People often give me expensive rings. So with great joy, I take these sparkly rings and slip them onto the withered, wrinkled hands of the poor—those stricken with leprosy or other diseases.
These poor women finally are getting married, and I slide the rings on their fingers, thinking, "This is God's upside-down kingdom."
God has told me that I could always pray for one thing: to expand our hearts to love more.
One day Jesus showed me a vision. He said, "I want to take you up the mountain to a low place, because the river flows to the low places." If you are in a low place and not concerned about your position, whatever trickling presence of God is in the room, you will be low enough to receive it.
First Pet. 5:5 says, "'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble'" (NKJV). Perhaps we must be low enough to live in God's glory love.
You should want to be immersed in, and live inside, the very heart of God. From there, all fruitfulness flows. In Ez. 47, one of my favorite passages, we read that the trees planted by the river bear fruit 12 months of the year. True apostolic ministry only flows from being immersed in the presence of God. This creates continuous supernatural fruitfulness.
I am not sure that I completely understand the whole "apostolic ministry" thing. However, I have heard a good friend of mine, Randy Clark, speak about apostolic authority and being sent-out ones. When Randy preached, it seemed that the Holy Spirit stood me up on my head. I like to be low not high. I like to be hidden under the wings of the Lord, away from the gaze of man. I am not into standing on my head in front of thousands of people.
I was so thankful I had on my trousers. It felt as through I was thrown from my head onto my back time after time by the awesome power of God. It was as though I was bruised from head to toe. And I was completely humbled!
God spoke to me through this and said, "Apostolic is upside down." Unlike how people are often trying to exalt themselves, the apostolic is the lowest place. Apostolic is the place of laid-down love where we become possessed with the nature of the man Christ Jesus to become the servant of all.
This is God's desire for ministry: humility. In humility, Jesus became nothing. Even though He knew that He had rights to everything, He chose to stand mute before His accusers. Jesus constrained Himself to the will of the Father. He robed Himself in meekness.
Humility is considering others before yourself. It is when you give way to and prefer the crippled man, the blind lady begging at your door, the arrogant preacher, or the one who cuts into the line in front of you. We are to do nothing out of selfish ambition. This does not mean that you never look out for your own interests. Rather, this means to look first at the interests of others. You think, see, hear and feel as you look around you. You stop, you listen, and you consider the interests of others before you consider yourself.
What was Jesus' attitude? It was the very nature of God. He did not consider equality something to be grasped. Jesus knew who He was at all times. A true son knows who he is because he has heard the voice of his father. Jesus heard His Father as a "voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased'" (Matt. 3:17, NIV).
A true son knows he has access to all that his father has. In the parable of the prodigal son, the father says, "My son ... you are always with me, and everything I have is yours" (Luke 15:31). It is not about proving something to someone. It is about becoming like Him in nature. Jesus freely gave Himself away for love's sake, and He invites us to do the same.
In Philippians 2, Paul exhorts us to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. None of us should want to build our own ministries; that is the opposite of what God called us to. We are called in love and meekness to establish God's kingdom on Earth.
Adapted from Compelled By Love by Heidi Baker, copyright 2008, published by Charisma House. This book gives you a glimpse of the reality of how God's kingdom operates on Earth through His compelling love. In her life and ministry Heidi sees God do miracle after miracle.
To read what He's done and continues to do, and how you can experience the same, get a copy of Heidi's recent book Birthing the Miraculous. To order it, click here.
Prayer Power for the Week of September 15, 2014
This week ask the Lord to expand your heart to love more. Pray that His love would permeate the church, bring us together in one accord, and propel us to help the afflicted and bring God's kingdom to Earth. Pray for those affected by recent natural disasters and the ravages of war and terrorism. Lift up Israel and the Middle East. Pray for those persecuted for their belief in Christ and for the children held as slaves and hostages around the world. Ask Him how you can help. Continue to pray for revival, our leaders and the protection of our nation. (1 Pet. 5:5-11; Phil. 2)