True ministry, the kind that bears fruit, the kind that is of eternal value, that is born of the Spirit is accredited by God one way : through suffering.
I have recently had to re-submit my application for Re-Accreditation for Chaplaincy. Generally it was filling in paperwork, submitting references and governmental checks.
But this world’s ways are not God’s ways. He doesn’t care about university or seminary qualifications, although He can and does use them.
God’s way is to put His man through the fire. Rather than go through courses and units, programs in churches, Gods course and purpose is to get us to the point of death. This is what He wants.
I’m not necessarily talking about physical death, but to that place where we come to an end of ourselves and see we are so weak, so useless, so nothing , that we just go “Lord, I can’t even breathe without Your help! I submit to You wholeheartedly! Use me in whatever way You want”.
Ah this is the place where God can now use us. The place of death.
“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,” 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
“The sentence of death in ourselves” Paul says here.
“that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,”
That place of death is where we learn we can no longer trust ourselves, only now on God. We, who used to be so strong, so brave, so efficient, can no longer even get to the bathroom without someone helping us.
This was the point I got to last month, so physically unwell.
I re-submitted everything to God in that place. My family, my health, my life, any ministry I may have left… I lay it all on the altar. I gave it all up to Him. Again.
Whilst I was also re-submitting my chaplaincy accreditation..,
This is how He showed me His ministry, true ministry is birthed through death.
Then when everything is laid on the altar, He sends His fire to consume it, and He raises up what HE WANTS, only what He wants, in the power of His resurrection life.
Now all of Him. Nothing of self.
Just like Jesus. Just like Paul.
This is ministry He puts His stamp on. The stamp of death, in order to breathe His life into it.
God’s ministry credentials are born in the fire. Don’t doubt it my friend. If you’re going through suffering God is doing something in you, something of eternal value.
“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” Philippians 3:10 ,11
All churches have been closed since March here in Victoria, Australia. Seven months now and not a whimper from one church leader. Pathetic.
Yesterday we went to a park and sat outside and had church. There were 20 of us. We spaced out in household groups. I’ll admit not many of us were wearing masks.
We worshipped amongst the trees , my husband and I dedicated a baby and we read the Word.
And then someone called the police.
“Who’s the leader here?” they said as they walked over, fully armed. My husband said we were. I showed them my Bible and said that we are having church.
“It’s illegal” she said “you’re having a mass gathering”.
I asked if I could speak to her aside. She reluctantly agreed and I explained to them both that amongst our group there has been two attempted suicides in the last fortnight.
“It’s no excuse for breaking the law” she said.
“I will have to fine each of you $5000 . I have to, we no longer have discretion”.
Before you judge me as being irresponsible and for not obeying the government, just try to imagine yourself in Melbourne . Please try to imagine being in lockdown since March. Stage 4 lockdown since July. Not allowed to leave our homes 22 hours a day, not allowed to see anyone except one person outside and, up till recently, only if you’re walking. Not allowed to leave a 5km radius of our home. Now we are allowed to actually sit in a park with no more than 5 people total and from a maximum of two households. Masks are mandatory at all times. Most workplaces are closed still. Kids have been out of school for months. Suicides are at an all time high for boys under 18.
And churches are shut.
Peope in other states of Australia cannot even grasp what we have been going through down here and I don’t blame them for that. Nobody should have to live like this. There have been moments where I felt I would lose my mind…But for the grace of God…
Many people have though. A couple who owned a beauty business which has been shut for many months, dropped their two kids off at their grandparents and then went and took their own lives.
And yet we count daily covid cases like they’re the only thing that matters now. For the last three weeks our daily covid cases have been 10-15.
So judge me if you like, tell me I’m being irresponsible but I honestly couldn’t care less. We have been smuggling people in to our home for months. We have been running an underground church. We have cast out demons, we have lead people to Christ and we have baptized people. This week we will be baptizing another in our bathtub.
Tell me, can this Anti- Christ government stop Gods work and Gods kingdom? No.
For those who have told me I should submit to government, I want to ask you, what side would you have been on when the Nazis were in power?
