In the previous part 1 of this blog, I shared how Jesus experienced rejection. I also noted the correlation between attachment wounds and feelings of rejection.
Let’s face it, every human-being has experienced some sort of rejection in his or her life. Thus that rejection may or may not have stemmed from some attachment tear by a caregiver. Needless to say rejection is a real phenomena. Unfortunately, it is unavoidable because not everyone is going to respond positively to us. In addition, there will be those people who silently betray and turn their heel against us for no apparent reason. Confused, we can be left reeling from their avoidant and silent actions. Racking our brain, we try desperately to figure out what we may or may not have done. In reality, we seldom receive the closure we seek. The silence makes it challenging to offer genuine remorse and repair. It…
Psalm 27:10 “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in” esv
Rejection of any kind is brutal to handle. It can mercilessly rip through one’s soul. Jesus was familiar with rejection As 1 Peter 2:4 states, “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious” . . . A prophecy of his coming in Isaiah 53:3-5 also states, He was despised and rejectedby men, a man of sorrowsand acquainted withgrief;[ and as one from whom men hide their faceshe was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Jesus is familiar with the rejection that we face in this world. For those of us rejected from the womb, I believe the Lord Himself counters that satanic onslaught against our soul and accepts us instead. That doesn’t…
This morning during worship the Holy Spirit spoke to me saying: “This is the season of the manifestation of the Sons of God.” As I pressed into what I heard, I stepped forward and released words along this line (it was not recorded, so I am going off my memory).
It is not the season of Apostles.
It is not the season of Prophets.
It is not the season of Evangelists.
It is not the season of Pastors.
It is not the season of Teachers.
It is the season of the Manifestation of the Sons of God!
We have focused on what we do as opposed to being who we are!
Even though Jesus functioned in all five ministry graces, when Father spoke from heaven, He did not say that was My Beloved Apostle in whom I am well pleased, or My Beloved Prophet in whom I am well pleased…but My Beloved SON in whom I am well pleased!
Scripture clearly says that the whole earth is groaning waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God, not for the manifestation of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, or Teachers.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the (power, right, authority, privilege to become SONS of God.” (see John 1:12)
Notice we were not given the right to become Five-fold Ministers, we were given the right to become Sons of God. Sadly, I believe many of us have been pursuing the wrong thing. It is time for us to function from our identity as opposed to functioning from our gift, title, calling, or anointing.
This is not about what we do, but who we are! We function out of our identity and position as sons. If the earth is groaning and waiting to see it…why aren’t we?!
There is an expression that is popular in the street that says: “You’re not all that and a bag of chips.” The origin of the expression refers back to the Subway Restaurant Chain. The original shop offered freshly baked bread with a variety of cold cuts and condiments for a bargain price. A bag of chips was included in the price, so you got “all that and a bag of chips.”
In our modern slang though it has an entirely different meaning. Today it means that the person being referred to thinks they are “Very Special.”
Sadly, many of us today, especially those of us in leadership or ministry have a tendency to believe our own press, marketing slogans, or hype. We really do have unrealistic evaluations of ourselves. We think we are all that and a bag of chips, but the perception of others is quite often much different than our own.
I am reminded of Paul’s words to the church at Rome:
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly…”Romans 12:3 a & b NKJV
It is indeed sad when we think of ourselves more highly than we ought to. We are told to think soberly. Sometimes it would help us if we realized how others saw and perceived us and compared it to how we see ourselves.
Someone once rightly said: “Perception equals reality.” In other words how someone sees a person or a thing will be how they receive that person or thing. Years ago my Dad said:”One can only receive what they perceive. If they don’t perceive it, they can’t receive it.”
So if John Q Christian is called to be and is beginning to function as a Prophet, but you don’t perceive him as one, will you receive him as one? That may be his call and assignment from the Father, but if you don’t see him like that, you will never receive him like that. You may say he is a Brother-in-the-Lord, a teacher, or a preacher; but that Prophetic calling and gifting will never benefit you because you don’t perceive it. (Just remember Jesus in Nazareth)
Earlier today, I posted this on Facebook:
“Sometimes seeing how others perceive you is a good reality check of where you are in your mantel, maturity, and metron.”
Most folks liked this post and/or left a positive comment, but there were some that were negative. This does not bother me one bit because I am used to ruffling people’s feathers.
