It amazes me how life comes full circle so many times. When I was writing last year on the power of prayer, everytime I would refer to Reverend Ken Hagin, Sr’s “Bible Prayer Study Course”, I would put the date I wrote about it in the workbook. I wrote on this very subject last year on November 1 and God has led me back to it at almost the exact same time. That tells me I always need a refresher no matter how well I know something. A little review never hurt anyone!
Little did I know, in less than a year, my husband and I would be going through a very difficult time. As you know my husband is a Federal Agent and was furloughed recently for two weeks. When this happened, we saw things we had NEVER seen before in thirty years of his service to our country (furloughed for over 2 weeks, actually. They were furloughed for four days this past summer). In thirty years, the government never shut down for that period of time. Things looked rough for us. Praise God, He was with us every step of the way! We never missed a meal or a bill!
We had gone to a church some time back that taught if anything happens in your life that is negative or if anything goes “wrong” it was because you had either said something you should not have, or you didn’t say something you should have. We were told it could also be we had not listened and followed the Holy Spirit as we should have. If we were following the Holy Spirit, according to them, then we wouldn’t have trials or trouble in life. We were told if we ever left that church, we would have left the will of God and our lives would be open to the enemy for him to destroy us any way he could.
I knew when hubby got furloughed they would take that opportunity to probably talk about how we would have been fine had we not left and gone to another church, which God had led us to do. I was thinking about this one day and the Lord spoke to me and said, “Stop worrying about what they are saying! I am going to prove them wrong, but it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t. You did what I said and that is all that matters! Who is he that accuses MY servant?” Praise God, the Lord had prepared us for what was ahead. We had no idea it was coming, but God had blessed us to the point we didn’t go hungry and we had enough money to pay our bills for that month, so even in the trial we remained blessed NOT destroyed!
Just about three months before any of this happened (the furloughs), the Lord had spoken to me and a friend of mine to teach a class on prayer. We went to our pastor and told him what God had laid on our hearts. The class came about just about 3 months after our first talk. It wasn’t long until all you know what broke loose in her life and in mine! The devil DID NOT want this class to be taught, that is how powerful prayer is!
Of course, the devil wanted to say, “Well, now if you hadn’t left the other church this wouldn’t be happening!” I almost got under condemnation, NOT CONVICTION which is how the Holy Spirit works. As I was preparing my lesson, lo and behold if Brother Hagin didn’t teach the very thing God had just shown me! GLORY TO GOD we are NEVER condemned!!
In this particular part of the workbook, Reverend Hagin reminds us Paul and Silas went through some really hard things. They weren’t in Philippi on a vacation! They had gone directed of God to do His work. The weren’t out of the will of God. Sometimes people will think if things aren’t just right they are out of the will of God. We can’t use circumstances to tell us where and what we should be doing. God tells us, Himself through the Holy Spirit!
According to Brother Hagin, “A life of ease, with no rough or difficult places to endure and no sacrifices to make, does not indicate whether or not a person is in God’s will. If it did, then Paul never did get in the will of God in his entire ministry! He missed it from beginning to end. No, you can’t judge being in the will of God by whether or not you have tests and trials in life and obstacles to overcome.”
Brother Hagin had hard times. Sometimes Sunday School wasn’t bursting at the seams at his church. Sometimes the offerings would be down. He said the devil would just try to aggravate him to death with circumstances, and we can let him! But, if we will learn how to deal with the devil he will never be able to overwhelm you with circumstances!
Brother Hagin learned to praise God and “minister” to Him (which means to magnify the Lord, not asking for anything just praising Him). Then he would pray in the Spirit until he got direction from the Lord. He would then tell the devil, “I want you to know I am not going to miss a meal or lose any sleep, because I am in faith. I’m standing on God’s Word.”
He had committed the problem to God and he wasn’t going to take it back and worry about it! He would tell the Lord, “Lord, it is my responsibiltiy to treat people right and visit the sick and do the best I can. But as far as the rest of it, I’m going to leave it to You, Lord.”
You don’t have to be disturbed, worried, and upset when life seems dark. When we learn to praise EVERY SINGLE DAY, and minister to the Lord that will bring much peace and eventually direction. I told my husband this is what I love so much about Brother Hagin. He was such a mighty man of God and so grounded and balanced, yet he went through difficult things. When he did, he got alone with God and the Word of God and the Lord showed him exactly what to do and it was so simple a third grader could understand it and do it.
Brother Hagin did it and when he died he had missions and churches all over the United States and throughout the world as well as Bible schools! I love simplicity! We are the ones that complicate the things of God and put ourselves under unnecessary yokes and burdens. God doesn’t do that…He wants to give us rest and lead us from victory to victory and He will if we will get alone, praise Him and listen to what He says!
Stay out of the negativity of things. Don’t think about why this didn’t work out and why that won’t work out. If we do that we will never move forward! I saw this saying somewhere recently and it has helped me so much. It said, “My life isn’t exactly what I planned, but it is exactly what God has planned!” That takes so much regret off of you and enlarges your ability to trust God! He is working it all to our good, as we pray and trust and minister to Him. Relax! He has us and He has promised He isn’t letting go!
God bless you, precious reader! I will see you soon!
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.
3 I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you,[a] 4 always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you[b] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart,[c] and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and establishment of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in[d] the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard,[e] and to everyone else, that my imprisonment is in the cause of Christ. 14 Most of the brothers in the Lord have gained confidence from my imprisonment and dare even more to speak the message[f] fearlessly. 15 To be sure, some preach Christ out of envy and strife, but others out of good will.[g] 16 These do so out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17 the others proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely, seeking to cause me anxiety in my imprisonment.[h] 18 What does it matter? Just that in every way, whether out of false motives or true, Christ is proclaimed. And in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice 19 because I know this will lead to my deliverance[i] through your prayers and help from the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 20 My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
21 For me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22 Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should choose. 23 I am pressured by both. I have the desire to depart and be with Christ—which is far better— 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 Since I am persuaded of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that, because of me, your confidence may grow in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27 Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind,[j] working side by side for the faith that comes from the gospel, 28 not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your deliverance—and this is from God. 29 For it has been given to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, 30 having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I have.