Moses was a great man of God, the man who had been used to bring Israel out of Egypt. The time came when Moses had to die. God said to Moses to ordain Joshua to be the next leader in his place. Moses laid his hands upon Joshua and ordained him to be the next leader. Immediately God brought a word to Joshua. I want to bring the same word to you now. It is a prophetic word from the Almighty God. For this is the heart of God for those who want to serve the Lord, and for those who are already in the ministry.
The book of Joshua 1:1-2 says:
After the death of Moses the servant of the lord, the lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites”.
God started speaking to Joshua before Joshua began his ministry.
If you are already in the ministry or about to begin your ministry, I want to share five principles with you which are essential for a breakthrough in the ministry. As the Lord spoke these to me, I put them into practice and as a result have seen breakthrough.
1. Cut your connection with the past:
Joshua had seen the days of the glory of Moses. Joshua had a ministry before him, but instead of looking to the future, his heart was dwelling on the past and those glorious days. God had to remind Joshua: “Moses my servant is dead. ” What God was telling him was: “For you to fulfill what I have in store for you, the first thing you need to do is cut your connection with the past. ” If you have to go forward to do what God wants you to do, the first thing you need to do is to sever this link. After God said that Moses His servant was dead, He told Joshua: “Now you arise.” God is a God of now. He is doing miracles now. He is raising people now. He is anointing people now. We are living in the days of now. Joshua had to realize that Moses was history, and he had to start living in the now.
On a visit to England, a friend of mine showed me a ,tree. He said it wasn’t the tree that was important but jiomething that happened nearby. I saw a board there which [laid: “Here under this tree John Wesley, the founder of the [Methodist church, preached his last sermon at the age of 86.” I gazed at the spot and thought of that mighty man of God preaching his last message right there, but then I said to myself: “John Wesley is dead; he is history.” Telling people that John Wesley preached there doesn’t help the world. I had to arise and fulfill my ministry. Hallelujah!
In another city in England, Bradford, I stood near the grave of Smith Wigglesworth, a man of God who had lived there and been used by God in a powerful way. I was very much inspired by his life and his faith in my early Christian life. The grave bore the epitaph: “Here lies the man of God Smith Wigglesworth”. But I said to my wife: “Smith Wigglesworth is dead. It is now, I will arise”. Smith Wigglesworth, John Wesley, Kathryn Kuhlman, and countless other people mightily used by God in their time, are now history, and God is telling us it is our time to do something for Him.
You may have seen the glory of God in the past. You may have seen miracles, and you may have seen failures. Today, God tells you to forget the past. Don’t live in your failures, or even your past glory. There is something new waiting for you.
People ask me the secret of the anointing on my
ministry. It’s very simple – I don’t live in yesterday’s
meetings. I look ahead to what God is going to do now to reveal His glory. Everywhere I go, I am told: “Last time when you came we saw miracles and mighty things, but this time, the anointing and miracles are even greater.” The Word of God tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (b):
“… are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Don’t live in the days of your “Moses”. Get ready to do something now and forget those former things which arc-now history. God has promised to do a new thing. In the kingdom of God, there are no refrigerators, so He will not serve you the same biryani, or same chicken that He made yesterday again today. Every day he brings a new anointing and every day we can see the fresh glory of God. God is a God of now!
If you have seen miracles and great ministry in the-past, don’t live in the reflected glory of that. Look for a new thing. I am excited to serve the Lord! Don’t be someone who remembers; “Once upon a time I prayed, once upon a time I preached.” Forget the past – throw away your refrigerator!
That was the attitude of apostle Paul which we read in Philippians 3:12-13:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
“Dare to forget your past.” “Dare to enter your future.”
2. Press on:
After cutting your connection with the past, don’t stay lere – press on. Don’t allow your failures to stop you or liscourage you. Don’t give up.
You must not be afraid to go forward, or allow the fear of past failures to tie you down. Courage is not the absence of fear: but it is the conquering of it. When you dare to attack, fear will then loosen it’s grip on you. Opportunity does not come to those who wait, rather it comes to those attack. Those who risk nothing, gain nothing. People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they cant find them, make them.
Don’t determine the will of God by circumstances. In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus said to the disciples “Let’s go to the other side”. The will of God was to go to the other side. Then there was a storm and circumstances were contrary to the will of God. A stormy circumstance does not communicate that a specific situation may not be the will of God. But many times, the contrary will be true. A man of faith will not determine the will of God by his circumstances, but instead will find the will of God and change the circumstance, as the Lord Jesus did when he rebuked the storm. The will of God is supreme and circumstances cannot change it.
T. L. Osborn said: “I determined long ago never to let my ambition exceed the will of God.” I embrace that theology with all my heart.
Forget about the critics. Those who have done nothing are not qualified to judge those who have done some thing. Don’t join the ranks of “Dr Dolittles”. Don’t allow your past failures to tie you down. Get up, shake off the dust and move forward with a heart ready to do the will of God. Abraham Lincoln’s life personified perseverance. He failed in business in 1831. He was defeated for stall-legislation in 1832. He tried and failed with another business in 1833. His fiancee died in 1835. He had a nervous breakdown in 1836. In 1843, he ran for Congress and was defeated. In 1848 he tried again and was defeated. He tried running for the Senate in 1856 and he lost. The next year he ran for vice president and was defeated. In 1859 he ran again for the Senate and was defeated. But in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the USA.