I often tell my sons and daughters that you can judge where you are by people’s perceptions of you. I began to take note of my metron (sphere of influence or scope of reach) growing as people from outside of my region began to refer to me as Pastor, Prophet, or Apostle. This was how they perceived me, and received me.
Now I knew I could impart to these people at a much deeper level than others who just saw me as a fellow-believer, because of how they perceived and received me. So from time to time, it is beneficial to us to think soberly and take an honest look. The question we really need to ask ourselves is:
I have noticed this trend amongst folks that I understand to a certain extent, but it does make me wonder if it isn’t really a case of False Humility. I see expressions like:
“I just want to be used”
“It doesn’t matter what you call me”
“It doesn’t matter what my title or function is”
In a sense that is right and correct, but is there just an underlying hint of False Humility in these expressions? Google explains False Humility as:
“Since others value humility, false humility is usually a strategy to gain the benefits of coming across as truly humble.”
In reality, False Humility is rooted in Pride. Believe me, I understand that God is opposed to the Proud and gives Grace to the Humble. But is False Humility really True Humility? Are we trying to keep up the appearance of humility so folks will think correctly about us? Are these thoughts truly in line with the way Paul the Apostle thought?
“For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry.” Romans 11:13 NKJV
“Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead).” Galatians 1:1 NKJV
“For which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” 1 Timothy 2:7 NKJV
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 NKJV
You may be wondering why I chose this array of Scriptures to base my points upon. I trust I will make them clear from these verses. Please allow me to list them in Bullet Format.
In three of the texts listed Paul referred to himself as an apostle.
In one case he stresses his Metron as an Apostle to the Gentiles.
In another case he stresses that his apostleship was not through man but by God.
In the last case he stresses that he is telling the truth and not lying, that he was appointed as a Preacher, Apostle, and Teacher.
We also see that Paul said that he magnified his ministry. (other translations use the word office.)
Notice Paul did not have an issue with either recognizing how he functioned, or what his calling and assignment was.
This is the same man who writes in Romans 12 not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, but to think soberly.
So I guess going by Paul’s practice, identifying who he was and what he was called to was within the confines of not thinking of himself more highly than he ought to.
Yet today if someone refers to themselves by their function…like an Apostle or Prophet…they are ridiculed as being prideful.
Was Paul Prideful or was he just thinking of himself soberly?
Now I can hear the naysayers saying…well that was Paul…and you are not Paul!
Correct…we are not…but if Paul could be identified as an Apostle, If Junia could be identified as an Apostle, if James the Lord’s half Brother could be identified as an Apostle, if Adronicus could be identified as an Apostle…why can’t you or I?
My Brother and Sister, I submit to you that knowing who you are, knowing your Metron, knowing your assignment, knowing your calling, and Identifying it is not Pride at all; put True Humility thinking soberly as Paul did. Did not Paul say: “By the grace of God I am what I am”? (1 Corinthians 15:10)
I often tell folks that have the “Popeye” anointing…”I yam what I yam”. This is what Paul did. Identifying the grace God has placed on your life magnifies His grace…not you. So I ask again, are we exercising True Humility or False Humility?
I think many times in the church we set ourselves up for disappointment because we have Unrealistic Expectations of certain leaders that either we like or that speak to us on a certain level. Because they speak to us at one level we automatically think that they can speak to us at every level that we may need or want them to.
It will serve us in good stead to remember Peter’s words to the lame beggar in Acts Chapter 3:
“Such as I have, give I thee.”
The Biblical principle is very simple. We can only give what we have. I often say: “If I haven’t received it, I can’t impart it, If I haven’t learned it, I can’t teach it, and If I haven’t been there, I can’t lead you there.”
It seems simple enough. It is even logical and makes sense. It is also spiritual, but yet it goes against the grain of how we think many times.
Please allow me to use myself as an example. Currently, one of my functions is to serve the Body and those Abba has granted me relationship with as a Spiritual Father. I did not always function this way throughout all of my 42 years of ministry. It may be true that God in His infinite wisdom and Omniscience saw me as this from when I answered the call to ministry at 17 years of age, but I certainly was not ready to walk in it.
All the years that I functioned as a “Screaming Evangelist” I did not have Father’s Heart and was not able to function in this current capacity. All the years that I functioned as a “Prophet” I did not have a Father’s Heart until about 6 months before my Apostolic Commissioning in March of 2016, when Father spoke to me very clearly and said: “It is time for you to do for others what Leo (my earthly and spiritual father) did for you.”
