[b]To All Frustrated Revival, Holiness, And Repentance Preachers[/b]I understand that there are many frustrated revival, holiness and repentance preachers out there especially in America and the west. I myself many times was one of them and a few times came VERY close to packing up and going to Mexico, India and Africa in search of better fishing holes and greener grass, but by the grace of God was spared from acting out my frustrations and thus stepping outside the perfect will of God. Based upon personal experience and the dealing of the Lord in my own life I would like to address a few issues that face many such preachers today. After reading this article over, I see how it may come across as a rebuke, but I would encourage the reader to rather take it as a straight forward, matter of fact, yet loving exhortation, for that is the spirit in which it was written. I most certainly am not trying to point a finger at anyone in particular, except for myself for I am guilty and have been dealt with by God for most of what is written here, but I also feel that most of the people I have known and worked with could benefit greatly from the topic of this article. With that being said, there are a few major problems today among many true repentance, revival and holiness preachers I would like to address. These problems are a major source of frustration among many Christian workers. The first is that they went and were not sent and thus are out of the will of God. The second is that their focus is on numbers and an earthly or fleshy view of success instead of on the glory of God, and it seems that both problems go hand in hand. First of all, that which is not sent of God cannot accomplish the purposes of God, and thus produces frustration, for that which He sends He empowers. And secondly, one of the last but most important things that needs to be forsaken, crucified, burned out of our flesh and died to is the desire to go and do for God the desire to chase after ministry opportunities, results, numbers of conversions or those who seem to accept our message and basing our success or failure upon theses things instead of on an obedience to the sending and calling of God on our lives. We see this when ministers are constantly jumping from one place, state, country to another and every time thinks and saying it is the sending of God, but end up in frustration when they don't see the fruit they expected to see.This desire to go and do for God must be laid at the altar and crucified in our lives, or we are no use to God and his plans. The devil will take and use what ever he can to draw us and our focus away from Christ and the perfect will of God for our lives. Satan will get us to seek and go after with all of our hearts things like revival, signs and wonders, the prophetic, ministry, anointing, numbers and many other good things to divert our focus from Christ and Christ being formed in us. Paul experienced all of the pre-mentioned things to a greater degree then most of us would hope for in our wildest dreams and he said I count ALL things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (Php 3:8)What do you focus more on where is the greatest desire of your heart? Do you seek more after revival or after Christ and Him being formed in you? Do you seek more after signs and wonders or after Christ and Him being formed in you? Do you seek more after ministry and results or after Christ and Him being formed in you? Are you content to never see revival, signs and wonders and give up your ministry counting all these things as dung to become more Christ like? Christ and Christ being formed in us must be our supreme focus and the desire of our heart and only then will these other things flow naturally from our lives and only then can we truly be used of God by the Spirit.Our human nature and flesh cause us to chase after opportunities and results. We think if we are not heard we are not successful. If we are rejected we feel we have failed. And this is true only if God has not sent us and we went out of our desire to please God or to be Gods man of the hour. We are not a success in the eyes of God based upon if the message He has us speak was accepted or not, or upon how many people have heeded our calls for repentance, but rather upon our obedience to God and what he has called us to do. Ezekiel named Noah, Daniel and Job as the three most righteous men in the eyes of God and none of these men would be considered successful by the number of converts or by the number of people who heeded the messages they preached Noah was a preacher of righteousness for 120 years and saved only his family, Job was considered a failure by the religious of his day and Daniel the prophet of God in Babylon had only three converts to his credit. These men were unsuccessful in the eyes of the world but counted as the three most righteous men who ever walked the face of the earth by God in Ezekiel's time because of their faith and obedience to God. You see, we all desire to be the Phillip and see great sweeping revival and not the Stephen, a servant to the widows, who was literally rejected to death, although both brought great glory to God because of their obedience. Who would be more successful or bring more glory to God, the preacher of righteousness in Babylon who preached all of his days to stiff necked Christ rejecting God hating sinners never winning one convert, but preached out of the sending of God solely for his glory as an example of God's grace, longsuffering and loving even to those who hate and reject Him? Or the one who out of frustration and hatred towards Babylon leaves for greener grass and better