HOW   DO   WE  ‘ MINISTER  TO  GOD ’ ?

 

                              If we have not ministered to God in our prayers and

                              intercessions,  then  we have  prayed  amiss. In any prayer,

                               God  and  His feelings should be our focus.

 

Prophecies  Of  Doom Because Of  Compromised Gospel.

 

A Jewish  prophetess uttered some very  severe judgments of famine, persecutions and death over Malaysia  and  mentioned that God is  deeply disappointed with the church in our  nation  because  of her compromised gospel and  also because  He has so few friends here who can minister to Him and with whom He can share His heart with. The most frightening part  of her prophecy was when she said that  97 percent of Christians in Malaysia will  NOT make it into heaven. (In other words, only 3 percent of Christians are truly saved)

 

Because of  pressing needs and increased fears  many  churches have learn to rise  in  prayers and  intercession, of which we are truly thankful. Unfortunately, intercessors and watchmen  can still pray amiss  if  we have not ministered to God  by (i)  making Him the FOCUS  of  all our prayers and   (2) by sharing His  pain and  heart-brokenness over  the conditions that are prevailing  both in the church and in the world.  How many of us  are truly at that quiet place ‘ within the veil ‘   where the resounding of God  is undisturbed and is  clearly heard and  felt ?  So often, because we cannot hear and feel what is in the  heart of God,  we allow  self interest,  people, etc  to become the focus of our prayers instead of God.

 

God Must Find Expression In  His People

 

Great  intercessors  like Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, and Paul had their prayers   focused on God  because they could feel  His pain, His  yearnings and anguish. As a  result  they could successfully  minister to Him by  expressing  back to Him what was in His heart. Mature  intercessors   do more than pray  dutifully. Mature intercessors share God’s feelings. They could take His yoke, bear His burden and  feel His ‘heart brokenness’  and  they minister to Him by sharing His feelings and by  expressing  these  feelings back to Him,  because God does  want us to express back  to Him what is in His heart.

 

Yes, why couldn’t  God  hear His own pain and anguish uttered back to Him through us? . Isn’t it  our  privilege and honor to enter into such participation  of  pain  and suffering with Him who had, Himself participated our human pains and sorrows too? Remember what Paul said  about  “ knowing Him in the fellowship of His sufferings.” (  Phllippines 3:10) As the Malaysian church matures, may  God  hear His own cries, desires, longings, anguish, yearnings and  burdens  expressed through  us because in the final analysis, prayer is indeed God finding expression through human vessels. More over, we are His body, a part of Him.

 

God’s Pain  Was Shared By These Prophets

 

The prophetical  books are impacted with the feelings of God expressed by  and  through  His prophets . When  I  read the Psalms, I often have to ask, is this  David’s pain or is it  God’s?  The truth is, it   is both.  When  I  read  Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, I have to ask the same thing -  is this   the heart-brokenness, the anger and   the hurt  of the prophets or is it God’s? The truth is, it is both.When David cried,  “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?  Why  art thou so far from helping me ?”  and  “ My heart is like wax, it is melted in the midst of my bowels,”  (Ps.22:1,14)  was David  talking about himself  or was he describing God ‘s experiences and feelings?  The truth  is,   David was expressing the feelings of both persons – his own and God’s. When Jeremiah said, ‘ My heart  within me is broken because of the prophets.” (Jere 23:9) was he referring to his own heart or God’s?  He was referring to  both. He felt it because God was feeling it all through him. Were the lamentations of Jeremiah, in the book of LAMENTATIONS with its  classic,  unique and powerful   woeful cries   his own or was  it God lamenting through Him?  The  truth is, both prophet and God were  lamenting together over  what they saw in  the city of Jerusalem.  The same goes for Ezekiel  6:9.

 

It is God expressing His feeling through human channels and it is also  human vessels feeling the pain and sorrows of  God. Yes, it is God  feeling  through men and oh, how  great, how stoic, how distinct but how very rare were   those men.  Where are such  men  today ?  Where are the men  who  would  lament after the things that matter to God ?  Where are the people who are willing to  share  the pain of God (don’t we have enough ourselves?) and allow God to put  His  feelings within them so that they can feel it too?  Today we have men who  will  lament  over the crash of the stock market,  the loss of  their properties, the end of a relationship,  their  failures  or their  financial status but  not men who will  lament  over the things that  broke God’s heart. People  always  want  God  to share their pains and sorrows  but   they  do not want to share His – no wonder God complained  He has few friends in Malaysia.