It was at that moment that a Fathers Heart was dropped into my spirit. It was not developed or matured yet, but it was there in seed form. Now I could begin to function as a Spiritual Father because I had been Gifted/Graced for it.
To expect me to function as a Spiritual Father as a “Screaming Evangelist” would have been unrealistic because I did not have the capacity to do it. To expect me to function as a Spiritual Father as a “Prophet” would have been unrealistic because I did not have the capacity to do it.
So it is in many cases today. We expect folks to function in certain ways that we either want them to, or believe that they should, which is really unfair to them, if they have not been Graced/Gifted for it. They can only give us what they have according to their Grace/Giftedness.
I see many that are disgruntled, frustrated, and sometimes even upset because they are expecting someone to give them what they are incapable of giving. I could not Father until Abba graced me with a Fathers Heart. Even if I wanted to…I could not fulfill that function…because I wasn’t graced for it.
Every Gifting/Grace has certain things in their wheelhouse that they are good at, that they can impart, that they can teach, where they can lead…but expecting them to impart, teach, or lead apart from where and how they have been gifted or graced, is error on our part, not theirs.
Evangelists think a certain way and bring certain things to Ecclesia. Stirring the Body of Christ, Bringing Salvation, Healing, & Deliverance to the masses is their Forte; but being a Father is not! Prophets think a certain way and bring certain things to Ecclesia. Getting Believers to understand that they can hear God for themselves and seeing proper Biblical operation of the Manifestation Gifts of the Spirit in the assembly is their Forte; but being a Father is not!
How I long for the Body to cease putting Unrealistic Expectations on Leaders/Ministers, expecting them to function where they are not capable based on Gifting/Grace to function. Receive from them what they are Graced/Gifted to impart. Where they are not…realize that God has Graced/Gifted others with that aspect of what you need. It is up to you to recognize it and find it. God is faithful to His Body by providing a Plethora of Grace/Gifting to many vessels in the Body to minister to every member of the Body, by that which each has been Gifted/Graced with.
Ours is not a “One-Stop-Shop Kingdom” where one gift provides everything that we need. We must get past the False Leadership Paradigm of: “If I can’t give it to you, you don’t need it” and get it out of our thinking once and for all! Remember the words “Diversities” or “Varieties” depending on the Translation? God is BIG on them! He Believes in Them! He Practices Them! So should we! It is time that we stopped looking for folks to function where they can’t and had Realistic Expectations!
If I had a dollar for every time that some well-meaning, excited, Believer has said: “I am called”, I might not have to ever work another day in my life. Sadly, we have treated being called of God as being the end of our ‘Process’ when in reality it is the beginning of our ‘Process’. So many receive ‘Prophetic Words’ these days regarding their purpose or destiny, and then run out to manifest them very prematurely.
I have a friend who one time said something to the effect of: “You have received a ‘Word’ about your future…congratulations…the process is about to begin!” This is absolutely the truth. Just because we have received a ‘Word’ does not mean we are ready to manifest that ‘Word’.
I have often said: “The Prophetic Word releases the Potential of the Purpose of God for your Life.” So often we think that just because we have received a legitimate ‘Word’ that we are ready to manifest and walk in that ‘Word’ immediately. Oh, if only that were true…life would be so much easier…but alas…that is not how this works!
In 2011 I was on a short-term missions trip to Trinidad. At that time I was functioning as a 5-fold Prophet, and had been in the ministry about 32 years. Not exactly a novice or “Johnny-come-lately”. While there, a Prophet friend of mine, who is still a covenant Brother to this day, began to prophesy to me. He said: “Prophet, you are going to be changing again.” (I started in ministry as an Evangelist, but around the year 2000 God began to transition me to the Prophet’s function) When he said this to me, I responded with: “Yeah, I know, Shut Up.”
I knew what he was saying. I knew that meant that just as I had transitioned from Evangelist to Prophet, I would be transitioning again from Prophet to Apostle. He did not hold his peace, but went on to prophesy to me: “As far as God is concerned, He already sees you as an Apostle. But, you have to go through the Process, the Process, the Process, the Process, the Process.”
He said the word ‘Process’ five times…this occurred in 2011…it wasn’t until 2016…5 years later…that I was commissioned to the Function of Apostle. It was one year of ‘Process’ for each time he recited the word ‘Process’. He released the Potential of the Purpose of God for my life. I was called to be an Apostle, but I was not ready to function in the fullness of that call yet…I needed more process. Even though I had already functioned as an Evangelist and a Prophet, and had been in ministry for 32 years…I was not ready…I required more ‘Process’. Do you see the point I am trying to make?!