fishing holes and ends up planting 100 churches and leading numerous people to Christ, but was outside the perfect will of God in disobedience to his true calling, thus producing results in the flesh rather then the Spirit? I think all would agree upon the latter bring glory to God by his obedience and I think most can see the point. Although both things are good only one is the perfect will of God. This is not to say that God wont lead us to new areas, but to go out of frustration instead of the sending of God is the problem.There are many frustrated holiness, revival and repentance preachers who have left the west for better fishing holes not out of sending from God but frustration, anger and hatred for Babylon, desire for results and most of all pride My message and/or I deserve to be preached to those who are hungry and willing to accept it Merely because we see something that needs to be fixed, or a need that needs to meet or a hunger that needs filled is not the justification for doing it. There is nothing more opposed to the purposes of God than the well-meaning intentions men perpetrate in their own human and religious zeal. To go to the third world or unreached peoples out of frustrations, humane and religious zeal, the mind set that you have the ability to reach these people who are hungrier for the gospel and are more ready to accept your message and preaching having not been sent by God would be grave error and a stench in the nostrils of God.If you are sent by God to a place in American then go there and stay and preach the words He gives you where He tells you. If you are sent by God to a place in third world then go there and preach the words He gives where He tells you.. If you are sent to the poor then preach to the poor if not then dont. If you sent to the rich then preach to the rich, if not then dont to the institutional church to the unconverted to the old the youth or where ever you are sent that is where you must go and die completely to the result, the numbers, the acceptance or rejection you receive and be obedient to God focused on bringing Him glory. The most discontent, frustrated and unsuccessful (in Gods eyes) ministers and preachers are those who are constantly chasing after ministry opportunities, results, numbers, the next big revival, greener grass and better fishing holes, instead of seeking the sending of God and being obedient to His sending regardless of the results or lack of results and/or the acceptance or rejection of the message He has us preach.Are you content to be an Isaiah preaching as a sent prophet of God for 60 plus years with no recorded converts and to be sawed in half at the end of your ministry? Or how about a Noah preaching under obedience to the calling of God for 120 years and only converting your family? Or a Daniel in Babylon? Or a Jeremiah, Hosea, Ezekiel, Amos, or Stephen all who were obedient to God and His sending but rejected by those who they were called to preach to? We must repent of, crucify and forsake our desire for results, to be seen of men, our human and religious zeal, chasing after opportunities and our desire to go and do for God and pray for true sending completely and utterly submitted to what ever that may be and what ever results we receive.These are important issues and questions for all preachers of the Truth to examine themselves with. Please pray and ask God to reveal where your heart is on such matters and truths, for the heart is desperately wicked and who shall know it except for God. If you think you can detect the condition of your own heart you are already in a precarious spot. Let God reveal the condition of your heart. And so, if you are a preacher of righteousness, holiness, revival, and/or repentance and you are frustrated first you must make sure you are where God has sent or placed you and not there out of your own sending or because you felt the grass would greener so to speak. If you are where you are because that is where God has placed you then be of good cheer and do your work solely for the glory of completely dying to results. If you are not where God has sent you or placed you then seek after the perfect the will of God and He will guide you where He wants you to be.I personally both repent, crucify and submit to the workings of God to burn every last speck of the human, soulish, fleshy and carnal desires to go and do for God and would like to ask everyone who is convicted and prompted by the Spirit to join me. May God in His grace and mercy birth and create in us a desire to glorify Him through faith and obedience alone.If you are a frustrated revival, repentance, or holiness preacher and considering leaving where you are for greener grass or better fishing holes PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE listen to the following message from Carter Conlon and the below resources from Art Katz.[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=11769]Six Steps And A Shout Of Glory! - Carter Conlon[/url]The late Art Katz speaks extensively on the subject of sent vs. went the good vs. the perfect please explore the resources from Art Katz on the subject.