Reading in Zechariah 13, I realized what God was saying. There were many people who called themselves prophets (or people called by God to preach His words) but they were not. God says in Zechariah 13:4-5 that on a certain day, every prophet will be ashamed of his vision and will become aware of how they are deceiving. God desired for these people to do what He had intended for them to do instead of doing what they wanted to do (the work of the ministry). It would have been better for these people to be farmers and in business than to preach when God had not put words in their mouths. The work of God/ministry was doing what God had asked them to specifically do.
The same problem exists today. There are many people quoting the wrong things and preaching their own words from a platform that God did not grant to them. As a result, there is no power to change themselves or those who attend to listen. Many churches today are powerless because people have used the name of God and preached the words of God without the leading of His Spirit or the filling of His power.
For me, personally, I never wanted a preaching/teaching platform. Bobbye says it best, “We did not wake up one day and say, ‘Let’s go into ministry.’ This was never our plan or intention.” This ministry has been a work of God and He gets the glory for the words as well as the changed lives. Out of all the prophets, I relate to Jeremiah and Jonah the most. Jeremiah because I have tried my hardest to not do this but my heart burns within if I do not. And Jonah because I am continually purposefully trying to go the other way even though I know better. I know that I am not alone in these feelings. Many people we counsel tell us their struggles too. But what God is saying in Zechariah could be summarized as regardless of what you do, make sure it is what God has asked you to do. If you are claiming to be a Bible teacher, pastor, prophet but were appointed by men (including yourself) then you will be judged stricter by God as stated in James 2 as well as quoted by God’s prophets. (We are starting an online Bible Study on the Book of James called Walking Out Our Faith. If interested in attending from your own computer, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We start this Tuesday, January 5)
I might be sensitive to hear the Lord speaking but it has not always been the motivation of the Lord that has kept me going. I really believe that God gave me a physical tangible person who has challenged me as well as encouraged to me to continue. I am thankful for the power of friendship that has changed my life and kept me doing the work of the Lord. I do not blame people who quit because the work becomes too hard. You will not ever find me judging someone for quitting but I would recommend that they find a friend or an accountability partner to talk things out and get perspective before making any big changes. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.”
Just because God has asked you to do something, does not mean that it is easy. Just because others tell you to do something, does not mean it is of God. Life can be confusing and tough. The power of friendship can cut through the random factors to keep you focused, doing the work of God. You do not have to go at it alone; God is totally into fellowship, counsel, unity and empowers us through friendship.
**if you are a woman who is lonely, depressed and feel isolated, please join us at the Power of Friendship Conference on Saturday, January 30. Bring a friend and make a friend. You will be encouraged and you know that you are not alone. Depression will lift and love will fill your heart.
You do not want to miss this one day event.
Happy New Year!