 

Yes, where are the men  who could feel the pain, the anger and the hurt of God and  are not ashamed to express them.?  Are there such men and women today?  What happens,  when  and if  there are no human vessels who would be so ONE WITH HIM that they can feel like Him, feel for  Him and feel   with Him ? Will destruction  come ?  Is this what is happening in  so many parts of the  world, especially in the African nations?  Will the same thing happen here in our land  since God had complained that  He had so few friends  and confidantes in Malaysia? If  Israel  did not have the likes of  Moses, David and Samuel, will  she still be around today?   Most probably not, because these were the  men  who actually  turned away the wrath of God from that nation by ministering  to Him. They ‘cooled ’ down His anger, alleviated His pain, and relieved the tension in His holy heart. Oh, for such men (and women) to live again!

 

The Reason For Our Own Sorrows

 

I believe the major reason why God has to take us through our own personal pain, losses, conflicts and

tension is because He wants us to  identify with  Him. How can we understand sorrows, pain and suffering when we have not gone through it ourselves? How can we effectively comfort others and most of all, share God’s  heart- brokenness when we have not been heart-broken before? We must remember that the  ‘lesser is  always swallowed up in the greater.’  Our human and transitory  experiences are always the lesser  when compared with God’s  divine and eternal experiences. Our earthly and temporal  experiences, however painful, are  to be ‘swallowed up’ by God’s divine and eternal   experiences.

 

Sorrows Brings Identification With God

 

Yes,  a man will never know  God’s true sorrow and sense of loss over lost humanity or souls until he himself have experienced the deep  sorrow of loosing his own children .A woman can never share the depth  of God’s pain over men’s unfaithfulness  until she herself is betrayed by her own unfaithful  husband or boyfriend. Parents will never know the  heart-brokenness of God over rebellious and ungrateful children until their own kids became rebellious and ungrateful. Yes, we will never be able to  touch  God’s broken-heart,  neither can we share it  until we  have experienced  these things ourselves. Now you know why God  allow human sorrows and  often time has to take us  through all  these unpleasant experiences ?   Whatever and however you feel, remember these are only the ‘lesser’ experiences  which can never be compared to what God has to go through.

 

God  does not waste human sorrows, especially the sorrows of His children. Very often  He uses  our pain and sufferings to accomplish His own will  without us knowing. Take, for example, the story of Hannah. Will God ever have a Samuel for Israel if not for  this woman’s great sorrow, conflicts   and contention?  A sorrow  which drove her  to say, “ Give me a son and I will give him back to you !”  All heaven must have rejoiced  to hear what  Hannah said - that she would actually give her son back to  God! Heaven  and earth had waited long enough, yes, far too long  for this great moment -  the moment where a  man child would be totally surrendered to God to accomplish His will unreservedly.  God  had  wanted a prophet for Israel, one whom He could personally school, nurture and mentor and  praise God, He finally found  the  woman who was wiling to give Him her son  unreservedly and  totally. But she did not do it  without  going through  much brokenness, shame and rejection herself.  What drove Hannah into such a bargain? The bargain that if God remove her pain  of barrenness, she would return to Him the fruit of her womb, which is her greatest desire?

 

 

Pain Turns Greatest Desire  Into Highest Sacrifice

 

She was desperate. Desperate with  sorrows, pain, reproach and deep rejection.  Yes, desperate enough to part with her son if only God will remove from her the curse of barrenness and the sorrows of  unproductiveness.  Hannah wanted a son  but God wanted a prophet .Hannah wanted release from  her personal pain and sorrows  but God used it to accomplish His purpose. Hannah truly did not know that her son would  one day become the greatest praying prophet for her nation. So Hannah’s waiting was also God’s waiting. While one waited for a son, the other waited for a prophet. Thank God the day came where there was someone desperate and  willing enough to part with her son and give him totally to  God.  Can you see now how intertwined  heaven and earth is, how interwoven God’s need and the woman’s need is? How blended  together are  the desire of God and the desires of men? How unified and welded together the purposes of God and the destinies of men  and women – including yours?