[url=http://www.obeyjesus.net/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,13/Itemid,35/]The Apostolic Commission - Ark Katz - Compilation[/url][url=http://www.obeyjesus.net/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,82/Itemid,35/]Apostolic Manifesto - Art Katz[/url][url=http://www.obeyjesus.net/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,85/Itemid,35/]The Making Of An Apostle - Art Katz[/url][url=http://www.obeyjesus.net/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,84/Itemid,35/]The Formation Of An Apostle - Art Katz[/url]God bless,Patrickwww.revivalarmy.com~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sent vs. Went by Art KatzsWhen God confronts Moses at the burning bush and sends him, what does Moses say about that, "Who am I that You should send me?" He is a broken man, one who has no assurance of his qualifications. He has been completely emptied out of all of his human qualifications, which were supreme and sublime, both genealogically, being a Hebrew of the Hebrews, of the priestly tribe, and also a prince of Egypt, and therefore versed in all of their wisdom and knowledge. But this is now a man truly emptied of himself and has not a wit of confidence that he can perform anything, let alone deliver an entire people out of bondage. There is no man more qualified than the one who believes in his deepest heart that he is without qualification. The whole preliminary work of God is to disqualify us before we can be qualified. This is totally contrary to the whole religious mindset. It is absolutely wasteful in their eyes because here is a man, who at the age of forty and full of vigor, is ready to do great things for God. How many of us are itching to go out and make our mark for God? And yet God does not think it lavish, wasteful or extravagant to give Moses another forty years of waiting in the wilderness until he is completely emptied outand then He calls him.Merely because we see something that deserves to be rectified is not a justification necessarily to perform it. We cannot act in response to need. Moses is not sent because he sees the need, but it says that, "the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me." God saw their affliction, and we are not to go on the basis of our seeing, but on the basis of His sending. What a difference that is from all the running here and there that is currently taking place in Christendom!How many of us have sufficiently dwelt on the word sent as we ought? Do we understand the significance of the difference between one who went and the one who is sent? However well-meaning it might be, is not most of our Christian activity self-initiated. Do we know, and I mean really know, what it is to be sent from the One who is enthroned? My own observation is that the overwhelming majority of Christians have a self-motivated itch to go and to do, to be seen and to cut a swathe for themselves and their ministry, but we are not seeing sendings of the kind that initiated the early history of the Church. Those that were sent turned the world upside-down. Do we sufficiently honor and esteem the phenomenon of sending? Do we understand the difference between the consequences of the work that results from one sent in comparison to the work of one who is self-initiated in his going? Are we even assured that the world needs to be turned upside-down? Or do we see the world as needing merely to be modified and have some of its excesses reduced? Do we see the world as being evil? Are we chafed by its immorality, even its a-morality? Do we have the basis for comparison that would be ours once having seen the Lord high and lifted up?Everything hinges upon seeing the Lord as the Lord, because after forty-one years in the faith and in world-wide ministry, touching and examining the Church in its best forms, I would have to say that my greatest grief over the condition of the Church, its leadership and its prominent ministers is that they do not know God as God. They do not know Him as He in fact is. Without this knowledge of God, we are condemned to a hollow counterfeit much more in harmony with our own approving ambition and intentions. Consequently, there is no fear of God, and we will find ourselves taking liberties and initiating conduct that was not sent from Heaven. Art Katz~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I was hoping to get some comments on this article. I was wondering if anyone read and what they thought? Especially if any preachers have gone through this also?God bless,Patrickwww.revivalarmy.com
Hi Patrick,I read your article this morning and felt led to answer. I was blessed by your article. My wife and I volunteer in a long-term care facility with the elderly , many of who have attended church their entire lives. As of the first of January we started a Bible study and we were shocked to hear that all of those who attended were afraid of the future, what they had to face when they had to meet God. We were shocked because we believed that those who came were Christians. We led a weekly church service for the past five or so years and some of those who came faithfully indicated that they loved the Lord, yet, to hear them say that they were afraid to face eternity was deeply troubling. I share this, because there are mission fields right under our noses if we only allow God to open our eyes. I believe that a few years ago I shared on this forum that I felt led by the Holy Spirit to warn the church to repent and to return to Gods word and obey it. The only door the Lord has opened has been with the elderly.In His love,Hans
God bless you Hans and thanks for your reply. I believe your mission field is where you are sent by God. Our mission field is not where we feel the greatest need is or where we feel that people will accept the message we preach the most. Our mission field is where we are SENT by God, whether we be a prophet in Babylon like Daniel, a preacher of righteousness among the wicked like Noah being rejected all the days of our life, a great revivalist like Phillip or Paul or a preacher to the stiff necked and a martyr like Stephen. I also believe you are coorect in your observatrions...
