Not that long ago I posted about some of the miraculous wonders I’ve witnessed while sounding the shofar. One of the comments I got was, “Amazing. God is always looking for opportunities to display His power.” That was all very nice and the person is someone that I love dearly. That person is a true, passionate follower of Christ. However, the question that immediately struck my mind was, “Really? Does God have to LOOK for opportunity? Is God looking for opportunity or, is God looking for availability?”
The person making that comment is a battle-proven warrior and I would NEVER do or say anything to make this person feel badly. However, the issue is presented and it must be addressed. God is not looking for opportunity. God is looking availability.
Ezekiel 22:30 comes to mind. “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.” (NASB ’95)
Then, of course, I have to consider Isaiah 6:8 (NASB ’95)
Then I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
In Ezekiel, God seeks a person who would build up the wall and stand in the gaps before Him so that He would not destroy the land. God could find no watchman to stand. The important thing to consider is that God was LOOKING for someone who would take a stand in the gap. He found no one available to do so. He was not looking for just anyone mind you. He was looking for a watchman. He was looking for a WARRIOR!
In Isaiah, God was looking for someone to send. God was looking for someone who would go “for Us”. Isaiah spoke up, “Here I am. Send me!” It is pretty obvious that God was looking for someone to do His bidding in the earth. In both instances, God was looking for someone who was available and obedient. Notice, if you will, that in these instances, God found PROPHETS!
Prophets were not always popular or well received. They usually carried bad news before good news.
During the last few months I’ve heard people make the comment, “Lonnie, the Lord is really beginning to open doors of opportunity for you.”
The only way that I can respond to that comment is, “No, God is not opening doors of opportunity for me. God blessed Cheryl and me with a new vehicle in a supernatural way so that we can GO for Him! God is opening doors so that His perfect will and pleasure can manifest supernaturally in the natural realm! I say that in all humility and as humbly as I know how. It’s not about opportunity for Lonnie and Cheryl. It’s opportunity for God. All that we do is go where we’re sent when we are sent to go. When that time arrives, we GO! We don’t try to generate opportunity or manufacture opportunity or manipulate opportunity. God designates, ordains, and presents the opportunity to those who are available and obedient.
Not too long ago, Cheryl and I were asked to attend a Missions conference by a small mission board overseeing 54 churches. We went thinking that we would help out with encouragement and moral support for local and global missionaries. However, nothing went as we thought it would. First of all, there were suddenly presented speaking opportunities at churches, soundings of the shofar, and even a speaking engagement at a local university! All of those opportunities for God came with small stipends which were neither expected nor asked for. Those funds and a donation from a local missionary paid for another trip to Indiana the following weekend that opened additional doors of opportunity for God’s power to be displayed.
You may say, “Well, Lonnie, it kinda looks like God is opening up doors of opportunity for you.” No, God is not opening doors of opportunity for Lonnie. God is opening doors of opportunity for God’s perfect will and good pleasure! Lonnie and Cheryl are merely the ones who were available and obedient to walk through those doors when they opened.
Let’s clear up something. When you work in ministry, it’s not your ministry. It’s God’s ministry. You are simply getting to be part of it. Whether you are in Praise and Worship, Prayer, Healing, Prophecy, Evangelism, Outreach, Deacon, Elder, Pastor or whatever. It’s not yours. It’s God’s. Yes, some of those arenas pay a salary. That’s fine. That’s well and good. It’s proper. It’s still not yours. If your primary motivation in ministry is to draw a salary, you are in the wrong business. You might say, “Lonnie, it takes money to do ministry!” You would be correct! Cheryl and I are participating in God’s ministry without the expectation of recompense monetarily. Everything that Cheryl and I have gone to do, we did so, initially, bearing the costs from our own pocket, in faith. THEN God began reimbursing our costs.
Is God LOOKING for opportunities to display His power? NO! God creates opportunity! It is when we stand in the gap prayerfully and say sincerely, “Here am I. Send me!” that opportunity to advance The Kingdom of God is presented. We, Cheryl and I, go when we’re called, wherever we’re called. We don’t wait for the need to come to us. We go to where the need is according to our calling and our anointing. In doing so, I’ve SEEN amazing manifestations of the power of God!
The shofar and how it is used is the calling and anointing that I walk in. It’s what I do. Do I pray? Yes. Am I an intercessor? Yes. Do I evangelize? Yes. Do I work in missions? Yes. But I do those things because it is the practice of Christianity. I am not called nor am I anointed to lead in those areas. To put it simply, I sound the shofar. I’m a horn blower. I am chosen, consecrated, trained, anointed, and NAMED to do that. It is what I do. I walk within my calling and anointing within the walls of the church’s meeting place as much as I am allowed to. Outside the walls of the building in which the church meets, I answer the call and I go according to the direction of Holy Spirit. I do not desire to walk in another man’s field nor do I desire another man’s microphone or platform. Cheryl’s assignment is multi-faceted. She prepares God’s oil that we anoint people and homes with. She ILLUMINATES God’s word in ways anyone can understand. In essence, she prepares the oil of God’s lamp that lights the way, or the path, for others. She is powerful in the prophetic, prayer, and healing. Most people would never know it. She doesn’t promote her gifts and calling. She simply rises to the call of God where ever and when ever the call arises.
I’ve noticed churches that have birthed Prayer Rooms, Prophecy Rooms, and Healing Rooms. My own church being one of them. Hallelujah! I rejoice in seeing this come to fruition! Not so many years ago these things were unheard of. My question is simple. Why are those ministries confined within the walls of where the church meets? Now some will take these ministries out into the public, occasionally. My church being one of them. I’m grateful to them for that and I thank God that He has moved them to do so. However, I’ve noticed that, in most instances, these ministries wait for the need to come to them instead of them going out to meet the need.
Does God LOOK for opportunities? No, God creates opportunities. For the most part, opportunities are lost because the chosen and anointed are not available to GO! If the calling and anointing only operate within the confines of the church building, then are the “chosen” truly chosen and anointed?
I AM NOT knocking anyone or condemning anyone’s efforts! May it never be! I praise God for all who edify the body and equip the saints. I’m merely making an observation and asking a question. Yes, Jesus taught in synagogues. Yet, He ministered outside the synagogue even more so.
Do you want to see the manifest POWER of God? Don’t look for opportunity. Be available. Be obedient. BE READY! Does God need us to do miracles? No, I don’t suppose so. He is omnipotent or all powerful. I do find it intriguing however, that when I read of God’s miracles that there is usually some interaction with man.
I’ll say it again. God is not looking for opportunities to display His power. God is looking for those who are available and obedient that opportunities may be created and presented for His glorious power to be displayed. Too often ministries will boast, “I did that!” Too often Pastors will boast, “I did THAT!” God is looking for the available to present opportunities so that we can all stand and say, “GOD DID THAT!” Here’s the catch. When that power is displayed, to WHOM do we give the credit? Do we boast in ourselves? Or do we boast in the Lord?
I am The Old Watchman. You have been warned!