My dear brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all one body.
“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!'” (1 Corinthians 12:21)
So what happens when the eye doesn’t know that it’s the eye? What happens when the foot doesn’t know how to step forward?
I prepared to minister at Victory Christian Center in Terra Haute, Indiana on March 16th. As I spoke with the pastor before service, a young girl walked by me and I just knew there was artistic talents God wanted to draw out of her. As I began my drawing God showed me that I would not be completing the image in one go like I usually do. When I stepped away from the drawing, I was uneasy knowing it wasn’t quite right yet. As I worshiped, I felt a strong tug on my heart to pull one of the young people up with me and allow them to finish the drawing. In prayer before service I prayed for God to touch the youth crying, “God, let me be love to them!” I stood up from the altar and walked to the back of the room scanning the teenagers. When I saw the girl I noticed before service, I sat next to her and asked, “Do you like to draw?” She smiled and said a simple, “Yes”. That was all I needed. I grabbed her hand and pulled her up on the platform. I put a piece of red chalk in her hand and I told her that I wanted her to draw flames off the back of the wings. She was nervous so I showed her a simple way to make a flame and she did an amazing job. When we finished the flames I asked her, “Is there anything you see that is missing from the drawing?” I knew something was missing, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. She shyly said, “I can’t think of anything.” I didn’t want to pressure her so I decided to pray and encourage her. We stepped off the platform and a few moments later it dawned on me. “I know what’s missing!”, I told her as I grabbed her hand again to pull her up. “You need to sign your name!” So I handed her a piece of chalk to sign it right next to mine.
A signature is a powerful thing. It’s a seal. In this case God used a recognized artist like me to acknowledge another who needed encouragement. Now her artwork will be seen around the world and God will develop her gift because someone told her, “You can do this.”
“…Freely you have received: freely give” (Matthew 10:8)
Have you ever held onto a gift or a talent from God to build yourself up? God intended for you to build others up. You have to release what God has given you into others because you will be held accountable. Don’t quench what God is doing in another to make sure that you are seen as the “expert” on teaching, preaching, prophesying, or healing. You need to be able to say, “You will be even greater than me.” Jesus himself said, “You will do greater things than me.”You do not have ownership over what the Lord has given you. It is all His and He gives EVERYTHING back to His children. If you are a teacher you must teach. But please don’t forget to pull close to you disciples you can guide so the work that God started in you will spread beyond yourself and edify the whole body. Must we reinvent the wheel over and over again? We need you desperately teachers! If you are gifted in supernatural healing, don’t hold onto that gift, deeming yourself better than others. The gift you have was free out of God’s mercy. It wasn’t given to you because you are better than others. You are in fact counted lower because you are designed to be a servant and to put others before yourself. You must heal others but you must also teach others how to operate in this gift. This goes the same for words of knowledge,prophesies, and various other supernatural gifting. The spirit is poured out on all flesh so that we may all move into the things of the spirit. Every believer can prophesy. So prophets teach the little ones how to prophesy. One of the greatest dangers in the body is when we begin to count some as “more important” than others. But we are a body. If we never allow the mouth to speak because we think the eyes are the most important, then the body suffers.
These young ones are especially important to grab a hold of and begin encouraging them in their part. BECAUSE YOU NEED THEM. I don’t think you heard me so I’ll say that again…you NEED them! Right now! As children! It may be great that you built an influential ministry that touched many lives. But when you finally breathe your last and stand before God I think He may say, “What about the generations after you? I taught you so much but you never saw the bigger picture. You could have had influence for another 200 years after your death if you had only brought the children along with you as you went. They would have carried the flame for you.”
Brothers and sisters we have to look different than the world. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matt. 6:19) Dear brother, do not store up for yourself acknowledgment of mere men. Sister, do not strive to impress others. These things will not only lead you away from the pure mercy of God, but you will pull the little ones down with you. “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matt 18:6)
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (Rom. 12:1)
We must sacrifice our natural desire to be “the greatest” to be true ambassadors of His Kingdom.
“An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” (Luke 9:46-48)
Use what has been given to you. Do not bury what you have.
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matt. 25:14-30)
Brothers and sisters I want to see you succeed in your purpose. You are not only called to use what God has given you, but you are commanded to release it to others and make disciples. Duplicate yourself in everyone who will receive from you because your time is short.