Have you ever thought about how much God wants us?
God told me many years ago that I would never be great, but, that the people around me would be. I have taken that word as a purpose to mentor as many young leaders as I can in my life. And that is why I have often contacted young leaders and tried to speak into their life. Even if from a distance. About 2 months ago, I think God spoke to me clearly to share a warning with young spiritual leaders. Young ministers in the Kingdom of God. Both men and women.
None of this word is a result of foreknowledge of any situation. I have just returned from a busy summer of youth camps and several other preaching dates and feel that I am in good spiritual condition. In good spiritual condition. But, not where I desire to be at this point in my spiritual life. It is in this spiritual state that I was arrested by God. The Holy Spirit woke me on Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 3.30 in the morning and gave me several warnings.
And now, has specifically asked me to share these warnings with young leaders. I began first of all sharing this and praying with my family, and then, doing the same thing with 2 of the young men that I mentor. And they were visibly shaken.
And so I bring it to you as a young leader in the Kingdom of God. Young leaders that many might be watching. Young leaders that I respect. Young leaders that I pray for often. Young leaders who are influencing the church and culture in America today. On a large scale or a small one. Hoping that you have already heard the voice of the Lord in this area and God has been speaking to you. And if you have not heard Him, hoping that you will receive it before calamity.
I have not changed the words or the phrases of this awakening. It was tempting to do that and give it some current language and make it sound more graceful or palatable with prose and glamour. This is as clearly as the Lord has ever spoken to me and I have left it as realistic as I remember. As I have been comfortably serving the Lord in my good condition, the Lord became very direct and emphatic with me. And this is the question He asked me: Why have I become your second thought (love)? Have I become that small in your life? He then asked me several more questions around two themes:
· "Do you know that the first 2 of My Ten Commandments have something to do with pride and confidence? The first is that you shall have no other God’s before Me. The second is that you are not to create any image in place of me." He then asked me if I knew the other 8 Commandments. Thankfully, I could recite each of them.
· "Why have I become your second thought (love)? Your pride is in anything other than me. Self. Materialism. Knowledge. Wisdom. Gifts and talents. And even position or title. If these are first, then I am second. And I shall have no other gods or images before me. That would mean I am first. Not second." I remember the jealousy I felt from the Lord. Not anger. He then asked me for my family. That's right. We normally would think that a love of family is noble. And a priority. But, God warned me that He would not even have my family before Him.
· "Contrary to your thinking, your pride is not spiritual confidence. And not courage. And not your trust in me. And not the talent and gifts I have given you." I understand the difference between those things and pride. I have given you many of these things. But, I must be your first thought (love) and these your second." We may not know the difference between confidence and pride. But, God does. I implore you to repent of each if you are not sure.
· "Idolatry is something that replaces me in your life. It becomes the first thing you think of (that you love)." And if the first thought (love) you have is not God, then you are placing another God before Him. Any thought (love) or action that we have before Him is pride. Any object or skill-set that is used before Him is pride. We must not only thank Him for the skills, we must give them back to Him.
If you want to be a great leader in the Kingdom of God and American culture, and you do not want to worry about the increase of your influence, you will make God your first thought (love), and not your second thought (love). If you do not deal with this, great is the fall from any height you are seeking. Aside from PRIDE, the second thing the Lord spoke to me was about the following.
· "Worry has become your first thought (love). Do you think that I cannot handle what you are going through? Whatever you are worrying about is proof that you are placing it before me. That worry is your first thought (love). And I am your second thought (love)." This was deeply convicting to me in the midst of what we were about to go through as a family. Just 2 weeks after this morning awakening, Jane would be diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. Out of nowhere. We had no idea that she was sick.
· "Do you think that I cannot handle your sickness? How small do I have to be that I am your second thought (love)? And a sickness is your first?" Why would God question me about this? Are you able to answer this question? What are you worried about? Stop. It isn't worth it because He can handle it.
· "The promotion to another stage or interview you are desiring is less than I could grant you. And the promotion is your first thought (love). How small do I have to be that a promotion is placed before me?" God is asking you to stop worrying about influence. And develop integrity instead. Because integrity is your influence. If you seek a platform, remember, it will be much less influential than the one He has for you.
· "The relationship you are seeking has become more important to you than me. It is your first thought (love). How small do I have to be that a key relationship is placed before me?" I was stunned that morning by how often we want to meet someone of importance and get in with them. And the Lord asked me simply, "When is the last time you couldn’t wait to get to me? You laid out a plan to meet with me?"
The last word I want to give you from that morning is this. God has plans for you beyond what you can ask or imagine. What we are facing in our nation can only be answered by Him. Nothing any of us can do could turn this nation around. We need to co-labor with the Lord today. Here is the Lord's plea to all of us:
"Please help them realize that I have even greater thoughts and plans for them to turn this nation."
I have been experiencing the Jealousy of God lately. He has been chasing me and quickening me to His presence. And for that I am thankful. That He has not given up on me. Most of what the Lord has been doing in me the last 2 months can be found in the book of Job, in 2 Corinthians 4 and 11, and in the following verse in Isaiah.
Isaiah 43. Every verse is the foundation of this arrest from the Lord. Read it with great care. And remember that God says, “You are Mine.” (verse 1)