Today it seems as if those who have the most rock solid values are lacking in vision. Likewise, many who have vision are lacking in values. It must be our goal to have vision with values. We want to sink our roots deeper and deeper into sound biblical truth, with a genuine commitment to the moral standards and integrity that are clearly mandated by Scripture.
For an effective vision, we also need to increase our perspective of history. We will accomplish very little that is truly new and fresh if we have to “re-invent the wheel” over and over. It is from the firm foundation of rock solid values, combined with the wisdom and humility to receive from those who have gone before us, that we can look into the future and prepare for what is to come. True vision has such strong roots.
When we are talking about the “new” thing that is coming we are not just talking about re-engineering the church. A fad of re-engineering swept through Western industry over the last couple of decades, and it is now sweeping much of the church. Much of this was needed in industry and the church. We need to be delivered from the four walls of the church, and our “meeting mentality,” and see the church become a living, vibrant force that functions twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. However, just as much of the devotion to re-engineering in industry only resulted in some being able to make the wrong products better, many in the church have thought that by adopting a new methodology they could become more relevant to the times. New methodologies can be helpful, but we need more than that. The very definition of Christianity needs transforming.
To many Christians, faith is but an appendage to their lives, rather than the essence of life itself. Jesus did not come to die on the cross so that He could meet with us a couple of times a week. He came to be our life. This is our ultimate calling and purpose: for Jesus to be our life so that we can manifest the life and power that is found in Him. This will never be done because we have better buildings or better programs. Our labor is for Christ to be formed in His people. Our goal is to try to present every man complete in Christ.
This is not a new message. In fact, there have probably been some who have preached it in every generation. Even so, to actually do it would be radical indeed, but that must be our goal. We must consciously live and move and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28). Our ultimate goal should be to only think thoughts that He would think, to only say what He would say, and to do that which we see Him doing. This is our calling as ambassadors of the King — to represent Him by having Him live His life through us.
I have watched our local prophetic ministry teams in amazement. We now have about four hundred people who serve on them. These people are really hearing from God, and they are being used to radically impact thousands of lives. I feel that their gifts are constantly going to new levels. However, we are feeling more acutely aware of the need for those with gifts of interpretation. Most who get the higher levels of revelation do not have the gift of interpretation. Now we are trying to team those with obvious gifts of interpretation with those who get revelation.
True prophetic interpretation does not come from just knowing biblical symbolism. Interpretation is a prophetic gift in its own right. It is interesting that the two men who probably had the greatest gifts of interpretation in Scripture, Joseph and Daniel, only seemed able to interpret dreams that came to others. They actually could not interpret the revelation that came directly to them. The Lord seems intent on making us need others regardless of how great our gifts are. This is the phase that we are now in as a ministry.
Even when we have revelation and interpretation, there is another phase yet, which is application. This is not so much of a prophetic gift as it is a realm of wisdom given mostly to the apostles, pastors, and teachers. We have had quite a few prophetic words that we felt compelled to send out which resulted in calls from pastors asking what they should do in response to these words. Often our response was, “We don’t know. That’s your part.” This usually shocked them, but we know our limits, and how much we need them to get the full picture.
Even the greatest prophetic ministry will only see in part, and therefore to get the entire picture we must put what they get together with what others are seeing. There are many immature, impatient, or idealistic people that believe if someone is really hearing from God they should get the whole message. But that is a presumption that causes many of the problems people have with the prophetic.
The best only see in part, so whenever we hear a prophetic word, we need to keep seeking the Lord for the other parts. The Lord has composed His body, and distributed all of the gifts so that we need each other. No one can stand alone without the rest of the church. Therefore, we will not have an accurate vision unless we are properly joined to the entire body of Christ.
Our own local church has seen much growth in the prophetic gifts, and we believe that we will one day have hundreds of mature prophetic ministries of New Testament stature sent out from our church. We also know that our future contribution to the church is going to require that all of these be joined with the present evangelistic, pastoral, and teaching ministries to help prepare the way for the coming apostolic ministry.
It will be a glorious day when all of the ministries that the Lord has given to His church are able to function together in unity. That is the Lord’s plan for the perfection of His people (see John 17:23). Even so, it is only as we keep our attention on the ultimate purpose of God that we will be safe from making idols out of His lesser purposes. The ultimate purpose of God is not just having ministries walk in unity with each other, but having all of His people in unity with Him.
These times are pregnant with potential. The windows of heaven seem to be continually open. We can all go as high as we desire, and as far as we have the faith to go. As Paul Cain once said, “We are all as close to God as we want to be.” The veil has been rent, and the door is open. Let’s take advantage of the great blessing we have been given to live in these extraordinary times with the knowledge we have been given by the Truth Himself. Let’s not keep waiting for someone to come stir the waters while the King Himself is standing right next to us! It is time to go ahead and step out of the boat and walk with Him.
It is time to go for the highest vision of all, being like Him and doing the works that He did. Being like Him means that we must be deeply and completely devoted to the values of the Lord. This was first of all love — love for Him and love for one another. It is right to be devoted to the gifts of the Spirit because the Scripture commands us to “earnestly desire” (see 1 Corinthians 12:31) them. However, all of the gifts work through faith, and faith works by love. We should esteem the gifts of the Spirit, but from the most solid foundation of devotion to the fruit of the Spirit.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|