Tag Archives: five-fold ministry

Are You Among the Least?

Do you ever feel like you are one of the least of Jesus’ disciples? Maybe your “least” means least of the intercessors, or the prophetic people, or the singers in the choir, or the teachers, or the soul-winners in your acquaintance. It doesn’t really matter what your least is: this post is for you.

I deal with feeling like the least a lot, especially when it comes to intercession or prophecy, my particular functions in the Body. I’ve gotten to know some of the people who read my blog regularly, and I tend to admire them for how succinctly they hear the Lord and how they are able to turn what they hear into such powerful prayer. And then, there is their great faith for answers. Or their ability to move boldly in the word of knowledge or personal prophecy. It’s easy for me to wonder, “What do I have to offer these folks in my writing? Aren’t they already miles ahead of me?”

That’s the way I was feeling some weeks back, and I realized I needed to get free of such a mindset. After all, doesn’t 2 Corinthians 10:12 warn us, “… But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise”? Whether we’re comparing ourselves to others and thinking we’re a notch above the rest, or whether we go the other direction and think we’re on the bottom rung of the ladder, it isn’t in line with God’s view at all.

So, as I was asking the Lord to help me break free from my little inferiority stewpot, He brought to mind John 15 — that familiar chapter where Jesus talks about being the Vine, while we are the branches — “For without Me, You can do nothing” (v. 5).

I started to see myself as one of the branches, attached to the Vine, with an abundance of other branches surrounding me, also attached to the Vine. Each of us who is connected into Jesus as a healthy branch has the same sap flowing to us — the life of His Spirit within us. And because of that continual flow to us, we each produce fruit for Him in just the right amounts. Some branches may have a few more grapes clustered on them than others, but that doesn’t really matter a whole lot, because all are doing what they are supposed to do — bearing fruit. It is only when the sap supply is cut off that the branch becomes withered and dried, so that it doesn’t produce fruit like it should.

If grapevine branches could think, would they obsess about whether they were producing as many grapes as the branches around them? I suppose we can’t really know for sure, but I’m guessing they wouldn’t. They are just enjoying being connected to their vine, the source of all which they produce.

In the same way, whatever we do completely depends upon Jesus. We can’t strain harder to produce fruit and voila! our straining suddenly brings miraculous results. It is Jesus the Vine Who makes it all happen. Sure, we have to cooperate with Him by listening to the Spirit’s promptings and acting upon them, but as long as we are doing that as best we know how in our present stage of maturity, we produce the intended fruit. It may not look exactly like someone else’s fruit, and it may not ripen as quickly, but it is still fruit, and it is good in the Lord’s eyes.

Living in performance mode has become so much the norm in today’s church scene, that most of the time we don’t even recognize what is happening to us — or how wrong it is. Here in America, our independent, pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps work ethic influences our perception of self-worth: If I just try harder, I can do more for Jesus. If I can’t prophesy with all the pizzazz of Sister Susie, I’m not as valuable as she is. If I’m not a superstar with an audience of 5,000, I am insignificant.”

1 Corinthians 4:7 puts our function in the body of believers into better perspective: “For Who makes you different from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now, if you received it [as a free gift from God], why do you glory, as if you had not received it [but had somehow come up with it on your own]?”

The Lord also reminds us that each of us has been given unique purpose and custom-designed functions within His overall plan: “… Every man [or woman] has his proper gift from God, one after this manner, and another after that” (1 Corinthians 7:7).

So let’s find joy in Jesus, our Vine. And let’s rejoice that we get to be one of His branches, whether large or small, enjoying His sap, bearing fruit as He designed us to do. We can be thankful that we are part of a bigger picture, working together with all the other branches. It’s all about Jesus, not us, anyway.

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World, by Lee Ann Rubsam

Sauls and “Smalls”

LeeAnnRubsam.com

While attending a prayer gathering recently in which we were praying for our nation, I heard God speak that He wants to change the Christian leaders of America from Sauls into “smalls.”  This is true particularly of those who have the call of being an apostle upon their lives (whether their church tradition recognizes the existence of modern-day apostles or not).

