The following was taught and prayed through during our 6 a.m. prayer time with Terry Nyenhuis
1 Tim 2:1-4
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
We Prayed for our Jewish Harvest:
Acts 16:1 Amp
Now Paul traveled to Derbe and also to Lystra. A disciple named Timothy was there, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer [in Christ], however, his father was a Greek.
when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
Deborah received in prayer the words:
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS: an unfolding, the discovery of something secret or withheld from the knowledge of others, disclosure, full exhibition
MAJOR ADVANCEMENTS: the act of moving forward or proceeding, the state of being advanced, preferment, promotion, in rank of excellence, the act of promoting
Development Takes Time by Lynne Hammond
Dearest Friend and Pray-er,
A few weeks ago, one particular word began to get hold of me in my prayer closet. It came to me while I was praying about the Church and the position she’ll be in when Jesus comes back. As I saw in my spirit how we as believers will become living epistles so full of Jesus that even if people don’t have a Bible they’ll be able to read us and see Him, I noticed I kept hearing this one word.
It was the word DEVELOP.
I knew it was a word from the Lord about this day we’re living in. So even though I was familiar with it, I looked it up in the dictionary. It said that DEVELOP means: to unfold gradually in detail, and gave the example of placing exposed photographic material in chemicals to produce a visible image.
What an old-fashioned example! I thought. Developing photographs? Millennials today don’t even know what that is. They’re used to visible images appearing instantly. They think snap+upload=picture, right now.
Back in the dinosaur age, when I was growing up, there was no such thing as snap and upload. Until the Polaroid Instamatic camera came along (which—amazingly!—produced photographs on the spot, in three minutes), we had to wait anywhere from six days to two weeks to see our pictures. After we filled up an entire roll of film, we had to take it to the drugstore where it was developed by being put through nine different chemical processes.
Each process had to be done in a darkroom with the door shut. Nobody dared opened the door prematurely because that would ruin the pictures. It would expose the film to light before the development process was complete, and the images on the film would be distorted or even destroyed.
That day as I thought about the word develop, I realized that for us as believers to get where we’re headed before Jesus returns, we need to go through much the same process! For the image of Christ that’s been imprinted on our spirit to be fully revealed in us, we have to shut the door on the world and spend time in a kind of darkroom… only our darkroom is called the Secret Place of the Most High!
What is the secret place of the Most High?
It’s our place of intimate fellowship with the Lord. It’s the place where we spend time just being with Him. The place in His presence where we hear from Him and things that were hazy become clear, uncertainty becomes certainty, and closed places open. Where the image of Jesus is projected in us by His Spirit and, as 2 Corinthians 3:18 says:
We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory. (NKJV)
Notice, according to that verse, being transformed into Jesus’ image isn’t something that happens in an instant. We aren’t transformed all at once the moment we get born again or baptized in the Holy Spirit. Although those things are important, for the image of Jesus to become visible in us, we must keep beholding Him and going from glory to glory. We must continually press into Him so that His likeness can develop in us.
BEING CALLED AND GIFTED ISN’T ENOUGH
Without going through that development process, no Christian anywhere can fulfill their God-ordained calling. Without spending time with Him in the secret place, we won’t ever become His living epistles, “known and read by all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2 NKJV).
Even in this Internet/social-media age, in the realm of the spirit there’s no such thing as snap+upload=divine destiny. It simply doesn’t exist!
If you need proof, just study the earthly life of Jesus. He was divinity incarnate, yet to fulfill His destiny, even He had to get off by Himself to spend time in God’s presence. He had to spend 40 days by Himself out in the wilderness, fasting and praying, before He even preached one sermon. He had to get up early in the morning during his three years of ministry and go off by Himself, “a great while before day… into a solitary place” to pray (Mark 1:35). He had to practice personally, in other words, what He taught His disciples:
Go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret. (Matthew 6:6 Amp.)
These days, a lot of Christians don’t seem to want to do that. They don’t want to spend any time alone with God, in the wilderness so to speak, fasting and praying. They just want to jump right into whatever it is they think they’re gifted to do. “I don’t need to grow in the Lord first,” they say. “I’ll just grow as I go along.”
I recently heard about one young believer who actually left his church because he wasn’t being promoted fast enough. As the pastor explained it, he said nobody had “discovered his gift.”
That person had it all wrong! The Church isn’t supposed to “discover gifts.” That’s what Hollywood does. It finds gifted people and puts them in the spotlight, often to their destruction. God draws people to Himself and develops them into the image of Jesus. He waits to put them in the spotlight until the light that’s in them is greater than the light that’s on them.
“Yes,” somebody might say, “but God does need more gifted people in the Church right now.”
No, He doesn’t. Although God loves gifted people, what He needs is anointed people. He needs people who are clothed with His own burden- removing, yoke-destroying power (Luke 4:18). He needs people who keep coming to Him until His power gets in them and on them. People who continually behold Him and incline their ear to Him until they know the voice of the Good Shepherd not just through somebody else but for themselves.
God has always needed people like that. It’s why all through the Bible, He said to us in various ways, “Come to Me!” It’s why, before He sends us out to do His work, He always draws us to Himself, away from the hubbub of the world, and says as He did in Isaiah 26:20, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself…”
THE COMINGS AND GOINGS OF SCRIPTURE
You can see this all through the Bible. God always called even His most gifted leaders first and foremost to Himself. Take John the Baptist, for example.
