Something that has been interestingly on my heart lately has been the delight of being protected. Louise and I have been on a unique journey in our life. One of plenty of ups and downs with loads of twists, turns, fun, pain and even shock. Life with God has a way of providing you with everything though you seemingly have nothing. The life of faith is one of victory but certainly isn’t one of feelings.
Our journey has felt long and slow at times but the privilege of standing where we are is certainly not going unnoticed. I am not going to write today about that complete process, of where we have been and where we are now, but I may capture some highlights.
Paul tells Timothy in his letters to him, as a pastor of one of the largest churches at the time, to wage a good warfare with the prophecies that God has spoken over him. Paul was reminding him that warfare implies work, struggle, resistance and more. Battles come and go, some are won and some are lost and warfare takes a toll of the individuals involved and many lessons are learnt, and re-learnt. Notice Paul didn’t say everyone wins.
He says wage a good warfare, holding fast to faith but then he goes on to say many make a shipwreck of their faith…It is possible to lose the battles and even the war.
That is not you! You are a winner. An overcomer. You do not quit!
The interesting thing is that our journey of ‘warfare’ is never complete. God is always opening up our eyes to new realms. New prophetic declarations. When one victory is complete we are to continue to move forward.
Louise and I may now be in a place where it seems that we have ‘arrived’. We hold a position of responsibility and we have people we are responsible for, in fact, if you would have seen us 20 years ago you may have never believed in us…I am glad God does. However, we are not done, we are only beginning. We are submitted to the process. Submitted to being protected by God’s will and not our own. We underneath authority, we have protected support.
Many years ago a well known minister prophesied over me in a youth meeting. That is only just coming to pass. Another minister prophesied over Louise and I about 10 years ago…that is only just coming into the beginnings of fruition. I am glad it didn’t happen faster. I know that my younger self would be miserable at that if I told him but this is what is it like to be protected.
Protection comes when you are submitted to the will of God. Protection comes when you take what He says and begin to work with it. Working with the things of the Spirit and of the Word. This will mean dealing with leadership above you. This will mean learning of others and even though you may disagree it will take you working with their ideas and direction.
You will need to submit to the authority of the Word. You will need to submit to the authority of man. This is the place of protection. You take what God has said, work at it and allow Him to lead you into the protected place. The protected place is around others of the same Spirit. You will have a people group, your people, within the Church. A people group who challenge you and accept you. They will laugh at your jokes while correcting your stupidity. Yes, I am talking from experience.
God will speak to you through the word and the Sprit, but it will be through men and women that the plan will come to pass. I don’t know who I am speaking to but this is a reality in the Kingdom of God. We need each other and sometimes those other people will annoy you, tell you to do something you don’t want to do or even seem to hold you back from that great prophecy God gave you. Learn to recognise what God is doing. Learn to understand the training arena you are in. Learn that what is in your heart may be only for you right now. The priority on you at this moment may be to serve your pastor, your team leader and your family.
Someone told me the other day, “If you fail with your family, you fail in ministry…” He then repeated this several times. In fact, as I write this on a Saturday morning, my hands are freezing as I type. My feet are like blocks of ice as I sit in a parents lounge at a skate board park. My eldest son is currently throwing himself around. His time is nearly up and then I need to take the youngest son swimming. I am learning how to put my family first even thought the prophecies that God has spoken over me burns within my heart. Souls cry out as I think about church and what it needs to accomplish. I know that a lot must be done but in submission to God’s Word, His servants that are over me and my own family there is a protection that propels me into all that He has for me!!
Take time today as you prepare for your life, for all that God has in store for you, and think on where God has put you right now. Live in that protection. Take your eyes off of ‘your’ prophecy and ‘your’ dream and go out and serve someone else’s passion. God will make sure that the fire that burns in you will not be quenched as you impart into those around you. He is watching your attitude, your actions and your faithfulness!!
You are an overcomer. You wage a good warfare and you hold on to the faith that takes you into the far reaches of God’s eternal success and victory!!