Folks, you can’t short-circuit the ‘Process’! It is required. Receiving the ‘Prophetic Word’ is not enough. Elisha received Elijah’s mantle thrown over his shoulders, signifying: “The Call of God”, but he wasn’t ready to carry it yet. Bible scholars tell us that Elisha walked with Elijah for 7 or 8 years before Elijah was taken up from him and Elijah’s mantle fell to Elisha and he picked it up permanently.
The mantle being thrown was the Call. The mantle falling and being picked up was the Commission. What was in between was 7 or 8 years of ‘Process’. Congratulations You Are Called, Welcome To The Process!
I am not sure where we got the crazy idea that life had to lived to the extremes of one end of the spectrum or the other which always ends up in a ditch. I remember Rev. Kenneth E. (Dad) Hagin used to say: “We have this tendency to get in the ditch on one side of the road or the other, and the truth is always right down the middle.”
Oh, how I wish we in the church would learn that! There seem to be two extremes that run rampant in the church and amongst those of us in Ministry regarding our calling or function in the Body. One extreme is that we exercise false humility and just tell folks to call us Brother or Sister So and So, as if our function doesn’t matter. The other extreme is that we go around announcing our Title to anyone and everyone insisting that folks use our Title when either addressing or referring to us.
Both of these are extremes and way out of balance! There is a “Happy Medium” between these two extremes and a balance that needs to be struck. First let me say that I do not believe that until we accept who and what God has called us to be, we can never function in the fullness of who and what God has called us to be.
Second, folks can only receive from what they perceive, so if they don’t perceive you as your God ordained function, they will not receive from you in that capacity. But those two things being a given does not give us the right to go around declaring who and what we are and demanding that folks call us that.
There is an element of honor and respect that comes with folks that have governmental authority. It is true in the natural and it is true in the Kingdom. This is why we call people: Senator, Congressman or Congresswoman, or President in the natural; and Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, or Teacher in the Kingdom.
To show respect and honor for function is always correct. But it is not a hierarchical Top-Down order that demands that it be lorded over people. In our natural Government we consider Senators and Congresspeople as Servants of “We The People”. In the Kingdom we consider the five-fold ministry graces as Servants of the “Citizens of the Kingdom”.
We must find a balance between stroking our own egos and not considering or valuing our own calling. I have functioned in 40 + years of ministry in many ministry functions. I have worn many hats depending on the season of God I was in and how He was asking me to serve His Body in the earth during that season. Most of us have. It is not unusual to start at one place or function and transition to another.
We identify those primary ways that God has us functioning as servants to His body by names or callings. We notice in Paul’s writings that he knew how he was called to function. He would say things like: “Paul called as an Apostle” or “Paul, an Apostle (not from men nor through man)”. Paul knew how he was called to function and did identify it, but we do not see that he demanded to be called Apostle Paul.
These callings or titles are used as identifiers or the function of how we serve the Body. If people perceive a Prophetic Grace in my life, they can receive from it. If people perceive an Apostolic Grace in my life, they can receive from it. If they don’t, they can’t. But because they don’t does not give me the right to demand that they do.
I trust you are hearing my heart more than you are reading my words. Sometimes I don’t have the words to express exactly what I am thinking and feeling. We must do better than what we have done. We must eliminate the two extremes we have seen. We must find Balance in Life & Ministry!
I remember back in 2011 while still functioning as a Prophet, I was on a weekend missions trip to Trinidad. I flew in on Friday, Preached twice on Saturday, Preached twice on Sunday, and flew home on Monday with hardly any voice (but that is another subject).
During that trip, one of my Dad’s Spiritual Sons, my Spiritual Brother, Christopher Douglas prophesied to me that I was going to be changing functions or Ministry Gifts again. (in 2000 I began a transition from “Screaming Evangelist” to Prophet that took a few years to complete) He said as far as God was concerned He already saw me as an Apostle.
It would have been Great if the Word ended there…but alas it did not. Chris went on to say, you have to go through the Process, the Process, the Process, the Process, The Process…he said the word Process 5 times. This is significant because it took 5 years for that word to become a reality.