According to Jesus, he was the greatest prophet who ever lived. When he was just eight days old his father Zechariah prophesied over him and said: “You little one, shall be called a prophet of the Most High; for you shall go on before the face of the Lord to make ready His ways, to bring and give the knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness and remission of their sins.” (Luke 1:76–77 Amp.)
Talk about divinely destined! John was called and anointed before he was ever born to prepare the way for the Messiah. But even so, to fulfill his mission, he needed the anointing that comes from spending time with God. There was no way even he could snap+upload=destiny. That would not work! God had to develop him, so He sent him first out into the desert to fellowship with Him. “And [there] the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel” (v. 80).
In the Old Testament, we see the same pattern. Moses, for instance, before he led the Israelites out of Egypt, had to spend 40 years in Midian, living in the desert. He had to go through a process of development that prepared him to fulfill the call of God.
So did David. He first received his calling as a young teenager when God sent Samuel to go anoint one of the sons of Jesse to be Israel’s king. You remember the story. When Samuel arrived at Jesse’s house, David wasn’t even called in from the field. His family members (who had rejected him because his great grandmother Ruth was a Moabite) had assumed he wouldn’t qualify.
After meeting all of Jesse’s other sons, however, Samuel realized the Lord hadn’t chosen any of them and asked Jesse if there were any others.
And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said,
Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. (1 Samuel 16: 11–13 KJV)
What did David do after Samuel left?
He went back out into the fields and tended his father’s sheep! Even though he’d been anointed by the Spirit of the Lord, he didn’t just step into his destiny. He didn’t just snap+upload=#newkingofIsrael.
No, he spent the next 20 years or so out in the pasture, singing and worshiping God. He wasn’t out there trying to get a Grammy or win a Dove Award. He was out there developing a relationship with the real Dove, developing in character, in faithfulness, and in not being offended. He was in the Secret Place, letting the Most High take him through the processes that would enable him to become who he already was—Israel’s king.
Even the apostle Paul had to go through that kind of developing process, and he not only lived under the New Covenant, he experienced the most miraculous conversion in the entire Bible! On the road to Damascus, he had such a dramatic and glorious encounter with Jesus that he was knocked to the ground and left blind for three days. His whole life changed, and right then and there, Jesus revealed to him his apostolic destiny.
You’d think all that would have been enough to launch Paul immediately into ministry. You’d think after having such supernatural experiences, he could have gone ahead full steam into the plan of God and gotten busy preaching the Gospel and writing the New Testament epistles. But that’s not what he did!
Instead, for the next 12 to 15 years, Paul hid himself away. He spent time off by himself receiving revelation from God out in the desert region of Arabia. It was during his time in Arabia that Paul received his anointing to minister. It was there God prepared him to go out and meet the world.
PAUL’S ONE LIFELONG PURPOSE AND PRESS
Martin Luther once said Paul’s words are so powerful they’re like “hands that grip the heart.” And still today, after all these years, Paul’s words are still gripping hearts.
Why? Because they carry the divine power that came on him during the time he spent in the Secret Place, pressing into God.
Paul didn’t stop spending time in that place after he left Arabia either. All throughout his life and ministry, he kept pressing into it. He made it his central goal and primary objective to keep beholding Jesus and becoming more like Him. As he wrote in Philippians 3:10:
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed…into His likeness… (Amp.)
Given Paul’s great apostolic calling, his purpose in life could have been to heal the sick and work miracles, signs, and wonders in the name of Jesus. He could have made preaching to the nations and soul winning his objective. But he knew that he could only give God out to others to the degree he knew God himself. He could only project the image of Christ to the world to the degree that image was formed in him.
“Not that I have now attained [this ideal],” he wrote, “or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me” (Philippians 3:12 Amp.).
Certainly, if Paul, as gifted and anointed as he was, had to keep pressing deeper into Jesus, we as believers do today! Certainly, if at the end of his earthly life he hadn’t yet fully developed into the Lord’s image, all of us still have a way to go.
None of us have gotten to a place where we can stop and stagnate. None of us can sit back and say, “I made it. I’ve read the Bible. I’ve spent some time in prayer. Now I know it all. I’m ready for snap+upload=my destiny.”
No, if we want to become all God has called us to be, we must keep pressing and progressing in our relationship with Jesus. If we want to fulfill our destiny, even in this high-tech age, we must spend time with the Lord so that His image can develop in us.
“But Lynne,” you might say, “I’m too busy. I don’t have time.”
Nobody these days has any time! If you’re going to spend time with Jesus, you have to make time for Him. You have to decide that fellowshipping with Him in the secret place is the most important thing you can do and put it first place in your life and schedule.
My dear praying friend, God has things in mind for you that you don’t even know about yet! He has a place in His great divine plan for this end-time hour that only you can fill. Don’t miss out on one detail of it. Make up your mind right now that you’re going to give God all the time He needs to reveal it to you.
Determine afresh every day to come up higher into that place before His throne, where He can project His image onto you and where things that have been hazy become clear, and get to know Him more intimately every day. “
We prayed for Pastor Ric and Deborah, our leadership, and the ENCC congregation.