How are you doing in this season of change and challenge?
The process of change has been very real in these last months for all of us. Covid-19 restrictions on our lives and a seemingly all out war on God’s covenant purposes for our culture and nation have caused fear and even great discouragement in some areas of the Body of Christ. At the same time the Lord has been pouring out His Spirit and preparing His church for a massive world-wide awakening.
It must have been a lot like that with the people of Israel. The Lord delivered them from four hundred years of slavery, miraculously wiped out the greatest army in the world, and gave them both food and water in the desert. They were led by the angel of the Lord day and night. They were on their way to inherit the promise land, what ever that looked like. The Lord promised it would be a land of milk and honey.
While all this was true, when it came time to actually possessing it, there was great opposition. For 400 years, the enemy had been planting Nephilim, large half man half demon people with walled cities, in the land. Moses sent in 12 spies, including Caleb and Joshua. They saw the land was as the Lord said it was. However, there were not just a few giants, but whole nations of giants. Ten looked with natural eyes seeing the bigness of the giants in comparison to their own abilities and succumbed to a spirit of fear. Their report spread a spirit of fear to the whole nation and robbed a generation of their inheritance.
Caleb, however, looked at these giants and thought of how the Lord had been faithful to take out the armies of Egypt and perform miracles In the desert. His reply was, “Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.“ Num 14:9-AMP
For about a year now Gateway has been on a journey not unlike the people of Israel. Last year at this time the Lord directed us to start the process of streamlining our ministry; to be more of a rapid response team that can be more flexible to meet new ministry opportunities.
Like the people of Israel when we were on the brink of stepping fully into the new ministry, the enemy brought “giants” that seemed to set up barriers. He used fear and the pandemic restrictions to close off ministry opportunities. Evil seemed to be everywhere opposing Christians and working to restrict the spreading of the Gospel. We heard the lies of the enemy saying, “Changing from the old ministry structures and patterns would destroy the ministry,” and “ungodly government polices will shut you down.”
God was faithful, however, to remind us of our commitment early on to have a spirit like Caleb and Joshua to follow Him fully.
We began to remember the great things the Lord has done in the ministry over the years. He showed us His favor and protections through plagues, demonic attacks, and unexpected ministry opportunities.
Part of the streamlining process is a decision to close the office in Lexington as of April 1 and secure a smaller location that fit our reduced needs and allow us to be more responsive. At first, we had a feeling of loss, but the Lord is using the process of downsizing to bring us great joy and renewed expectancy. Sorting through files and pictures brought reminders of how the Lord used us to minister to thousands and to pray for the leaders we have grown to love and work with. Times of deep prayer have brought us close to the Lord and helped prepare us for both warfare and ministry in the days ahead.
Caleb never lost his trust in the Lord. Even in his 80s he said “I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so is my strength now, for war and for going out and coming in. So now, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke that day, for you heard on that day that the [giant-like] Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.” Joshua 14:11,12-AMP
We, too, are looking for our inheritance and we know the Lord is with us. Our mission hasn’t changed! Though there seem to be “giants” in the chaos around us, with the Lord at our side, we will drive them out.