Fellow Young Minister,
I spoke to Ron this past weekend. The moment I heard his voice I knew something was disturbing him. He kept on heavily sighing till he cracked, “Man, I don’t know if ministry is for me.” I could feel him covering his own face on the other side of the phone. He proceeded, “I want to please God, and I’m giving it my all, but I feel like people think I’m drawing attention to myself”. He paused, “Some bozo said that I think I’m all that.” Ron wept.
I’m sure there’s not a single honest person in ministry that likes to be accused. Yet, I believe it is one of the most acute ways that our character is challenged. Ron was facing something that I believe we will all face in becoming who God wants us to become: accusation.
Accusations can really cut to the heart because they often seem to slice right into our vulnerabilities. We can say something that was misinterpreted, misunderstood, or miscommunicated – doing it with focus on God’s kingdom, and encounter something called envy. The Bible says “where envying and strife is, there is confusion and EVERY evil work” (James 3:16). Using Strong’s G2205 and G2052 causes the verse to read this way, that “where [rivalry] and [factions are], there is [disturbance and instability] and every evil work”. That is a frightening verse that God has had to remind me of – not SOME evil work – EVERY evil work. Certainly, evil and opposition come against those that give up everything to become who God wants them to become. It’s a spiritual necessity that is supported by the Scriptures over and over again. And I want to share with you something that I discovered about Nehemiah, because though the Scriptures say we effectively overcome evil by doing good and God DELIVERS from evil; it’s not a humanly simple thing (Romans 12:21, Matthew 6:9-13).
Nehemiah was a cupbearer made governor, who got a burden for the people of God and the mission of God. He determined to rebuild Jerusalem’s torn wall, knowing it represented legacy and security for the city of Jerusalem. He set out to do this after being able to enlist builders from the nation, only after enduring the challenges of bringing people together and other socio-economic battles. At this point, the accusations begin. Four times, Nehemiah was pressed to stop his endeavors. While the fifth time, a letter came to him. It stated:
“It is reported among the nations, and Geshem says that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumors, you are rebuilding the wall, that you may be their king. 7 And you have also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now these matters will be reported to the king. So come, therefore, and let us consult together [among the villages in the plain of Ono].”
Nehemiah was accused of trying to make a name for himself, because he had given himself to God’s mission and God’s people. They even said he was appointing a prophetic ministry unto himself to get self-approval.
Nehemiah’s response? He plainly says that these things aren’t so, but invented in the heart of the enemy in order to make God’s people AFRAID and DISTRACTED (Nehemiah 6:8-9). Many times, in pursuit of God and His kingdom, the adversary will try to distract us with the fact that we may be making others feel uncomfortable because of our pursuit in God. The adversary knows we love people and have a burden for God’s kingdom; so he tries to use our passionate sincerity against us in order to halt our hunger. We are reminded that Peter possibly faced the same thing when he got out of the boat in Matthew 14. Jesus NEVER singles Peter out to be the only one to step out of the boat, yet only Peter responds.
Why does God allow this? Because for different areas of His kingdom, God establishes precedent through those who are wired for leadership. So, how do we know if we are wired for leadership?
Well. Do we feel the pull to establish a precedent?
It is through this PULL to establish a precedent that we will face opposition. Two forces that oppose those hungry to establish a precedent are accusation and envy. Accusation is the voice of envy and if we do not have a revelation of our IDENTITY and INTEGRITY in Christ, we will look at ourselves in the mirror of torment, over whether or not we fit the description that we are being accused with. Accusations come from the adversary, correction comes from the Lord and His appointed, anointed leadership. It is critical to understand this. We must respond like Nehemiah, “THESE THINGS ARE NOT SO…” (Nehemiah 6:8-9).
The thing is, my beloved fellow young minister, is that we will become WORN OUT by the accuser of the brethren IF WE DO NOT SPEAK AGAINST this voice of envy called accusation (Revelation 12:10). Our primary enemy is not people, it is the spirit that acts behind them. God allows this to happen through people even close to us because He is shaping our character through it. But we must allow God to use us in return to shape the spiritual realm – this is done by WHAT WE SPEAK.
This is one of the principles of true prophecy and false prophecy – BOTH considered prophecy; yet, one God initiates, the other the enemy initiates. Verse 11 shows us that Nehemiah considered this accusation a PROPHECY spoken against him. But in order to nullify the false prophecy, Nehemiah had to SPEAK a TRUE prophecy about his identity in the Lord. So we must do the same.
REMEMBER. This is done almost entirely, if not completely, in a prayer room, because our primary adversary is a spirit, not a person. Through this, we must endure hardship like a good soldier of the Lord.
I have more to share with you next week, because it is devices like these that paralyze prophetic ministries from coming into fruition.
I believe in you. Remember Ron in your prayers. Let him know how great he is, too.