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Ministry can be such a painstaking responsibility that at times you just want to quit—throw in the towel and scream, “Forget it. It’s not worth it.”
As a leader, you may have thrown yourself a pity party and invited your circle of ‘fed-up’ friends. But did God show up? I think not! I have learned God does not come to pity parties.
Perhaps you have declared as God did with the children of Israel, “These are a stiff-necked and rebellious people!”
Now, to reach the point to pray to die is somewhat extreme especially after having such a victory as Elijah did on Mt. Carmel. If you really wanted to die, why run from the threat of death? Hmmm.
Let’s consider Elijah’s emotional pitfall and glean from him as leaders when we are emotionally and spiritually drained due to spiritual assaults.
First, we must understand that demonic opposition is the norm for the children of God. Spiritual warfare against servant leaders with an apostolic/prophetic mantle, especially after a victorious encounter and mountaintop experience against the kingdom of darkness are inevitable.
Secondly, our attitude during and after spiritual conquests should not be one of arrogance (1 Kings 18:22, 27, 36). Elijah’s arrogant display and mocking actually backfired on him although God’s power was manifested through him as He proved Himself to be the only true and living God. There must be a difference between being confidenct in your anointing and showing off in your flesh. Show-off and entertainment are inappropriate behavior when ministering in the demonstration of God’s supernatural power of the Holy Ghost (Spirit).
The challenge. (1 Kings 18:20-35)
Elijah challenged Ahab to summons the prophets of Baal (450 prophets under the leadership of his wife, Jezebel) to Mt. Carmel. He set forth the challenge: “Let the Baal prophets bring up two oxen; let them pick one, butcher it, and lay it out on an altar on firewood—but don’t ignite it. I’ll take the other ox, cut it up, and lay it on the wood. But neither will I light the fire. Then you pray to your gods and I’ll pray to GOD. The god who answers with fire will prove to be, in fact, God.”
All the people agreed: “A good plan—do it!”
Of course, the gods of the Baals do NOT respond despite the desperate prayers and bloody shenanigans of the prophets to which Elijah jeered and mocked. Needless to say the only true and living God answered by fire as the prophet Elijah prayed. “O GOD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make it known right now that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I’m doing what I’m doing under your orders. Answer me, GOD; O answer me and reveal to this people that you are GOD, the true God, and that you are giving these people another chance at repentance.”
The victory. (1 Kings 18:36-40)
Immediately the fire of GOD fell and burned up the offering, the wood, the stones, the dirt, and even the water in the trench. All the people saw it happen and fell on their faces in awed worship, exclaiming, “GOD is the true God! GOD is the true God! (I Kings 18:38-39). Elijah killed all the prophets.
The retaliation. (1 Kings 19:1-4)
Ahab reported to his controlling wife, Jezebel, the defeat. She was mad! She sent a death threat to Elijah, and he ran for his life in fear. I pondered how could this “powerful” prophet of God be so overcome with fear that he would forget what happened on Mt. Carmel.
You can always expect opposition and retaliation when you follow God’s instructions and carry out His assignment. However, the trust you have in God to empower you to fulfill the assignment must be an even greater trust in Him to sustain and protect you after the spiritual victory over the enemy. You cannot afford to ‘wimp’ out!
Elijah’s arrogance and self-confidence in himself power caused him to lose focus on his frailty and fallibility. Basically, God allowed Elijah to have this reality to remind him and us of our powerlessness apart from God’s supernatural power.
To think and verbalize that we are the only one God can use, or the only one so anointed; the only one who can hear from God, and that we’re independent is arrogant and prideful. (Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.) 1 Kings 18:22
Elijah’s fear was a result of his arrogant attitude that wanted to prove his ability to be used by God. Consequently, when the death threat came, he was focused on himself and his power rather than God’s power. Unfortunately, the threat forced him to run and hide in a cave and then feel sorry for himself to point of giving up on life. Didn’t he realize his life was not his own?
As I stated, God is definitely not into pity parties.
Paraphrase: “Elijah, get over yourself! You are not going to die! So, get up and eat. You need your physical strength for your next assignment, but not before I teach you an object lesson about My ability (power).”
“What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9)
Elijah responds with a pitiful, self-serving excuse: So he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
After God demonstrated His destructive power (judgmental), He ended the lesson with His caring and understanding Presence that embraces the fearful, the arrogant or the pity party. Here is a revelation of God’s mercy and grace towards those who are the called according to His purpose. There is nothing more calming and assuring that the still small voice of God.