The police didn’t end up fining us $5000 each, thank You Lord, they let us off with a warning after all. Even ended up thanking us for the work we are doing. “Just find a way to do it legally,” they said. That is something I cannot figure out.
Our churches will not be open for months and months here.
We still have an 8pm curfew. We have not been allowed out for more than one hour of exercise a day for 5 weeks. We have not been allowed to see our elderly parents for 8 weeks. Today we had 113 new cases. 113.
I was going to write my own blog about what’s going on here in Melbourne but this one says it all. We are now under an oppressive police state. We are to carry permits in our car to go to work, that’s if you still can work. Many workplaces are now shutdown by the government. We have not been legally allowed to see our friends and family AT ALL for months. Mother’s Day was banned. Church is non existent since March. Food shortages are expected to begin next week as a Abbatoirs and food distribution centers are shutdown. Please pray for us, it is very hard.
Two nights ago I waited on the Lord and asked Him to speak to me . He told me “don’t look back, like Lots wife”
I live in Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. While the rest of my country has quashed covid-19, here in Melbourne it is running amok amongst the community and the aged care facilities. We are suffering under the weight of heavy restrictions that are costing jobs, hope and lives. What they don’t advertise is the number of suicides as a consequence of our second lockdown in a few months. Today our state government will be announcing stage 4 restrictions. I don’t know what that will mean for our jobs, my kids education etc. But I know my God and I know He is faithful. I trust Him and I praise Him anyway.
Why Melbourne? Why are we facing such a heavy judgement. Of all states in Australia Victoria is the most wicked. We are the only state where late term abortion has been legal for many years, where there is a safe injecting room, where Christian Religious Ed has been outlawed in public schools, where it is now legal to change your gender on your birth certificate with no surgery required. This is allowed even up to once per year! The only state where medical marijuana is legalized, euthanasia became legal one year ago….the list goes on. God has to judge, our wickedness is heaped up to the heavens and there is an outcry against our state.
As the Body of Christ He is trying to get our attention. He is separating us from every thing in this world that we cling to, rely on, trust in. As we see His judgment upon our own city unfold before our eyes we must listen to Him and let go of everything of the world and cling only to Him. He is our only hope now, our refuge , our strength in times of trouble. We must not “look back”, long for, the things of the world that have for so long captured our hearts .
“With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”
16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
“God hath had it much on His heart, from all eternity, to glorify His dear and only begotten Son; and there are some special seasons that He appoints to that end, wherein He comes forth with Omnipotent power to fulfill His promise and oath to Him: and these times are times of remarkable pouring out of His Spirit, to advance His kingdom; such a day is a day of His power.” – Jonathan Edwards
About three weeks ago I had a dream that a couple of people were coming to our house for prayer. But when I opened the front door a stream of people came in and kept coming…and coming. All different races of people. I wondered how they knew to come. They said
“We knew you’d be open!”
Our lounge was packed with people and I lifted up my hands and said “No social distancing here!”
The dream ended.
During the lockdown we had been doing a Bible study every morning and two others had been joining us via Messenger. So we just thought now we are “allowed” to have two people come to our house we will just invite them on a Sunday morning to continue this bible study, but now in person.
That was three weeks ago and every week more and more people have come on a Sunday. We have such a blessed time of worship, bible study, prayer and eat lunch together. Yesterday was beautiful. We had guys join us from a Christian halfway house, where they take in men who have come out of jail or rehab and give them a place to live and a job.
The Lord spoke to us about House of Saul versus House of David and the outcasts going to David in the cave at Adullum….
On Friday I said to the Lord “What is going on?” This home-Church thing seems to be taking off at our place FAST, like it’s almost out of our control.
we have literally just opened the doors and people have come.
He gave me this scripture in our family bible study and confirmed It the next day as I was reading the book “Anointed for Burial”
”Go and join this chariot” Acts 8:29
As my friend Tim Shey has said , I think we just need to follow the cloud at the moment guys.
Be willing to do things differently because suddenly all our plans have been interrupted. Like the old thing is dead now. We’ve got to just follow the Lord.
And as my other friend (and spiritual father) Bill Randles has said – the church needs to meet in flesh and blood.
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