The Apostle Paul’s name was originally Saul, and he was aptly named.  King Saul of the Old Testament was the epitome of zealously trying to accomplish God’s purposes in the power of man, and that’s what the New Testament Saul did, too — until His encounter with Jesus.  He eventually was affectionately nicknamed Paul, which means “small.”

God wants to take today’s leaders in the Church and turn them from Sauls to “smalls” — humble, dependent on Him alone, making themselves of no reputation, deeply servant-hearted.  The time is coming to an end when God will tolerate His leaders trying to fulfill the Great Commission through plans that they have devised from their own natural understanding or by trying to carbon copy someone else’s model of ministry.  The time of ministry empires which have forgotten their original focus and have become self-perpetuating entities is also coming to an end. 

What did Paul and the other early apostles have that many modern-day Christian leaders do not?  They carried a wide-eyed expectancy for unlimited miracles, stemming from utter dependency on Jesus, fueled by intimacy with Him.  They yielded themselves in obedience to whatever the Lord commanded them  — whether their reputations and popularity were ruined in the process or not.  They stayed small in their own eyes while keeping Jesus big in their gaze.

The power of the Lord will flow in America, with biblical signs, wonders, miracles, healings, deliverances, and even the raising of many from the dead.  But for that to happen wholesale, God must have leaders who carry His glory without usurping any of it for themselves.  That is going to take the turning of Sauls into smalls.

Upcoming Flowing in the Prophetic Seminar

The Flowing in the Prophetic seminars are over, but you can still pick them up as a CD series at Steve Driessen’s resource page.

We had a wonderful time at the Level 1 Flowing in the Prophetic seminar in January.  If you missed that one, you can still pick up the CD SetLevel 2 is going to be just as wonderful.  (I put the workbook together for it, so I’ve got the inside scoop.)

The Flowing in the Prophetic series is taught by my pastor, Steve Driessen.  Much of what I know about intercession and prophecy I have learned by hard experience and revelation, but a great deal of it has also come from Pastors Steve and Joan.  Their impartation and activation of the revelatory in my life have been huge.  I’d so love for all of you to receive from them, too.  Well, you can!

Pastors, if you have intercessors and prophetic people in your church, this seminar is for you.  You will learn how to allow the gifts of the Spirit to flow freely, and at the same time not have chaos in the house.  You will learn how to draw on this unique group of people for much-needed revelation and intercession, how to help them feel valuable to you, while protecting your congregation and yourself from division and back-door usurping of your pastoral position.  It can be a win-win situation with the tools presented in this teaching. 

Here’s the official info on the next Flowing in the Prophetic seminar:

SALT International presents ~

Flowing in the Prophetic
Level 2: Prophetic Alignment

Steve Driessen, apostolic teacher

Saturday, May 1, 2010

You’ve got the prophetic gifts. Now, what do you do with them?

In this one day seminar you will learn how to:

  • Release life and light to those around you through prophecy
  • Use your prophetic gifts properly within the church setting
  • Maintain a pure Word of the Lord
  • Maximize the blessing potential of your prophetic words in the lives of others 

Today’s world needs the prophetic voice, both in the Church and without.  You can be that voice.  This seminar will help you prepare to take your place in the greatest release of  prophetic revelation the Church has ever received. 

Topics:

1.)  Keep a Clean Stream
2.)  False Assumptions About Prophetic Giftings
3.)  God Offends the Mind to Reveal the Heart
4.)  Pastors and Prophets: How to Function Together
5.)  Prophetic Words in Public Worship
6.)  Women in Prophetic Ministry 

Details:

Saturday, May 1, 2010
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

The Siekman Center – 2nd Floor
300 N. Appleton St.
Appleton, WI  54911 

Cost: $60.00 per person or $100.00 per married couple 
(includes training materials and lunch) 

Pre-registration with payment is required by April 21, 2010.