Today I stand in awe and have to confess that I DO serve a righteous-prayer answering God!!
So many times in life we pray and then walk away from the circumstances that forced you to pray that specific prayer at the time – not always seeing the actual fulfillment of the prayer. Other times we come into situations where we need to reprimand other Christians who are not walking according to the Word and who are outright rebellious but do not want to turn from their ways. Sad to say but these Christians walk away from you not having dealt with the issue at hand which God is obviously wanting them to deal with.
So, we walk away from a prayer that was left in God’s hands and they walk away from an issue God wants them to deal with – and probably vice versa. Have we ever stopped and taken a glance back to see what has happened – did the circumstances which were prayed for even change? Did these people (and ourselves) get to dealing with the issue God wanted to change in their life?
Today I can say I have had the opportunity to glance back to these people and circumstances and have seen that God is indeed righteous and that He does answer prayer! I would like to discuss the points I made above so that it can be an example to the Body of Christ out there.
My husband and I pastored a church in a very poor community of Danville in Pretoria, South Africa. Every now and then we would hear of other ministries coming into the area and taking people out in busloads to attend their churches in other areas also giving them handouts after the service. Please note that I am not altogether against handouts, but there are also limits and there should be structure. Anyway, on the other hand there were also preachers in Danville that were having church in the local school halls and even at private homes, many of whom were not doing it for the right reasons. The leadership of our church got together and prayed and manifested the closing of the roads and ‘gates’ into Danville for these ministries coming to remove the people from their area. We also made a manifestation for all the ‘self-made’ pastors, that were not serving Gods kingdom for the right reasons and in so doing, robbing a lot of poor people of their not only hard earned, but sometimes last bit of money.
My husband and I have been involved in this congregation for about 13 years now and for the past month been looking for a ministry with integrity to whom we can rent out the church building. The Lord led us to such people and they told my husband that it is not very easy to get a place in Danville to establish a church because the schools are no longer allowing it because the pastors do not pay their rent, they break the school’s belongings and they leave the place a mess! As I took that glance back in time, I said to myself this is God’s work – He is removing the unrighteous people that call themselves pastors, from the area! God’s word is very clear about His heart for the poor, the orphans and the widows of which there are many in Danville.
The second issue that I want to talk about is the people walking away from what God wants to teach them. My husband has been called by God to be a leader of leaders as Moses. The latter was not only the leader of Gods nation of Israel but he was also the leader of leaders of Israel. My husband is also a man of God who will not make any compromise with what is wrong and which is in direct opposition to God’s word. He is a professing God-pleaser and will not fall into the trap of pleasing any man on this earth for whatsoever reason. That being said, in the 13 years that we ministered in Danville we saw many people come and go that had leadership potential. As a leadership team, we mentored them in leadership skills but it seems that at some stage when they are supposed to take up their leadership positions, a spirit of rebellion (the Bible call it witchcraft); or another one as we call it now; “a traditional religious spirit of pride” and even the main characteristics of the evil Jezebel-spirit, would reveal it’s ugly self through these people. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we identified these spirits or wrong attitude, counselled them in love (even offered deliverance ministry) and urged them to work on this issue. Nearly on every occasion it would end up in a struggle trying to convince them of the need to change their attitude and to submit to the authority that has been placed over them by God, but discord would soon after break out and my husband be labeled as the bad guy. Unfortunately the people would then leave under a cloud taking with them the evil spirit/bad attitude that they did not want to deal with.
How many times did we not come before God and say why, why God? Why are You allowing this to happen every time we get them to the point of becoming good leaders – why do they leave and we must start all over again? Why are You allowing people with this rebellious spirit to enter the gates of this church knowing that they are not going to change once confronted with the issue of change? How many times did we not examine our own hearts for the possibility of these spirits being imparted by us? We even submitted ourselves to complete strangers to visit the church and reveal through the Spirit of Discernment and other gifts if we are somewhere at fault? But nothing came through but only blessings.
Today, after another such incident occurred, we glanced back at the people that left under the cloud of rebelliousness and other spirits of which I would like to give a few examples:
• One couple of whom the husband was an ordained pastor is living in New Zealand and not in ministry at all any longer.
• Another couple in which we revealed a strong Ahab and Jezebel spirit, were ordained after a few months by another local pastor and started a church at an unknowing couples’ house. According to witnesses they have since been kicked out due to the ‘pastor’ who tried to have an affair with the lady of the house, swears like a sailor and smoke on the allotted church premises;
• Another couple with potential of which the wife was really a changed person under our ministry, exposed the problem that the husband refused to submit under my husband’s authority. They moved to another province as they “felt God calling them to work with the orphans” – the ministry only lasted a few months and they are back in Gauteng and currently not ministering but have fallen prey to the Israel Vision/Sabbath-keeping cult.
• Another person who left the congregation under a cloud due to his personal situation was also ordained by the same local pastor and has subsequently gone astray from the truth and now also embraces the Israel Vision which includes keeping the Law of the Sabbath and the 10 Commandments, directly opposing the dispensation of Grace that was given to us through the death, burial and resurrection of our precious Lord Jesus Christ.
Looking back at all these people and how they have not prospered in their ministry does not make me say: “Yeah! nothing has become of them because of what they did to us” or “because they did not listen to us” or “we were right and they were wrong” . No!
But there is a lesson here to be learned that NOBODY is above the Word of God and He has called and ordained leadership positions for the Church. NOBODY is too big or glorious that he/she do not need to submit to another authority ordained by God. Only God is sovereign and does not have to submit to anybody and it seems quite clear from experience that it is the people (potential leaders and pastors) who proclaim that they are standing on their own authority, who easily falls prey to the wrong attitudes and rebellious spirits. Even my husband who is the head of the Organization, submits himself to the other leaders in the Executive Board before any decision is made. Everybody needs to submit him/herself to authority as called and ordained by God. And the pastors who so easily ordain people to become pastors should be very careful and wise before doing so as it would reflect directly on the ministry of the Word of God – good or bad.
My heart only rejoices in praise to our God and Savior, because I have seen firsthand that He is indeed a righteous God and that He does always answer prayer. On the other hand it is with a bit of sadness that I think of these people – rebellious people and careless pastors, and in my heart of heart I want them to learn the lessons God wants them to learn, get rid of everything that is not of God inside of them, allow God to build His character in them in this way and move on and mature in their relationship with Him and prosper in their ministry which will be of great advantage to the Kingdom of our great and Almighty God.
Unfortunately this is not a very easy path to choose as I can witness myself, but the rewards are parallel to nothing this earth can ever give and the peace that saturates your entire being cannot be explained in any human terminology.
The above message was written by Venetia Heath