Second time the question was asked. “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:13)
Again, Elijah repeats the same response in 1 Kings 19:9, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
What is noteworthy about this is God did not address Elijah’s response. He totally ignored it! When we get into our feelings God understands, but He does not buy into our emotional tantrums. And if we do not get the message, He sends us back—retrospect, remember, reflect and move forward. Finish what was assigned to you.
Paraphrase: “Elijah, see where I brought you from…Go back! I am still going to use you—on to your next assignments, and in the process, I want you to know that you will be replaced. You are not the only one.” (1 Kings 19:15-18).
Are you tired and ready to throw in the towel? Do you feel like no one is as committed to doing real Kingdom work as you–you are the only one?
We are vulnerable to the ground level spiritual warfare especially when our focus is more on our anointing rather than the grace of the anointing. Be careful not to display arrogance in the demonstration of God’s power. If you do, you leave yourself open to mental anguish and emotional instability because we are frail in our flesh. We cannot afford to forget we are only conduits (vessels) chosen by God, even with our imperfections and weaknesses.
Gratitude for grace should keep us humble for the assignment.
-Queen E. Phillips
No doubt, you have experienced some mountaintops, supernatural victories and some great ministry successes. Now, the enemy has come against you with death threatening assaults and you are too emotionally rattled to fight so retreat. Remember, it is not in your strength that you overcome the enemy. You are chosen by God and nothing can stop what God has assigned to you.
God is asking you, “What are you doing here?” What are you doing in this place of despair allowing your emotions to control you?
No one or no-thing can take you out as long as God has more for you to do. So, stop the pity party! Get up, get over it and move on to your next assignment. It is not over until I say it is over.
©2018 Queen E. Phillips. Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.
“I can’t get no satisfaction” was a song written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. Although the lyrics refer to sexual frustration and commercialism, they are true of human nature. Our flesh is never satisfied! The more we are given or receive the more we want. We are always seeking after or chasing after that that we think will make us happy. Happiness is temporary pleasure based on situations. And when we find our ‘happy place’ usually it is built upon foundations that we worked hard to achieve or are awarded based on our knowledge, skills and abilities. Unfortunately, once the situations change, our ‘happy place’ crumbles, and we are often more miserable than before because we can’t get lasting satisfaction from temporary situations.
The truth is God never intended for our satisfaction to come from external sources. Certainly, He has graced us with gifts, talents and intellectual prowess, but they are like tools we use to do good works. And to a great degree, self-gratification is the result. However, the dilemma is when we pursue self-gratification and become addicted to the good feeling that comes from doing good works. Still there can be no true and lasting satisfaction.
We are created for God and for His pleasure and delight; we are to live to the praise of His glory. Therefore, our contentment must be in Him. He is the only One that can satisfy our longing soul. There is a void within us that can only be filled by His Presence. Yet, we seek for other people to fill our emptiness and our need to feel significant and loved. When others cannot meet our expectations, we look for fulfillment in other places and things that are potentially harmful to us physically, psychologically, and spiritually. We become addicted to the temporary satisfaction a few minutes or hours of pleasure bring—good feelings.
Everything in this earthly life is temporal—will not last. The breath of life that is breathed into everyone born of a woman makes us a living soul. And that soul longs for God’s presence!
“My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2).
In essence, our whole being yearns for satisfaction that only comes from the living God.
In this earthly life, Christ desires to live His life through us. When Christ lives His life through us, we can learn how to be content in whatever situation we are in because we trust Him completely. This is what Paul said, “…I have learned to be content and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy regardless of my circumstances.” We can learn contentment and become satisfied by maintaining an intimate relationship with God the Father through faith in His Son Jesus the Christ and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). This is a promise that He keeps. When your appetite is whet by God’s Presence nothing can compare—nothing is more tasteful and satisfying. What God designed to bring satisfaction and pleasure is comparable to a man and his wife’s satisfaction during intimacy and intercourse. Even that is temporary ‘happy place’. However, intimacy with the Lord God is designed for eternity! Crave God. Chase after God! He will quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger!
Only in Christ can we get lasting satisfaction that fills the longing in our soul in which God placed there. It is our “happy place” because our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
“Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.”
-Thomas à Kempis
© 2018 Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.
