“Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’” (Jdg 7:1-2 NKJV)
I remember many years ago, I was crying to God for anointing. I had contracted a burden for God to revive His church. I used to ask, “Is it impossible, O God, for you to raise men in our land who will teach and get your people back on their knees?”
After many years of such praying when I thought God was already pleased with my life, I was praying again when He said something that baffled me . . .
He said, “Yes, I have heard you and I will use you, but I’m reluctant yet because I abhor betrayal of trust. I have put my power in the hands of many people before you but they have betrayed my trust. Even if I will use you I will first of all test you by putting you on probation.”
After twelve years of continual preaching from one village to another; from one meeting, one conference, one campus . . . to another, I was praying again one day when God said: “In the past twelve years, you have been on probation. I am beginning now to think of trusting you.”
I was taken aback. I said, “You mean for twelve years You have just been watching me? With all the preaching and traveling, I have been on probation?” Then I discovered that many times, what makes God to withdraw from committing Himself to a man is not just what that man has already done or what he is currently doing but what he is likely to do in the near or distant future.
So when I ask you to pray, I am not just asking you to think of the mistakes of your past. Yes, you have to cry to God and ask for forgiveness even for those ones. But I want you to go beyond that. I want you to say something like this . . .
“God, I don’t know myself. I don’t know those things that have been planted in my life which have not yet manifested today, but may manifest in the future. LORD, please, point at them and help me to uproot them that I may become useful in Your hand in the name of Jesus.”
When God desires to use a man, the crucial thing He checks again and again is the quality and condition of heart that that man carries. He must test and examine the disposition of that heart in many and diverse situations of life. He does not trust a life until He can trust his heart. So, if you want to commend yourself to God, what you must first check and work upon, is the integrity of your heart.
Are there seeds of sin already growing in your heart which may not have opportunity of outward expression today, until an opportune time in the future?
Is there a kind of secret ambition; perhaps an ambition for fame in your life that has made it difficult for God to trust you with a big work? If God knows that you cannot handle fame; and that if you have a little opportunity to become popular you will become pompous, then God may likely say, “Let’s peg his progress.” Only God knows how many of His servants whose progress He has had to peg because of what He saw in their hearts.
Will you wish to check where you are with God now? A few sobering questions will help you to check the state of your heart and your stand with God . . .
Is it taking several years for God to give you a breakthrough and to enlarge your life? Is there some secret ambition that God is querying in your heart, even though covered with zeal? Does God see the seed of pride and arrogance, which might spring up if He should fertilize you with anointing?
This is not the time to pray about other people. The people in Church are not the problem. If God gets a correct man in you to lavish His power on, the church will change overnight. It is time to focus on your own life first.
I take the liberty to challenge you here as a man that can become great in the hand of God. I challenge you not because of your height in God today but because of what I foresee God can work in your life before you leave the scene.
God may have begun with you on probation, teaching a Sunday school class. But such beginnings are usually for training and exposure. There are greater tasks ahead of your life. There is a large estate into which He would want to call you if you are faithful.
But one thing that scares God away from a man is his wrong heart. Is your heart pure? Have you gotten rid of every seed of sin in your heart?
And because there is a spiritual genetic connection between a minister and the people he reproduces, it becomes very necessary to be sure that there is no wrong thing in the life that trains others. Since what a man is, is what he will impart, whatever we do not want to multiply must not be given prominence in the Church. That is why God is not quick at picking men for His use.
Why not ask God to test every ‘gene’ of your life and throw out that which is injurious? Why not pray this hour and say, “Dear Holy Spirit, if leadership imposes such a serious demand on the life of those to be so appointed, do not delay in getting to work upon my life. No wonder You are not getting men so quickly to use today”.
Do not forget, my brother, that the back-up you need is not what a man can do for you. It is what only God can do. Everything God wants you to do, depend on if He is ready to place His approval on your life.
Do not forget that serving God is not a matter of competition with any man. I wish you could face God with the reality of your life situation. I wish you would ask God some serious questions today . . .
“God, are You still afraid of releasing Your power into my life? Are You still afraid of releasing Your Church into my hand? Why are You pegging my progress? God why are You afraid of lavishing upon me what I could have used to change my generation? LORD, are there still wrong things within my life that You are scared of?”
Will you please pray this hour for a divine intervention in your life?