yourself like a man; I will question you,
and you shall answer Me . . . Have you
journeyed to the springs of the sea, or
walked in the recesses of the deep? (Job
There are few
things the devil relishes more than
diverting believers into doing or believing
things that God has no option but to disown.
Countless ministries of real promise have
fallen by the wayside because at key moments
red warning lights were ignored and driven
through. To a greater or lesser extent
someone somewhere made the mistake of
assuming that the Lord did not mean what He
had said to them, and that the Word of God
the Lord did not apply to them.
respond to pressure points (failure most
definitely included) is absolutely crucial.
God is most certainly able to raise up once
more those who humble themselves and repent,
even if certain doors and platforms are no
longer open to them.
watcher-angels delivered their dreadful
verdict, one further year of grace was
extended to the megalomaniac King
Nebuchadnezzar before the hammer blow fell
and he was driven from his palace to live in
abject humiliation for seven long years.
Only when he had learned utterly necessary
lessons of humility did God restore him.2
years ago the team that I was leading went
astray over a particular issue. One day the
Lord spoke clearly that although I was going
to find this hard to hear, He was going to
close the ministry down altogether. For a
number of reasons, the Lord judged it better
to dismantle it root and stock rather than
to tinker round the edges.
This came as
an enormous shock to me, as it so usually
does when the Lord intervenes so directly.
(Anyone who thinks that intimacy with God
should preclude such extreme measures should
reread Hebrews 12!)
immediate shock lay much intense heart
searching. The Lord was unbelievably
gracious. Having dismantled the previous
team, He moved swiftly to bring together a
far more experienced group of ministers
together who were able to achieve far more
than the previous one would have been
capable of doing.
For Reflection and Prayer
If you are
going through a refining or even a
dismantling process, face it squarely and
take heart from the example of Hezekiah.
Unlike many kings in their latter days, he
did not waste time arguing with the Lord’s
verdict but emerged from a life-threatening
situation full of godly determination to
walk humbly and circumspectly before the
Lord all the days of his life. We can make
his prayer ours:
‘I will walk
humbly all my years because of this anguish
of my soul. Lord by such things men live;
and my spirit finds life in them too. You
restored me to health and let me live.
Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered
such anguish. In Your love You kept me from
the pit of destruction; You have put all my
sins behind Your back.' (Isaiah 38:16-17)