I wasn’t commissioned as an Apostle till 2016, 5 years later. It took 1 year of process for each time Chris said the word process, before I was ready for the Transition from Prophet to Apostle. I know we all wish we could get a Prophetic Word today, and walk in it tomorrow, but it just does not work that way.
When I received that word, I knew better than to argue with God because I argued in 2000 regarding Evangelist to Prophet and lost. I was not about to make that same mistake again. I did however offer God “A Deal”. I said: “When My Peers Recognize This, Then We Will Do Something About It, Until Then, Leave Me Alone About It.” To my surprise He answered with an abrupt one-word answer: “FINE”.
It was important to me that my Peers, those that I was in a relationship with, recognized and saw the apostolic grace emerging in my life, so that they could come into agreement with what God was doing in my life. Yet so many today, if you ask them who has Recognized the grace on their life, or who they are in Relationship with, they have no one to point to.
You may ask if there is a Biblical Precedent for being Recognized by your Peers, or is this just some sort of “Pet Peeve” that I have. I Am Glad You Asked!
Acts 13 immediately comes to mind where Barnabas and Saul were separated by the other Prophets and Teachers in Antioch to the Work the Spirit had called them to.
Acts 9 comes to mind where initially the Apostles in Jerusalem were leary of Paul, but Barnabas brought him to the Apostles and he was received which he later talks about being received by them in Galatians chapter 1.
Timothy and Titus also come to mind because of how often Paul openly referred to both of them as his sons both in his epistles to the churches as well as in his epistles to them.
So is there a Biblical Precedent to be Recognized by one’s Peers? I believe the answer is an emphatic YES!
So why do we have so many “Lone Rangers” running all over the Country and all over Social Media as self-proclaimed Apostles or Prophets that are not recognized by anybody or in relationship with anybody?
If you are what you say you are, you should be able to point to folks in your life that are your peers. Folks that can verify your grace and calling. Folks that can vouch for your character. Folks that can do for you what Barnabas did for Paul in Jerusalem. If you don’t have that, just maybe: “You Are Not What You Profess To Be!” ~ Selah
I am very concerned for the Church in these times that we are living in. I see things happening all around me that let me know that we are living in days that both Jesus and Paul warned about. It is evident by what people write and by what people say. It is true that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and with Social Media, out of the abundance of the heart the fingers type.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers…”2 Timothy 4:3 NKJV
Merriam Webster defines Endure as – to continue in the same state, or to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding.
Dictionary.com defines Endure as – to hold out against, to sustain without impairment or yielding.
Notice in this verse Paul is warning of a time when people would not Endure (continue in the same state, remain firm, sustain without impairment) Sound Doctrine. A Word Study from the Greek shows us that Sound Doctrine refers to: Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture of error in their teaching. So Paul is saying that a time is coming in the church where people would not remain strong on what is true.
My Brother and Sister, sadly we are there in that day now. Paul went on to say that they would heap up for themselves teachers that would tell them what they want to hear. The days of the absolutes of Sound Doctrine are gone in much of those that name the name of Christ. They propagate things that are diametrically opposed to the clear teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, justifying their actions with logic like it is an outdated book or it is not inerrant.
But Paul was not the only one to give such a warning, Jesus did too. When asked what it would be like at the end of the age before His return, he replied:
“And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places…For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.’”Matthew 24: 4-7 & 24-25 NKJV
Notice Jesus said, ‘See I have told you before.’ He knew this day would come. He knew that if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived…and we are there now as many who are Not Enduring Sound Doctrine are Being Deceived. We really should not be surprised because Jesus said it was coming…but it is still sad nonetheless.
Paul gave his Spiritual Son Timothy another warning in his first epistle to him right along this same line:
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”1 Timothy 4:1 NKJV
We are here too. Some have departed the Faith! Do a study sometime on the Phrase “The Faith” in the Epistles. It refers to our whole orthodoxy or belief system. Paul said in the latter times…or at the same time frame Jesus referred to in Matthew 24…some would depart…or not Endure Sound Doctrine…because they are giving heed to…or listening to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.
My Brother and Sister, you must exercise discernment these days. Who you listen to really does matter. Some of the things being propagated in the name of Christ that are so far from New Testament teaching need to be avoided like a plague, and boldly, doctrinally refuted. Your eternity could lie in the balance. Don’t be a casualty of modern day error and be one of the ones that Jesus and Paul warned about…rather make up your heart and your mind that you will Endure Sound Doctrine!