I sat in the prayer room on the National Day of Prayer read many prayer requests and prayed. I noticed one common thread. The requests were all centered on personal, self-will—what ‘I’ want, what ‘I’ need for God to do. The emphasis was on ‘me’, ‘my’ and ‘mine’. Please keep reading so that you don’t misunderstand the inspirational enlightenment of this article. None of the requests had anything to do with God’s will, plan or purpose. There were no requests for ‘more’ of God. There were no prayer requests for spiritual growth, to know God, to have a deeper relationship with Christ, or revival.
Yes, I know the Bible says “…let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6)
Yes, Jesus said, “… ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:8-11; Luke 11:9-13). These passages both speak to the infinite Fatherhood of God and His faithfulness to answer His children who persist in prayer.
However, within the context of Luke 11:9-13, Luke is specific about the infinite Fatherhood of God and what the Father will give if we ask, seek and knock.
11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13 NKJV)
Conclusively, the character of our Father is such that we can always trust Him to give what is good for us according to His sovereign plan and purpose for our lives. Sure, we should let our requests be made known to God. Ask! However, we must refocus and make sure that our will is not the object of our prayer requests based what we ‘think’ is good for us. Sometimes God uses adversity and painful times in our life to bring out the ‘good’ He has purposed for us and even our family. What we pray for and want God to change or fix for us is not always what He has purposed for us. The will of God must always be the focus. For example, I know several of my Christian sisters who have been healed of cancer as well as some who transitioned although we prayed for their healing. When we look at this from God’s perspective, we can conclude that God’s will was done. He answered our prayer, nevertheless, not according to what we “wanted” (our will), but what He wanted (His will). Still they were healed! The ones He wanted to continue in this life for His purpose were healed. The ones He called to their eternal home were also healed for His purpose. We do not get to dictate the purpose of God, who works all things according to the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11).
I admit, I do not like the challenges of life. I am sure you don’t either. We do not like to ‘go through’ the process to get where God is taking us. Yes, we pray asking God to change the situation—make things comfortable, take the pain away. But the more appropriate questions are: Is the situation working for my good? Does the pain have purpose? Is what I am facing for my good although it hurts? What lesson to be learned? The psalmist said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statues” (Psalm 119:71). We must take the focus off us—our need and our will. We must refocus on the loving, infinite Fatherhood of God. He is the Sovereign Lord! He is our all-knowing and all-powerful God! He is our faithful Father, who loves us unconditionally. He wants us to ask, seek and knock—be persistent in prayer. However, we must trust Him to answer according to His will, plan and purpose for our lives. He is more concerned about His children than any earthly father and will give the most precious gift of all—Himself, His Holy Spirit.
©2018 Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Easter Bible study at my local assembly last evening was extremely enlightening. Each presenter shared messages on these five topics: The Upper Room, The Garden, The Trials, The Crucifixion and The Grave. Each one of them was outstanding and biblically sound. However, the one that shifted me and my perspective on Kingdom assignment was The Crucifixion. Elder Anthony Eagleton focused on Jesus’ three words on the Cross.
You probably guessed them…
“It is finished!”
Elder Anthony shared with the audience, in essence, that Jesus made a public declaration that everything His Father had assigned to Him was completed. Every task on Jesus’ “To-do” list was checked, “Completed.” IT IS FINISHED!
This morning, those words were still in my spirit. During my meditation and devotion, I pondered Jesus’ words more deeply— “It is finished.” My perception was challenged as I thought and prayed about my Kingdom assignment. As I sat in the presence of the Lord, I asked: Will I be able to say, “It is finished?” I had to refocus and continue assessing my life in regard to God’s purpose, basically why I was born.
Am I doing what has been assigned to me?
What am I doing that has nothing to do with what God has purposed for my life in this season?
If I lose focus on my specific assignment, I risk incomplete tasks assigned to me because I am doing something that is not on my “to-do-list” from God. When we are graced with natural skills, talents (gifts) and abilities, it is easy to get distracted by just doing good works, even church activities. But is it what God has assigned? Does it have eternal purpose? Yes, every good and perfect gift, our talents and abilities are from the Father of lights. However, they are given to use in collaboration with our perpetual call and Kingdom purpose. For example, Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John were skilled fishermen by trade. However, their assignment was to become fishers of men for the eternal purposes of God—leaders and builders of Christ’s church.