I share this, because there are mission fields right under our noses if we only allow God to open our eyes.
Thank you Brother for sharing,It's been a long time since I've said anything on this forum but you're right on. God will crucify the desire to "be somebody." God can't use one filled with self-importance.The emptying out is painful but Jesus is faithful to empty out the hidden vestiges of pride. As the Lord led the Israelites out into the wildnerness, so shall he lead us if we follow Him. His intent is to deal with our ways and teach us to wait on Him. Most of us Americans don't have time to wait on God but we want to get out there and do something for God.My heart has been encouraged to discover that the blood of Jesus has the power to break my sinful deeds, but also my ways and to change them.This is a warning. God can't use a man or woman who has not been through the desert...
Hey Patrick,Thanks for the message. It is right on. The past six years for me has been a process of trusting and taking steps and then hoping I am pleasing Him in what I do. How do we reckon that what we are doing is the Will of God; even though the frustration is there, the fear and trembling of possible being wrong and the cold-hearts that don't respond to the Word of God?Also, I listen to several preachers; Art Katz, Keith Daniel, David Wilkerson, Carter Conlon, and read the likes of McCheynne, Brooks etc...and then I want so deperately to preach as they do, but often fall flat. Is this falling flat a sign of going without being sent? Will that preaching be evident in the man whom God sends or is there a period of training, growing into and submitting to Him? I earnestly desire comments and counsel on this.
How do we reckon that what we are doing is the Will of God; even though the frustration is there, the fear and trembling of possible being wrong and the cold-hearts that don't respond to the Word of God?
Is this falling flat a sign of going without being sent? Will that preaching be evident in the man whom God sends or is there a period of training, growing into and submitting to Him?
Thank you for responding...In my life, the Lord has often confirmed that a step I have taken was His will after the step was taken. The struggle has been prior to the decision and the step, in my situations, and I have never enjoyed a full confirmation of His will prior to the step. I wonder if that what faith is...not sure, struggling, wrestling with what to do, where to go, what to say, but trusting in God to do it through me. Am I making sense? Or am I mad? Is there a conflict in faith; one side wants to know what to do, where to place the foot, the exact words to say, the right responses, but then, on the other side, there is no assurance of these things, no faith in the thing, but faith in God.I have listened to the sermon, Be ye perfect, it was actually the first one I listened to of Art's. Those words altered my way of thinking and caused me to understand the importance of reliance on God and His work in my life. It was interesting...in spending time with a dear couple last night, we mentioned Art Katz to them and a brief snippet of his wanderings prior to conversion. We were able to tell them about what that man said to him in the episode of Art hitchhiking. About men washing one another's feet. Isn't it so wonderful to reflect on Christ and that we are not above our master, in anything, and the way he conducted his life, through groanings and weeping into the wee hours of the morning. O that the Lord would cause my heart to resound with the same intercession...
