building and the people. It was then that we recognized the significance of the dream and the revelation contained within it. It was so meaningful to the pastors and the church.
This sort of spiritual operation has been happening frequently with us in the last 3-4 years. It seems the Lord is sending us to more places with a specific assignment, a word of wisdom and revelation for the people, along with a genuine move of the Holy Ghost and fire.
While we were at this aforementioned church in Florida, the Lord also touched Carolyn and I very deeply as we recognized once again the importance of simple obedience to go where God sends us and to obey Him in what He shows us and tells us to do and to say. We also realized that many traveling ministers miss God because they are looking for the biggest church to go to and one that can bless them with a large offering to meet their budget. When we do this we show partiality and actually become judges of evil thoughts (Jam. 2:1-4). We make distinctions among the body of Christ based on people’s rank, status, and influence. To give preference to the big, the rich, and the outwardly beautiful and glamorous is gross sin and transgression. God is impartial and shows and shares the same love, grace, and benefits of salvation with all His people.
Think also of all the thousands of small churches who cannot afford to have any big name speakers or guest ministers. This is the reason Carolyn and I will go anywhere the Lord sends us regardless of the size of the crowd or offering. If they can help us get there we will prayerfully consider going if we know the Lord is in it. In this particular church because they were small in number the pastors put us in the home of one of their members, and her car to use, as well as $100 for groceries for the weekend we were there.
Traveling internationally is more of a challenge because of the greater expense. There are poor nations we have invitations to that we just cannot get to unless God’s people and partners help us. This was the reason for my last blog and the appeal I made for travel funds. Asking for funds is something I don’t like to do, but only as a final measure that could potentially produce tremendous fruit.
God’s ways are not man’s ways. Because of the large expense of sending a minister to preach in a foreign nation many people think it to be a waste of money. And it could well be! It depends on the calling and commission of that minister and what he is carrying. I’ve lived overseas and have received many guest ministers from America over the years, and I can tell you that most of them were not effective and left no lasting spiritual deposit or made any considerable spiritual impartation to the people. It really depends on whether they were “sent” or just “went”.
Carolyn and I have always been people of assignments, and have for the major part of our lives and ministry, operated as “sent” ones. Will you prayerfully consider being a partner with us for our assignment to the nations, smaller churches, and undesirable people? So far a handful of people have responded with either one time gifts or monthly support, and we are grateful.
Thanks for your time today and thank you for your encouragement!
“Whoever goes to war at his own expense?” (1 Cor. 9:7)
“And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Rom. 10:15)
“And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.” (Acts 15:41)
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart …” (2 Cor. 9:7)
God bless you for your obedience and cause you to partake of the fellowship of this grace for the churches, cities, nations the Lord sends us to.