In the year 2004, my husband and I were church planters. He was going for his ordination, and I was going for my consecration with the C&MA (Christian & Missionary Alliance).
In September of that year, we were both to attend our district’s Prayer Conference, I believe it was called. All who were pastors or official workers with the C&MA in our district were invited to the conference. And, my husband was supposed to speak at the conference, representing our little congregation.
But, before the conference took place, my husband injured his back, and he could not attend, so I ended up going to the conference without him in order to represent our small congregation. And, while I was there, the Lord spoke to me in a very powerful way, and from that moment on my life course was drastically altered.
This is one quote from the conference that God used in my life to let me know he was about ready to take me in a different direction:
“Loving God’s work means letting it go – it’s not ours – it is his. He may have something else for us to do that we have not even thought of.”
And, by November of that same year the Lord had me on an entirely different course. I was no longer going for my consecration, and we were no longer church planters, but the Lord brought me to the internet to share what he was teaching me through his Word each day, although it was not every day until mid-2006.
Well, this evening I was asking the Lord if he wanted me to write anything to share with you all, and he reminded me of my notes on the district conference, so I am going to now share them with you, and I trust he will use them in your lives according to his purposes.
WHAT GOD SAID TO ME AT DISTRICT CONFERENCE
September 13-16, 2004
Monday night: Rev. Ferrell Towns spoke. He said something like this: “The word of God is ‘contemporary.’ We need to call on God and hear from God and then we need to preach the word of God, because that is what people need to hear – that is what will satisfy the hunger of their souls, not the teachings of man. We need to hear what God is saying to us and then we need to tell the people what God tells us we should tell them. And, we need to not fear their response. We need to trust God with the results.”
Tuesday morning: During my quiet time, God said to me: “Call on my name. If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? Walk with God. Do everything I command you. I will remember you and no harm will come to you.”
Tuesday Morning Devotions: Rev. Peter Nanfelt spoke. He quoted the passage in Acts which said, “David served God’s purpose in his own generation.” Rev. Nanfelt said, “what we’re going to do we need to do NOW!”
Then, he quoted from I Tim. 2:7: “And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle… and a teacher of true faith…” He said Paul had a clear sense of God’s purpose for him and an urgency for getting it done. He continued by saying something like this:
“Because of God’s grace we want to serve him. Christ’s love compels us. Because of God’s grace we are liberated. Loving God’s gifts means loosing his power within us. God has made us unique by giving us a special gift set, but sometimes we are afraid to allow God to use us in our gifted areas. God urges us and presses us to be what he wants us to be.
“It’s a conspiracy of adults that keeps us trapped into thinking we cannot be who God created us to be. God knows what gifts we have and our state of limited usefulness, and he wrestles us out of our beds of self-doubt and into His light. Fan into flame the gift of God within you. Loving God’s work means letting it go – it’s not ours – it is his. He may have something else for us to do that we have not even thought of.”
Tuesday morning business meeting: Rev. Nanfelt shared the President’s report in the form of a video presentation. He showed some clips from The C&MA Annual Council. Among the speakers at the Council were Ann Graham Lots and a man whose name I did not get, but who was not from the C&MA.
Ann preached on being called, not to ministry, but to Jesus. The man I referred to preached about the C&MA’s need to plant more churches state-side. He said that C&MA churches overseas outnumber the USA churches 7 to 1. He said that obviously our efforts overseas are successful, so maybe we should look at what we are doing right over there and do it here. He (I believe it was him) said that we don’t need to ask God to send more workers, but that we need to use the workers we have.
I could not help but think, in light of the fact that Ann Graham Lots spoke at Council, and the fact that we utilize women more in leadership roles in churches overseas than we do stateside, that if we would just release our US women to do what we allow our overseas women to do that God could do a mighty work here in the USA in the C&MA in our church planting efforts.
If we would just release our women to prophecy as God said he would pour out his Spirit upon all men and women and his daughters would prophecy, that we could reach a whole lot more people for Jesus Christ and not so many of our churches would be closing their doors, perhaps.
Tuesday evening: The speaker spoke from Habakkuk 2:1-4. Verses 2-3 spoke to me: “Then the Lord replied: ‘Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
Wednesday morning: During my quiet time with God I was going back over my notes from Tuesday evening and I remembered reading something like that passage from Habakkuk in my grandmother’s journals. She said it often: “We are not to become discouraged and feel that God has forgotten his promise to us or has failed to fulfill our vision. For if the vision tarries, wait for it, for it will surely come and will not tarry.”
Another passage Grandma quoted often was: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” This is God’s calling on my life!
Wednesday morning devotions: The speaker said we don’t have a right to question God. We don’t have a right to say “why” when things don’t turn out the way we think they should or when a trial lasts longer than we think it should.
He preached from the book of Job. He said that Job initially trusted God but as time progressed he began to question God. He said that it was absolutely imperative that Job did not know why. Otherwise it would have nullified the test.
He said that whatever we are going through is so much bigger than we could ever imagine. Then, he went on to encourage us to stand firm, to press on and to not lean on our own understanding. He said that this all happened “for such a time as this.” He said, “It is NOW your time! Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
Wednesday evening: Fred Hartley was the speaker. He said something like this: “Have you climbed any trees lately? God is asking this of all of us. He has a tree he wants us to climb. How big is your Jesus? The Church is in crisis – the crisis of Supremacy. It is indistinguishable between the lives of evangelical Christians and the world. The only hope for the Church is revival.
“We need tree climbers who want to get a closer look at the Supremacy of Jesus Christ. We have an enemy. Revival will come when we return to the Supremacy of Jesus Christ. Churches are relying too much on the teachings of men. Col 2:8: ‘See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.’ Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.”
1. Preach the Word of God, not the teachings of man.
2. Listen to God, hear what he is saying, and then obey him.
3. Tell the people what God tells you to tell them and leave the results in his hands
4. Walk with God and obey his commands.
5. What you are going to do, do it NOW.
6. You were appointed by God as a herald and a teacher of true faith
7. God has given you a clear sense of his purpose for you and an urgency…
8. Fan into flame the gift(s) of God within you.
9. Give your ministry over to God – it is not yours, it is his
10. God may have something else for you to do that you have not even thought of
11. The C&MA had Ann Graham Lots speak (preach) at Council
12. Another non-Alliance speaker at Council said: C&MA churches overseas outnumber USA churches 7 to 1 – find out what you are doing right overseas and do it here – we do not need to call more workers, we need to use the workers we have – that includes empowering our women like we do on the mission field
13. Write down what God shows you and then wait on him to bring it about
14. Don’t ask God “why,” just trust him – stand firm, press on
15. What you are going through is much bigger than you can imagine
16. NOW is your time! – For such a time as this I was placed upon the earth…
17. Be a tree climber and get a closer look at the Supremacy of Jesus Christ
18. The Church is in crisis – the crisis of Supremacy
19. It is indistinguishable between the lives of evangelical Christians and the world
20. We need to get back to the basics – we need to put our focus on Jesus and the cross of Christ instead of on the teachings of man