Elder Eagleton’s message about Jesus’ three words on the Cross before He gave up the ghost reminded me of the importance of being focused and committed to my Kingdom assignment and the perpetual call of God on my life. When we are chosen by God, sometimes we are so focused on our inadequacy, weaknesses and imperfections that we become so fearful that we settle for the busyness of church activities. Truth is Kingdom assignment is not about our weaknesses and imperfections. Kingdom assignment is what we are supernaturally anointed (empowered, enabled, equipped and qualified) by God to do. Kingdom assignment is about God’s power, faithfulness, grace, and our obedience.We just have to say, “Yes, Lord” and trust Him to work through us.
If those of us who know our specific calling and assigned area of ministry are not careful to discern Kingdom assignment from church activities, we can become comfortable with doing good works and activities instead of being focused, consistent and driven by God’s purpose and specific assignment. For example, the 1st Century church was doing a good work—serving food to the poor in Acts 6:1-4. A complaint of discrimination arose by one group against another. Although it was a good work, the apostles discerned it should be administered by others, so they could focus on their specific assignment. They assigned serving tables to others qualified to handle that responsibility. They understood that it was not appropriate for them to neglect their specific assignment—teaching the word of God. In verse 4, they said, “…we will devote ourselves [steadfastly] to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Amplified). Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. I am not demeaning church activities. They are necessary in the life of the church and must be done. However, busyness in church activities should not become a comfort zone or a substitute for our Kingdom assignment.
While I sat meditating and listening, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how I was directed to Acts 6:1-4 years ago when I was working a 9-5. After six years, here I am a retiree refocusing and redirecting my attention to my specific assignment—prayer and the ministry of God’s Word. Everything else is now secondary.
To complete my assignment, I must also say what Jesus said:
I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).
I must work diligently to declare as Jesus did, “It is finished,” I completed the tasks that the Father assigned to me.
Copyright 2018, Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
As the day approaches—the day set aside as a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus—Christmas Day, my attention now , more than ever, is the truth that He was, is and will always be Father’s Gift to the world, that is our Savior, our Rescuer, our Redeemer, our Deliverer.
The presents we give and receive are good. Keep giving during this season. It is in part what the holiday is all about—giving to express love. Blessing others. Enjoying family and friends—laughter because of the joy of the season. That is ALL good; however, the present GIFT (the right now GIFT) is so much better. To have Immanuel with us is the most valuable gift anyone can have or desire. The Lord’s Presence is the air that we breathe, and His Holy Spirit, a precious treasure that dwells in these frail, broken earthen vessels we call our body.
As I mature naturally and spiritually, I focus more on the Presence of the Present—being alive, embracing life, breathing, having peace with God through faith in Jesus the Christ, and thus, peace of mind in a world’s system that is unstable and a society that mad and dominated by the evil one.
The prophetic word spoken by Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled, and Immanuel is still with us! The sign that God promised appeared. To debate the date, or when doesn’t matter to me. What matters is the He came and after His humanity assigned time on earth was completed, He gave His life and after three days was resurrected; after 40 days He ascended on a cloud back to glory, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, with all power over heaven and earth in His hands. AND, what also matters is He is coming back again to reign forever!
Many are preparing for a big celebration with family and dear friends! It’s Thanksgiving Day!
A special time set aside to express our thanks to God for His bountiful blessings. While gathered around the dining table expressions of gratitude will be shared for various reasons. The most common reason for being thankful is for family, health, and, of course, LIFE itself.
It is this reason that causes a piercing in my heart and even feelings of guilt. I began to question my right to celebrate while many are feeling the pain from broken hearts because life in this earthly realm is no more.
While I’m celebrating life, they are mourning death. While I am expressing thanks for my life and my “living” family members, they are making funeral arrangements for theirs.
Yet, the Word of God says, “…in everything give thanks…”
“In every situation (no matter what the circumstances) be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Amplified
Really, Lord, after receiving sudden news of the death of a family member, or a very dear friend just three days before Thanksgiving?
Really, Lord, I am to give thanks after receiving a death sentence from a terminal illness?
Really, Lord, give thanks when my child is diagnosed with cancer?
Really, Lord, give thanks when my dear parents and grandparents are living in another world and don’t even know it’s Thanksgiving Day?
Why would You instruct me to give thanks in every situation no matter what the circumstances, I am to be thankful?