Don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk. You will never realize how great is God’s favor upon your life until you venture into the impossible.
Remember – the person who risks nothing:
• Accomplishes nothing
• Has nothing
• Feels nothing
• And in the end, becomes nothing.
“Dare to press on.”
3. Be focussed:
Joshua 1:7 (b) says:
“… Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”
We’ve seen how you need to cut your connection with i past and press on, and the secret of doing this is to stay Cussed.
When we read the life story of every man of God who Cceeded and did exploits for God, the one characteristic It jumps out at us is that they were all focussed on the sion. God commanded even Joshua that he should not to the right or left. In other words, God was saying to )shua: stay focussed so that you can succeed.
The apostle Paul was a visionary, who knew the lirpose of God in his life. Look at his determination when stood with the believers of Ephesus in Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
Look at Paul’s determination as he stood before King Agrippa and declared in Acts 26:19:
“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.”
Paul was not distracted by anything or anybody in his pursuit of doing the will of God. Not even death threats could distract him.
Look at the life of our Lord Jesus Himself. He came into this world with a purpose. There were many good things He could have done which were not necessarily evil but which could have distracted Him, but Jesus kept the purpose of His coming always before Him.
We read in Luke 12:13-14:
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”
The brothers wanted the Lord Jesus to get involved in the distribution of their property. There could have been none better than Jesus to do the job, but He was not willing. Even though it was a good thing to do, the Lord knew that it was not His job and that was not the purpose for which He came into the world.
Many preachers and other children of God spread themselves too thinly in getting involved in things which are not their business. Paul exhorted Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:5:
“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”
Keeping our head and doing the job given us by God should be the primary quality of a child of God.
Paul exhorted the Christians in Thessalonica, that they should mind their own business. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (KJV):
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you.
In Proverbs 26:17, we are told:
“Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passerby who meddles in a quarrel not his own.”
I have determined in my life that 1 will not get involved in matters that are not my concern. I am not saying that we are not supposed to help others. The Word of God exhorts us in Galatians 6:2:
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.
But I am determined never to lose sight of the purpose if God in my life. Never get involved in matters which are not your concern and which will drain your energy and in the process hinder you from doing the will of God. [Remember that you need to give account to the Lord about the vision God has given you.
Recently a man approached me who was willing to donate a huge piece of land to our ministry. But he said that the land was to be used to build an orphanage. The offer was tempting but I turned it down, explaining to him that God had not told me to build an orphanage. It is wonderful to take care of orphans but that is not my calling. I told him to gift the land to the people whom God called for that purpose. There are so many precious people in whose heart God has put a dream to take care of the orphans, like George Muller who had such tremendous faith and compassion for these children.
Many people have suggested that I should start a Bible college. But that is not the vision God has given me. Many other good suggestions are made. Never be motivated by the need – be motivated by vision. Remember that good can be the enemy of the best.
Friend, you need to be focussed to finish this rate which God has set before you. Make up your mind that you are not going to turn right or left.
Hebrews 12:1-2 in the King James Version says:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
No runner will ever carry unnecessary weight during his race. You don’t find any athlete running a race in a suit and tie and wearing leather shoes. He wears the lightest clothing and shoes, which will help him in his race. The Bible says that when we run, we should not allow anything to weigh us down. The Word commands us to lay aside every weight. If you find anything that threatens to weigh you down and thus hinder you from running, lay it aside. I have determined not to allow anything or anybody to weigh me down. No sin, no pleasure and no person should take-the place of God in your life.
After laying aside your sin and unnecessary weight, be focussed.
The secret lies in part of the passage above: “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith “.
He is our inspiration. He is our example. He stands smiling at the finishing tape, his arms outstretched and an everlasting crown in His hands to give you. Draw your inspiration from the Lord by focussing on Him. He is our joy. David said in Psalm 16:8:
“I have set the Lord always before me.”
Jesus endured all the shame and the cross looking at he joy set before Him by the Father. So run with perseverance.
Let the Holy Spirit show you what weights you are carrying. Let Him show you the things draining your Energy and time, then lay them aside. They are not worth risking your God-given vision for.
“Dare to be focussed.”
4. Get ready:
Joshua 1:2 (b) says:
“… get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites.”
If you are not ready, you will not go where God wants you to go. Some think that when God expands their ministry, they will be ready automatically. But they are wrong. If you are not ready, you will not get there. If I have to travel somewhere, I pack, reserve my tickets, then I fly. I will get ready. God was saying to Joshua: “I have a new thing for you to do, but if you are to succeed, you need to get ready.”
Imagine that there are a hundred people sailing their yacht, and one of them has gone ahead. Ninety-nine are left behind. Asked why they’ve been left behind, the ninety-nine say that the one who has gone ahead has taken all the wind with him and left none for them. What a ridiculous answer!
