I’ve been through some rough times since 1968 when I first started in ministry. I’ve often felt like giving up. In fact, many people I knew in those days thought that I should. But Jamie and I stuck it out, and we now see countless lives changed through the message of God’s unconditional love and grace. We want to share with you some of the things the Lord taught us that kept us going, and we pray they will do the same for you.
Although we knew God’s general will for us from the beginning, we didn’t have a clue how to bring it to pass. We had to learn to remain totally dependent on Him and listen to His still, small voice for the step-by-step revelation of His plan. As we diligently sought Him, each step became clear and the ministry grew.
One very important step God led us to take was to give away our tapes and CDs to those who couldn’t afford them. Most people didn’t understand why we did it, but it worked. In hindsight, this was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. If we hadn’t followed God’s leading in this, we would not have grown like we have. We quit counting years ago after giving away over six million tapes, CDs, booklets, and other resources. Now, each day, we average over 22,000 visits to our website and thousands of downloads. Hallelujah! The Word is getting out!
Giving away our materials was a major decision and a huge step for us, but since then, there have been many more decisions and steps. Many of the things God has told us to do have helped us avoid pitfalls and brought about His abundant blessings.
We learned that it isn’t enough just to know God’s will; we had to learn how to follow it too. Some people get a revelation of God’s will, but then stop seeking Him for direction on how to carry it out. Knowing God’s will is critical, but it’s just the first step. After that, you must learn how to follow His will and co-operate with Him to bring it to pass.
A great biblical example of this is the story of Moses. Here’s someone who knew God’s will for his life, yet totally missed God’s timing and plan.
Exodus 2 gives us a summary of the first forty years of Moses’ life.
It’s absolutely miraculous how the Lord used the very one who ordered Moses’ death to raise him and bring him to greatness. But Moses needed more than just a privileged Egyptian upbringing.
Moses made a critical error, which was recorded in Exodus 2:11-12:
And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.”
Because Exodus 2 doesn’t provide much detail, some assume that Moses simply defended the Hebrew because it was the right thing to do, not because Moses realized he was a Hebrew himself.
Acts 7:23-25, however, contradicts this thinking:
And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.”
Through these verses, it’s clear that Moses knew God called him to bring deliverance to the Hebrews. Although Moses knew God’s will, he thought his own strength and influence would bring it to pass. He took matters into his own hands and killed the Egyptian, thereby totally missing God’s plan and timing for the Israelites’ deliverance. It ended up costing Moses forty years in the wilderness, which was not God’s original plan.
By my understanding of Scripture and the prophecy God gave to Abraham concerning when the children of Israel would come out of Egypt, Moses was at least ten years premature in trying to accomplish God’s will (Gen. 15:13 with Ex. 12:40). The secular accounts I’ve read of Moses’ life all say he was a powerful and influential leader.
Moses probably figured that since he knew God wanted him to be the Israelites’ deliverer, why wait? He could just do it on his own. His impatience cost the Israelites thirty years of additional bondage and Moses forty years in the desert.
Many people in the body of Christ today are falling into the same trap Moses did. They stumble across God’s will for their lives but then decide they can carry out His will in their own natural talents or strength. They think they have God’s plan all figured out, and they don’t take time to discover how He wants to accomplish His will through them.
Often, people won’t take time to prepare for God’s will to be Fulfiled. They are moved by the need that’s around them, and they feel pressured into hurrying to bring God’s plan to pass. You can’t speed up the things of God, but you can certainly delay them. Moses found this out the hard way and ended up delaying God’s plan by thirty years.
Christians who have been called into ministry think they don’t have time to go to Bible school or get trained. They think they have to get out there now and start Fulfiling God’s call. They reason that if they don’t get started in their ministries, people may suffer while they’re busy preparing. But what they don’t think about are the people who’ll suffer if they step into their ministries without preparation.
All through the Bible, we see examples of God preparing His people for the ministry He called them to. He never just anointed people and then sent them out the next day to preach. David waited thirteen years from the time he was anointed to be king until he actually became king. After Samuel anointed him, what did David do? He went back to the fields and tended the sheep. (See 1 Sam. 16:13-19.)
As we’ve already seen, Moses had to wait ten years. Paul had to wait fourteen. And then there was Abraham, who had to wait twenty-five years, until he was 100, to see God’s prophecy of him being a “father of many nations” come to pass. God made all of these men wait in order to prepare them. He wanted to be sure they would succeed at what He called them to do.
One danger we see in the body of Christ today is thrusting new Christians into the ministry spotlight before they’re ready. This has become especially popular with newly converted celebrities, such as athletes or movie stars. We put them into leadership positions way before they’re ready, thinking their celebrity status will draw others to Jesus. First Timothy 3:6 warns us of this very thing. But many ignore God’s warning, and people end up getting hurt because of it.
God always calls you to do something totally beyond your own ability, because He wants you to depend on Him. It’s important that you wait and do things His way and in His timing, not only for yourself, but also for those God has called you to reach. You can’t just take off running and try to get by without constant instruction from Him.
Jesus talked about this in John 15:5, which says,
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Only when we stay connected to the Lord through the Word and prayer – seeking His direction – do we bring forth much fruit. If we don’t, we won’t accomplish anything. It doesn’t get much clearer than that! The key is to abide in Him – remain in fellowship with Him – and not go off on our own as soon as we think we know what He wants us to do.
Some of you may think you’ve blown His plans for your lives so badly that there’s no way to recover. But God can turn anything around. If you’ll humble yourselves and ask for His leadership, He’ll get you back on track. Moses got out of God’s will, but God still used him in a mighty way. If you ask, He’ll show you what to do.
There are no formulas with God. He wants to lead you with a personal, living relationship. You need His daily direction to avoid mistakes and stay on the path He has for you. Repent of doing things in your own strength. Then ask for His perfect timing and plan.
If you know His will for your life, then learn how to follow it. To help, I have just completed a new series of teachings. The first of these five-part albums is called How to Find God’s Will, which I wrote about in last month’s letter. The second is How to Follow God’s Will, which I’ve been talking about in this letter. The third is How to Fulfil God’s Will, which I will write about in next month’s letter. I believe the message in these three series of teachings will change your life.
Therefore, I am making all three albums available in a special package called The God’s Will Package. As a bonus, it will include a special DVD, called Destiny Stories, featuring the true stories of seven ordinary people whose lives were transformed in the pursuit of God’s will for them. This package has a value of £58, but I feel it is so important for everyone to hear that I am making it available for £40. I really want you to have these teachings.
Each of the three messages was taught live at one of our Gospel Truth Seminars. They are available on either CD (audio) or DVD. To order, go to our website: www.awme.net, call our Helpline on +44(0)1922 473300, or complete the enclosed form and return it to Andrew Wommack Ministries – Europe, PO Box 4392, Walsall, WS1 9AR, England.
God bless you,
Andrew & Jamie
How To Follow God's Will
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