 

Undoubtedly,  the pain, sorrow and reproach of the widow at Zidon ( in loosing her husband  and reduced to poverty)  was not wasted. God wanted her to be exactly at the place where  .she was  when she met Elijah – alone, desperate, vulnerable but  also hospitable and teachable. If she had a husband  I believe her husband  would not have  permitted her  to take in Elijah as there was a famine and they had no food. Furthermore, Elijah was a ‘ wanted man’ by the king and to house him would jeopardize their lives.  God  told Elijah that  He had prepared the woman. Prepared through what? Through pain, losses and sorrows. It was the same with the rest of the great saints, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph and David etc. Yes,  anyone who had not been prepared through pain and sorrow, losses and suffering  or the way of the Cross  cannot break into their spiritual destiny. Neither can they effectively  enter  into ’ the sharing  God’s  heart ‘   to  minister to Him..

 

Will You Share God’s Violated Feelings?

 

Severe  judgment  of tsunami, sicknesses and famine   had been prophesied over our land,  but how many  of us are hearing? How many of us are prepared to  minister to God in times like these?  We have plenty of great speakers who could produce ‘masterpieces’  with  their  sermons  but  do we have an Abraham, a Moses or a Samuel who could turn away His wrath from our nation?  We have plenty of busy pastors who wants to build grandiose  churches in Malaysia – what for ?  None of us are  aware  when and where the tsunami will be coming from and what a waste when our  million-dollars churches go down under that wave?  Don’t you think building prayer communities and  feeding the poor  would be better than putting up spectacular buildings ?   How many of us Malaysians realize that   the sudden floods, howling winds and the  water shortage that affected  2 million  people in Selangor  are actually  Divine warnings?

 

How did those great  saints  minister to God each time when He became  so angry that He wanted to obliterate Israel? They ministered to Him  by sharing His hurt and violated  feelings. Through  their incessant pleadings,  through their bold reasoning,  skillful  negotiations,, sincere  entreaties, selfless transactions, bargaining, sensible arguing, persuasion etc. they prevailed in His presence  until God ‘cooled’ down. They ministered to Him through  their  selfless prayers and intercessions  in  which GOD WAS  THEIR FOCUS  and His violated  feelings was their main concern. They  knew  God’s feelings  were violated and  therefore, these feelings  must be shared, must be expressed,  must  be dealt with, must be appeased and must be  conciliated. Other  things  were secondary.

 

Why Is Peace And Goodwill Taken From The Earth?

 

Yes, other things should indeed be  secondary. We must  never forget what the angels announced at the birth of Jesus. They shouted that earth will have peace and goodwill only when  God gets the glory. The very fact that earth is not experiencing peace and goodwill means only one thing: God has been violated.  God has not been glorified  and His feelings were  not regarded  because HE HAS NOT BEEN OUR FOCUS.  So when peace is taken from us and when ill-will or evil prevailed, shouldn’t  we  focus back on Him?  Shouldn’t we regard His   violated  feelings and  minister to Him and  restore  His  glory?

 

This is why God and His feelings should   be the focus of  all our prayer and intercession.  Intercessors  must  know  that  they are not called to just sit through the hours to   utter repetitive  prayers  over and over again. No. No.  Intercessors are called  to  empathize with God. They  are  called   to take His yoke, bear His burden, to share His  hurt feelings and to  lament after the things that matter to Him. Mature intercessors will  keep up the  pleading with God  through silence, through groaning, through  sighing and  tears…not necessary  through words because often what we feel far outweigh our words – we just have no words to offer, so we offer our silence, our moaning and  our tears.

 

To be able to keep up the pleading   until God’s pain is alleviated, until  He is   pacified and is wiling to  lessen the strokes and the blows upon a nation is indeed  a high and lofty calling. But unfortunately  not many of us can attain to this calling   because not many of us  want to be broken by God’s  pain, or be stabbed by  His anguish  and be  burdened with the things that burdened Him. Also, not many of us want   to  remain  in  that  secret  and closeted place  where there is hardly any men’s accolades or applause.  But then, it is a place where His resounding is always clear, fresh  and undisturbed.

 

Jesus Is Still  Working Today

 

This work of ministry to God is so vital that  Jesus is still doing it today. The scriptures says, “ He lives to make intercession.” -   the type of intercession that  ministers to God.  The church  will be  ‘finished’  if  Jesus had stop His priestly  ministry to the Father. How do you think God will feel  when He look at His church today, the one whom He had redeemed with His own blood  and  witnessed  the gross abomination practiced within her ? The  very  sins that He had condemned through  Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel had been  repeated. again in  the church. No wonder Jesus is standing  by God’s  right hand, praying, interceding and ministering to Him.