As I meditated on this, and from my own experience, I have learned that my giving thanks is not necessarily for the situation I am in. I am not being thankful for pain and unpleasantness of my circumstances. My expression of thanks is a declaration of my faith in God. It is my way of saying to the Lord, “I trust You.” The more thankful I am FOR and TO Him, the more He releases me of the burden and gives me peace to go through the process. Although I don’t fully understand or even like the situation I am in and the circumstances I am facing, when I give God thanks and praise a supernatural exchange takes place. He replaces my fear with faith, my pain with purpose. The more I praise Him and offer unto Him the “sacrifice” of praise with a grateful heart, He gives supernatural strength. The sufficiency of His grace is manifested, and I am empowered to endure the process.
Being thankful in every situation positions me in the very presence of God to receive supernatural ability to handle life’s challenging times.
Whatever the circumstances today, my prayer is that you can give thanks to Him as a declaration of your faith in Him; your trust in His faithfulness. Give thanks to Him because He is right there in the situation with you, just as He was in the fiery furnace with the Hebrew boys (Daniel 3:24-27).
©2017 Queen Esther Phillips. Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ironically, a few days before the Las Vegas massacre the media buzz was NFL taking a knee. After the tragedy, the trend on social media was pray, which equates to taking a knee…
Here we are, the United States of America, mourning again because evil has raised its ugly head and used someone vulnerable to carry out an attack that massacred 58 lives and injured over 500 people.
Once again, lawmakers are bracing for politics on gun control! We’ve been here before, many times. When does it end?
“And once again, a stunned nation was left to grapple with a city riven by tragedy and a resurgent debate over gun control and gun violence. The White House and many Republicans insisted it was a time to mourn rather than launch into political battles, while some Democrats renewed calls for gun safety legislation.” -The Washington Post
The question why? Law Enforcement will investigate the shooter’s background and dig up his past, including his family history. They will interview family members who had no clue their relative was capable of such violence. That’s the norm after the fact of the act of violence against fellow human beings. What could have been done to prevent such a tragedy? Sad to say, probably nothing.
Only a few days before, the media coverage was about NFL taking a knee. However, immediately after the Las Vegas tragedy social media timelines and tweets were trending with spiritual sentiments and requests that suggested our Nation assume the posture that symbolizes a religious ritual—take a knee (pray). How ironic! Different messages, but same motivation—a nation that desparately needs a cure for its social ills.
Why is it that, as a Nation, we only come together in solidarity to express our care and concern when faced with tragedy, whether natural disasters as with Hurricanes or mass murders caused by gun violence? Pain is not prejudice. We all are emotional beings regardless of the color of our skin.
There is an innate part of humanity that connects emotionally when there is tragedy and inhumane acts of violence. We all have feelings. Unfortunately, when those feelings are uncontrolled along with deranged thoughts people behave in the worst ways. When hearts and minds are darkened by evil, demonic forces seek to destroy lives and maim humanity by using those vulnerable mentally and emotionally. Although time is spent looking for an answer as to why, it just may be there is no logical answer only a spiritual one, which many will dismiss as nonsense.
The Word of God speaks truth to power and offer a solution to our dilemma:
22 “Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 43:22)
What God Almighty, Creator of the heavens, the One who formed the earth and established it has decreed in righteousness shall be fulfilled. Unfortunately, one of the most effective ways that a generation can see God’s word manifested is by experiencing troubles, tragedies, and judgment. Unrest, threats of wars, natural disaster, destruction, and desperation have a way of redirecting our wayward thoughts so that we cry out to the Creator for help, although we have consistently rejected Him. AND the Good News is He will help us although we have not known Him.
23 I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
24 He shall say,
‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength (Isaiah 43:23-24).
Whether we deliberately twist the message about taking a knee or debate our beliefs that it is disrespectful of the flag and our country is irrelevant at this point. What is relevant is the Word that Almighty God has decreed – To Him every knee shall bow (Romans 14:11). The ultimate disrespect is a nation that is blatant about its irreverence to the Creator of the Universe, our Maker.
God’s Word will make us all take a knee regardless of differences, backgrounds, beliefs, prejudices and preferences, religious rhetoric and ritualism, intellectualized opinions, or opportunists with political agendas.
As we, the “great” United States of America mourn once again because evil raised its deceptive head, I pray that we let the innate likeness of our Creator within humanity bring the healing we desperately need. I pray that we look to God for the salvation and hope that can only come through faith in Jesus Christ.
May we take a knee and pray, “God Bless America.”
May we really live out this slogan, “In God we trust!”
©2017 Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Ministries, Inc.