Years ago, my ministry almost destroyed me. I fell in love with it more than with the Lord.
Our ministries, if we are not careful, can be our No. 1 enemy! It happens so innocently, for we love what God has called us to do.
The Lord began to hinder my ministry by closing doors and locking the windows. Invitations ceased, and I found myself alone with my family and God. For about three months, I was shut in with God. I discovered if you slow down and spend time with Him, you won't lose your ministry unless it was yours. If it's God's ministry, it will continue without you.
After three months alone with God, I saw my ministry take off like never before. All I did was spend time with Him. One day as I felt His loving arms around me, I sensed the Lord was so delighted to just have me be with Him without doing anything for Him. He was actually thrilled with my presence, and I discovered that all of mankind was created to be with Him on earth, not just in heaven.
As He embraced me for those three months, there was a moment when I heard Him say to the angels, "Take this son's ministry and take it to the four corners of the earth, for he is thrilling Me!" I believe there are times when we should stop what we are doing long enough to find out if God is still calling us in the same direction that He did years ago.
Below is one of the revelations I received during the time spent with Him. He is calling me once again to slow down and have a season of rest in Him. This time He said, "Son, as you rest in Me, you will reap where you have not sown." Maybe He is calling you also to take a break so you don't fall apart.
My Favorite Flower Is an Iris
One morning during a three-month sabbatical, I was walking to my prayer room passing by our bay window that was filled with beautiful flowers called irises. They were in full bloom, shouting a grand finale of colors and majesty. As I walked past them, I heard the Lord whisper, "Bill, I want you to sit down and behold the flowers." As I did, I found myself mesmerized by their beauty and I began to repeat their name out loud: "Iris, Iris, Iris." Then out came, "I rest!"
It's the first time a flower ever preached to me. I kept gazing upon the flowers' glory and studied them. I couldn't find one flower that looked like it was struggling. I couldn't find one flower that looked like it was worried. Have you ever seen a flower that looked worried (unless you don't water it)? These flowers were just being and growing into what God had called them to be with no struggle, no sweat and no worry. They looked like they were rejoicing.
The Lord spoke through those irises, saying, "Bill, I am calling you to rest in Me. As you rest in Me, you will naturally grow into all that I've called you to be. There is a rest for them who believe. You not only must believe in Me, but believe Me to bring to pass what I have spoken to you. I am the faithful one who has called you, who will also do it. Only believe."
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years and is in leadership. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is The Power of Real / Transparent Prophetic Encouragement. His prophetic email list is: billyountweekly.com. Visit Bill's website at billyount.com.
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