V-MAIL TO THE FRONTLINE
PRAYER X: YOUR LABOR IS NOT IN VAIN
“Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58 KJ)
It is hard work to stay consistent with our constant communion with Father and takes a dedicated heart and a strong determination to not just visit but LIVE in His divine reality. Our flesh will always hate the Spirit but the overcomers will be rewarded with His joy and peace that passes all understanding. The hindrance to our joy level is not always an outside demonic attack from Satan but many times it is simply dwelling too much in the flesh realm and not spending enough time in the awareness of His presence. I believe if we continue to function in a “worldly” perception, we will allow our emotions to grind us down to a complete shutdown and will eventually throw in the towel. The world say’s, “if it’s not working – cut your losses and fold the tents” but God say’s, “What I have told you to do – obey me and continue working in faith until I tell you to stop!” The difference is KNOWING that God does not fail even though our dreams might not be turning out like we thought it would; we are still being used to accomplish a “portion” of the big picture of “His will” and His plans. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and His commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I John 5:3-5)
It is no secret that everyone wants to be appreciated. Anyone who does anything wants to know their gifts and labors are having a positive effect, somewhere, somehow and that it has added or will have an impact on someone. Who else do you think besides God, sits around and observes our “deeds? That’s right – the enemy of our soul. He knows that we desire for our visions to accomplish something positive, and he will devise a strategy to make it as difficult as he can to not only prevent it from happening but to also “corrupt” our intentions. He knows we want feedback (we do want to know), but what happens to us when we do not get it? Will we keep going? Will we stand strong and not be disappointed if no one says’s anything about our labor? Or will we become so discouraged and frustrated that we will quit because it looks like we are wasting our time? How long will we continue the cycle of moping around, feeling sorry for ourselves, and waiting for a reward or at least someone to tell us what a blessing we are to the body of Christ? What did Mother Teresa do when she felt the “Night of the soul”? She stayed the course – she held on by faith – she denied herself and continued to take up the cross of Christ. She realized that her labor and suffering was not in vain and that God would reward her along with everyone else according to their faithful obedience. She knew this was not our “pay-day” but that we would enjoy God’s presence for eternity. We may not receive anything in this life according to mans recognition but do not worry – God remembers everything! It is crucial for our effectiveness in God’s service to settle once and for all that we will not judge our spiritual success on a human scale of reasoning. Either we have heard from God or not! If we know we have heard from God then we must never again question the power or impact that we are having in this life. If we are not sure we have heard His instructions then we should seek His face until we have a specific divine direction. Abraham ended up doubting God as he became weary in waiting for the promise but as we all know – God had his own time and His own agenda that was exactly as He wanted it and our mission and destiny is based on the same principal. “And let us not lose heart and grow weary in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” (Galatians 6:9 Amp) Do not lay down your faith – for His vision. Selah.
It is easy for leaders to become so busy working for the Kingdom they forget about those all around them that are helping them. If you have ever felt that pastors did not appreciate you or was just using you, you must NOT take it personally. They probably forgot what you said or did and did not mean to insult you. Or have you ever respected a person’s opinion and asked them about your ministry or an idea, only to have them shoot you down and reject your thoughts? We all blow it from time to time and just because you caught this person at a bad time does not give us the right to hold a grudge. Maybe they were wrong and completely missed the blessing that God had given to you! We must forgive and let it go so that we can enjoy the freedom of a clear conscience. The enemy would love to use someone’s neglect to pay attention to you, as a stumbling block of offense. We cannot afford to be offended in ministry! I have experienced this several times and it is not spiritually healthy for anyone. It is strife that is very upsetting and discouraging to the body of Christ. It causes separation and deep wounds that drive us away from each other. We who labor for the Lord are not working to build someone’s ministry; we are working directly for God so that His will can be accomplished and in turn our destiny can be completed. We sacrifice our time and energy and can “help” but our main vision must always be to see others connect with The Lord. When our labor becomes distorted we can become disappointed and hurt which is why it is so very important to keep our conscience saturated in the spirit of humility and the eyes of our heart on the Lord Jesus. If all Christians would try to do this, our unity and love would be amazing!
We must never forget that God is always listening and sees every motive and intention whether good or bad so let us stop for a moment and ask ourselves; if He asked us to do something privately and no one else would even know our deed, would we be enthusiastic about it? If we received no recognition at all, would we still give it our complete sincere effort? If our entire ministry was “unseen” and anonymous to everyone would we still invest our time, energy and finances to it and be filled with joy and encouragement? It is important to examine ourselves and make sure that we are not just going through the motions of ministry or becoming sidetracked with all the voices and distractions from the enemy. The prayer closet is not a place of trophies and television interviews. Many saints that were “unknown” to the attention of the world have spiritually moved “mountains” so that others could stand on lighted stages to publicly proclaim God’s word. There is no greater place of personal intimacy and knowing God personally than living under the shadow of His wings. The ideas and works that we perform in our flesh as religious entertainment or a political way to enhance our own reputation, will be destroyed along with the “wood, hay and stubble” works of all imposters. Our perfect response to His voice is the “gold” that will endure the fire of His holiness and these rewards will be preserved forever for His good and faithful servants. God’s Kingdom is not built on the glory of flesh but on the omnipotence of His absolute, eternal truth and sovereign, holy Majesty. Selah.
“For it is God (not in your own strength) who is all the while effectually at work in you (energizing and creating in you the power and desire), both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining (against God) and questioning and doubting (among yourselves). That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation (spiritually perverted and perverse), among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the (dark) world. Holding out (to it) and offering (to all men) the Word of Life, so that in the day of Christ I may have something of which exultantly to rejoice and glory in that I did not run my race in vain or spend my labor to no purpose.” (Philippians 2:13-16 Amplified) All glory and honor to His Name!
I read the other day a series of statements from a ministry website that was answering a question about miracles. I was shocked as they went on to say that miracles were not needed in this age. They said that Jesus only used His super-natural power to promote His ministry and expand the popularity of His Name. Now that His Word and Christianity is known worldwide, He did not need to manifest His power. I want to say right now that whoever wrote that ridiculous article needs to go back to Sunday school and start all over with the basic foundations of whom God is! Super-natural power has always been a part of the character of God because that is His nature and identity. He is the sovereign creator of the universe and performs thousands of miracles each day. To believe that God does not intervene with our faith is to insult His divine plan of spiritual principles. If Father does not perform miracles anymore then why in the world are we praying and what are we praying for? HE IS THE MIRACLE GOD and we need it NOW more than ever! No wonder that many Christians and churches are dead and cold because evidently many believe that God has left us alone to conduct our own religious activities. Father has never changed! He is a covenant keeping God and is waiting for our faith! Will you be the vessel of honor this year that He can pour from? Selah. “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.” (Psalm 18: 2, 29, 32)