In the same way imagine that ninety-nine have gone ahead and only one is left behind complaining that the ninety-nine have taken all the wind with them and left none for him. His answer is ridiculous too.
The people whose boats have forged ahead did so because they knew to set their sails in the direction of tin-wind. Getting ready to fulfil God’s plan for your life means setting your sail in the direction of the wind. Do this and the Spirit of God will make you forge ahead.
Miracles happen in our ministry. God opens doors and our ministry expands. But this did not happen overnight. I had to get ready. I resigned from my job in 1989. At first I had nothing to do, nowhere to preach. Only two or three places invited me, and I would go there over and over again. I said to God, “When I was working as a lecturer, I would work from Sam to 5pm. Now I have nothing to do with that time, so, instead of wasting my time, I will pray in your presence during those hours.” Every day I used to pray in tongues from 5am to 5pm. I had a desire to fast and pray. My mother would not allow me to fast every day; she would come and look at my plate to see whether I had eaten or not. I had an idea. Every day I invited a friend to lunch, and gave him mine, so my mother saw the empty plate and was happy. But I was fasting. The anointing on me today stems from that preparation in all the yesterdays when I fasted and prayed. And you too need to get ready, in case you miss the chance to do God’s will.
Jesus talked about ten virgins. Five had oil only in their lamps, and the other five had oil in their lamps and brought spare oil with them. Five thought the oil in the lamps was enough. The other five were prepared for other eventualities. When the bridegroom arrived, those who were ready went in, and those who were not ready, did not in. All ten had the same opportunity. All ten were firgins. All ten heard the cry “the bridegroom is coming”.
They all had the same opportunity. Five made it, five did
not. Why? Five were ready, the other five were not. In the book of Ecclesiastes 9:11, the Bible says:
I have seen something else under the Sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happens to them all.
Everybody has their opportunity. How you use yours is up to you.
You are beginning the ministry. The time you have now to read many chapters of the Bible, the time you have now to pray for hours, will disappear when your ministry expands. You will be rushing around everywhere like a speeded-up film. You need to find every second you can now to have fellowship with God.
The reason some Christians are used, and others are not is not because God is a respecter of persons, but because some used the time and the chances they were given, while others did not. Some made use of these because they were ready, some didn’t because they were not ready.
God says in Isaiah 54:2 and 3:
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.”
This is the time of preparation and an encouragement to get ready. When you are ready, the Lord promises, yon will spread out to the right and to the left”.
“Dare to get ready.”
5. I will give:
Joshua 1:3 (a) says:
“I will give you every place where you set your foot…”
If you are ready, God says: “I will give.” What do you want? Anointing? Miracles? To win the nations for the Lord? A big church? Financial blessings? A new church building? You get ready, and God will give. Getting ready is our responsibility, giving is His responsibility. That means to the extent that you prepare, He will give.
How much anointing you get does not depend on God. It depends on you. How much are you ready for? If you are not ready to take one soul for God, and want an anointing to take a city for God, forget it!
God’s heart longs for expansion. I know God wants me to expand and that makes me very excited. I have expanded, I am going to expand, and I shall never be satisfied with the expansion I have. God wants you to have a big church. He is a God of expansion. He wants to expand our territories. God says get ready. God says I will give and when 1 give you will expand. God wants us to be in the narrow way, but not narrow-minded! Don’t just aim for a small place in heaven and think that’s enough. No! Have a vision to expand. Have a winning attitude. A friend of mine has a notice in his house that says: “Winning is not everything but winning is the only thing”.
There are those who claim that it is not the winning but the taking part that counts. Once I was watching a 2000-metre race. Everybody started running at the same time, and at the end, one man was running so slowly that the race had finished and the prizes been handed out before he finished. Everybody was clapping him, applauding his spirit of participation. The world says winning is not everything. But in the Christian life, the Lord says to us: “Winning is not everything, winning is the only thing.” Christians! You must win. If you don’t win, who will? In 1 Corinthians 9:24 Paul said:
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all,
but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may
obtain (win) (KJV)
So did he urge people just to participate? No. Look at the reason Paul gives for running:
“Run that you may win. ”
Winning is an attitude. I don’t know about you, but 1 believe in winning. Any town I go to, any city, any country, I believe in winning. In 2 Corinthians 2:14, Paul said:
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.”
The will of God for you is: always and in every place you must win!
Don’t be one of the many serving the Lord aimlessly. Paul said he would not run aimlessly, but would have an aim. And he says again in 1 Corinthians 9:26 (b):
“.. .1 do not fight like the man beating the air.”
Imagine that I am in a boxing ring and every punch is missing my opponent. After two hours, I am still throwing punches (beating the air) without hitting my target, and I am exhausted. I tried beating my opponent, but I could not. I was only beating the air.
Paul said when he threw a punch, it wouldn’t miss it’s target. Every shot would reach the person intended. We don’t run aimlessly. We don’t beat the air. We hit the target. Have a vision to expand.
Dare to explore new Territories”
Dare to win!
From “Dare to Win” by P.S. Rambabu. All rights reserved by the author. Reprodcued here by permission of the author.