The year 2018 marked the end of nearly 10 years of ministry service for me. I was a part of the worship team, in various roles, at my small home church in Detroit from 2009 until 2016 when my husband and I felt the Lord leading us to move to Florida to be near to His family. With time I joined the worship team at our new church and served there until the announcement of it’s closing in early 2018. During those almost 10 years I served in other areas too, mostly in leadership. Throughout this time, I was constantly asking myself, am I being led by the Holy Spirit in what I am doing or am I being led by my ego, fear, or lies?
I would like to say that most of the time I was indeed led by the Spirit in my actions but looking back now, after more than a year of just “sitting in the pews” I see that at times I was well-intentioned but perhaps misguided. When I think about some of the decisions I made while in leadership I literally cringe. But hindsight is 20/20, they say. I thought so strongly during those years that I knew what my future held and exactly where I fit into the kingdom. Since taking time off from serving in ministry I have questioned what my true calling is, where is it that God actually desires me to serve, where my motives throughout these years have truly been, and what my future in the kingdom is.
We become salt and light when we uphold the Scriptures and manifest the power of God with equal force.
Word and Spirit, R.T. Kendall
When I truly gave my life to the Lord and started actively trying to live for Him back in 2013 it started a trend of receiving “words of God” or prophesies over my life from different well-intentioned believers. As a “baby Christian” I drank in those words, wrote them down, thanked God for them, and truly believed they would come to pass. To be perfectly honest, I still did this as a more “mature believer”. Those “words” sustained my faith and my service because I just knew that they were going to come to pass even if I couldn’t see how. Looking back, I can say that less than a handful of those “words” were truly from the Lord and the most life changing word I received in that time that did in fact come to pass 100% was actually a word of warning which I sadly and regretfully ignored.
These experiences of mine have recently come to mind as result of reading R.T Kendall’s most recent book, Word and Spirit (Charisma House). In his book, R.T. writes about the silent divorce that he believes has taken place between the Word of God and the Spirit of God in the church and his belief that the two will, hopefully soon, be remarried in the last great move of God on this earth. Some people may argue that the Word and the Spirit cannot be separated but, as he explains, we can see for ourselves in the Charismatic and Evangelical movements, for example, how this has been the case now for many years.
…regarding the anointing. It should be what we want more than anything and what we aspire to more than any goal we can conceive…it must be something we pursue all of the time, every minute of every day.
Word and Spirit, R.T. Kendall
In the book, Word and Spirit, R.T. encourages readers to ground themselves firmly in the Word of God through reading and studying but also to seek for more of the Holy Spirit by asking for it (Luke 11:9-13), spending time with Him, and living a holy life – among other things – in order to prepare for and bring about God’s next big move. He describes how this move will appear suddenly when the church is in a deep sleep and how it will bring a restoration of the Gospel and a restoration of the fear of God as well as Islamic people turning to Christ and the lifting of the blindness on Israel.
Growing up more in the “Spirit camp” many portions of this book resonated with me, like the chapter titled, Prophetic Responsibility, where he warns that too many people in the church today will use the phrase “God said” when referring to a prophetic word they are giving someone. But did God really say? If I had been more discerning or more willing to test a prophet’s word against the actual Word of God, I may have saved myself years of striving and wrong thinking about myself and God. That is not to say that my service over the years was pointless or without fruit. I heard from God for myself many times and saw His faithfulness as a result in many ways throughout the years. But I will say that at times my faith was misplaced.
This book is a perfect follow-up to perhaps my favorite book of the year, More of God (Charisma House) also written by R.T. Kendall and released earlier this year. That book “coincidentally” came to me at a time when my new church was about to begin a 21 day fast with the theme of “More of God”. In a season of wondering if all my ministry work had amounted to anything and whether God really had a special purpose for me or if I was just another cog in the wheel of the church this book reminded me to return to my first love, the Father who runs to the prodigal child, and seek to Him rather than His benefits. Now with Word and Spirit, R.T. has challenged me to live full of the truth of the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit and to live in expectancy of this great new move that is on the horizon. I now look forward to witnessing what Habakkuk described as the filling of the earth with “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord”.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
Word and Spirit can be found today at your favorite book retailer.