Dear PatrickI think many servants think on/encounter such things. Look at the extent of turning away from Divine Wisdom in minisrty to man's wisdom (which manipulates the flesh well) for an example that has reached the trend level with much "market research". Light on and freedom from such difficulty is important.My fruitful time with our Lord in Matthew this year addressed subjects in this thread (frustration, focus on numbers, go and do, successful, etc.). I cut and pasted what follows here from that overflow of Matthew. (the counselor of a prisoner getting clear on her call to that ministry, a prisoner release to learn that she had a real judge that was not man, pastor freed from depression, myself cleansed from the sin of disappointment, my sister freed to give Glory to God, etc). Please forgive what my brother calls the telegraph-eeze I write in. I really write to catch what He is saying and doing. The important/most useful part about the prisoner difficulty (Part One) is: [u][b]A way to rspond: "I am not your judge." [/b][/u] and [u][b]It is when we are griped by that Divine Truth that Divine Love pours out.[/b][/u]What a relief and release! [b]PART TWO[/b] 11/15/07 Do not despair at the prisoners response/spending the time in lies (her innocence).[u]Guarding our heart[/u]. What begins as a great heart cry/expectation of God can degrade into expectations of man. This makes a great opening for sin and our adversary. It can go to disappointment and spill over to criticism, a critical spirit even. Or, if we look to the response of man to reinforce, prove, support our faith in God, we fall into a pit (dis-paired from Him). John 2:23-25 really points the way here. It is man, the flesh of man that disappoints. It is faith in God who appoints and does not disappoint. With that faith, look and see Phil. 4:8. Do not look on the flesh of a child of God. Look through him who is fearfully and wonderfully made for Gods works are wonderful.[u]On a personal note[/u]: God corrects me that when I have sought Him specifically and been lead to do or say something, if I take my eyes off of Him and looking to see, by some response in man (drift of expectation down to man); I was making a great opening for our adversary (disappointment, criticism, fear, confusion, doubt). Yes God has refined my ability to hear and follow Him over the years but it has always been done profitably by going to Him after obeying Him. (Example: Gods response to fruitful public testimony on the radio: But by my mercy you were not consumed). Today He shows me the more subtle temptation of looking at the positive response of man to God for anything. This can lead to a similar drift of expectation down to man. Missionaries, who have labored decades, with little response from man, must have learned the first part of this and evangelists seeing much response, without being led astray into shifting confidence toward man, must have learned the second part. Our Lord and Pauls life of course shows this. It was during these days, -- as He showed me first the Divine Love of I am not your judge and then showed me the snare/sin of disappointment, -- that He freed and cleansed me from disappointment. Matthew 5-7: I am not your judge -page 4-Then He worked in my sisters heart freeing and cleansing her to give glory to God. God did this work separately(!): with growth in Christ for both and reconciliation in His Body. What a joy to meet others in Christ, true Christian fellowship, shared growth in Christ, glory to God. Board meetings are a safer place now. [u]For those in Christian leadership[/u]: I have seen a unique sort of depression among pastors, cyclic and some times chronic, when they have not guarded their heart, the new heart that our Lord has enlarged in them. The heart of the issue is thinking on achieving something, a response/goal. This is not thinking on serving. The shift in thinking can be subtle. Sometimes they even think that they are nothing, that they have failed God, if they do not achieve this thing. The change that is needed here has a death of self in it that can be overlooked. The servant simply serves when he brings his Lord the sword. He does not guess, or purpose the objective of the sword. His Lord called for it and he brought it. The servant does not wield it. His Lord does. He has obeyed and he awaits his next direction from his Lord. His joy is in the Lord. What is important for the servant is to know what sword his Lord has called for. That is the servants joy-filled gift, given to know and enabled hear. When the battle is hot, the Lord rejoices to call the servant who faithfully brings the very sword He has called for. It is a great release and relief to be a servant. Think on that rather than achieving something that has come to your mind, looking to the response of people to see if you have achieved your goal, and assessing yourself that way. For example: The Lord is Almighty and Good: the Almighty and Good Lord equips His servants to serve. He called for this sword and I brought it and I stand ready for His next call. This is a, Yes Lord, whats next? of revival. [u]Correlate[/u]. Knowing that I am not your judge, I know that you are not my judge. This assists anyone to restore me when it is needed. There is little flesh-defending uproar. None of this depends on the other person. There is even less uproar if truth is spoken in Love. Because we do not always know our heart or the heart of others it is important to take what is given to God who delights in our growth and cleansing, and to respond according to His Word. Noticing and taking care how we hear accelerates the death of self. I do pray that this makes some sense.God Bless all His servants made for His pleasureJoanM