 

When tragedies occurred, either in a nation or worldwide,  the first thing we should do is to  minister to  God first. We should empathize with Him, appease and deal with His feelings  first  because  we know  He is the One who will hurt the most  in the midst of human death  and suffering, and especially when He knows that most of the dead will be going to hell, to be eternally separated from Him.  The pain and the tension must be great  in His heart when He, the Almighty  can do everything  to stop the tragedy just did not stop it  because He has  His own reasons – reasons which  He cannot share with us now. Yes, if  we fail to minister to God in our prayers, then we have   prayed amiss.

 

 

 

 

Intercessors And Lifestyle

 

Intercessors must always live a  lifestyle that will  allow them to set aside  time to ‘minister to the Lord’ and  to  stay in a place where God’s resounding is clear, fresh  and undisturbed. We cannot  hear God  and feel his heart when  we  are ‘all over the place,”  or  when we are not focused  and when  our spirit is not made one with Him.  In spite of having  an abundance of  intercessors, God is still lonely and complained  that He has few friends and confidantes. The following prayer of  “MINISTRY TO THE  LORD IN VIEW OFJACOB’S TROUBLE ”  (COMING HOLOCAUST  OF THE JEWS)  is to help you get into the pain of  God  and minister to Him as this violent  event is slowing and  painfully unfolding before our eyes. May this prayer also spark you on to getting to that place where  God’s resounding becomes clear to you.

 

Some commented,   Such heartfelt cries  are  so needed in these days and more so in the final days ahead. We must be aware that  JACOB’S TROUBLE, like  His  cross is  His pain but it is also His fulfillment. It is His sorrow but it is also His glory. It is His wrath but it is also His mercy, it is His  judgment but it is also His holiness – it is two nature in one God, two tension  in one heart – what a PARADOX! If this is in the HEAD, why shouldn’t it be in the BODY?  May we continue to minister to Him till our companionship brings more of Him in us than what we have made Him to be.”

 

Two nature in one God and two tension in one heart !  Oh, no wonder  God  needs our ministry! Imagine the conflicts within that divine  heart !  Imagine  the  pain, the anguish  and the tearing  that rages within His holy heart  each time He releases judgment or when He sees multitudes plunge into hell, to be cut off from him forever.  How He must have hurt when  He allows this coming   violence to be unleashed upon Israel, the apostate nation whom He called   the ‘apple of My eye.’

 

An  Ancient  Cry  Of  Destruction For Israel

 

I was reading some notes on  “JACOB’S TROUBLES “ and feeling so sorry for  Israel   when I   heard (on  television,) the vow  of the Iranian prime minister who says:  ” Israel is an evil regime and we will totally annihilate her until  there will be no remembrance of her left  on earth.”   I  was shocked  because what he said was not new and fresh. It was an ‘ancient’ declaration! Ahmadinejad (Iran prime minister)   was declaring something that  had been said so long ago by  the  ancient  Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians and  also the modern day Arabic nations. They  have all vowed  the same thing – annihilation of  Israel.

 

But after so many years of   hated vows, repeated  violent attempts, clandestine ‘annihilation’ meetings, war preparations, secret suicide bombings  and  public declarations of  ‘finishing’ this nation,   Israel is still around… standing strong, so resilient, arrogant, defiant of  both God and men.  Like the burning bush  which  Moses found in the hill of God, she was set on fire but was never consumed. She was burned but  never burnt to a cinder or burnt to destruction because of the mercy of God and  because God remembers their forefathers – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Who can deal with Israel but God alone?  And God will -  during this coming worldwide JACOB’S TROUBLE.. There will be no escape for her.

 

The Highest Calling: God’s Friend And Confidante

 

As I read daily the curses on Israel and the vows to finish her and also the increase of the sins of this apostate nation, I had to   reach out  to God and ask, “ O God, what are Your feelings when You see Your people going  through such  trouble again? Help me pray for Your people but most of all  help me   minister to You.”   The result  is this prayer of ‘ MIINISTRY TO GOD IN VIEW OF JACOB’S TROUBLES.’ As we in  Malaysia  learn to minister to God by sharing  His pain,  brokenness and anger  over the sins of  our nation, of Asia and also of  apostate Israel, may we see  God lay down His whip and turn away His judgment and  finally  come to His rest by proclaiming   “ I have found  friends in Malaysia and Asia.”