Those of you who know me know that I am not a big “prediction” person. I don’t hear from the Lord at the stroke of midnight on January 1st and bring forth a big, long list of predictions about the year to come. If you know me well enough, you know I do have a prophetic gift. I do not promise people cars, houses, or money, but I do tell people where it’s at with what often even scares me as a striking accuracy. If the Lord gives me something to say, I say it. If He doesn’t, I keep my mouth shut. I do my best to be supportive, to listen, to care – to bring something forth within people that God has placed and seeks to develop. It is my heart that those of you who know and are touched by this ministry know I am sincere. Why is that? Because I find so much of the Christian world to be totally insincere. I don’t ask often for prayer or go to many with problems because I don’t know where my problem will wind up. More than once, I’ve had an issue that didn’t go to the Throne, it went to the gossip mill on the internet. I also know that the majority of the people who I sit with, help, and support aren’t praying for me as I should because if they were, the situations I face wouldn’t exist. I am coming to a place here, at the end of 2011, where I uniquely know who is for me – who is against me – and who is somewhere in the middle. And, as the axiom goes, I am stepping back and: loving those who love me, loving those who don’t love me, and letting go.
1 Corinthians 3:9: For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.(KJV)
I have spent a number of years trying to find my place within ministry. I was called young, and I tried to pursue my call young. I did not do everything right. I will admit that I probably made more mistakes than I can count, spent many years in my own self-inflicted pain and hell, only to come out on the other side. I didn’t have anyone to tell me what to do most of the time; covering in those days was different than it is now, and I didn’t go running to my leaders with every little issue. Then, when God called me to be an apostle in 2004, I didn’t even know what that was. I spent a number of years walking a crazy maze of concepts, ideas, and trying to be something I wasn’t because I couldn’t find anyone who could tell me what an apostle was. I allowed myself to be conformed to the image of this world, the image of this world that we often puff and try to disguise as “ministry” when, in actuality, ministry it is not.
I am blessed that, starting around 2006, I started getting the right training. I am blessed for every leader I have had, whether they are supportive of what God is doing, or not. Many people have come and gone, some good, some bad, some never to be repeated again, but all serving their purpose in their own time. I am blessed for the people who see the truth in this ministry. Now, I am blessed for those who will continue as God calls this work on, to another level, another dimension. I know, I know, that’s what everyone says all the time: “You’re going to a new dimension!” “You’re moving higher!” as you stay put, right where you are. This is different than that.
1 Corinthians 4:20: For The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power! (NIV)
For years I have waited for opportunities to arise that haven’t come along because of where the church is. In some ways, there were times when I wasn’t ready, and I admit that. Yet I see people running around in the church who likewise are at least not as ready as I wasn’t once upon a time who still get opportunities because they are in the right “circles.” I know we don’t want to hear that. Nobody wants to admit that the church has positioned itself much like the secret societies of the world, where you have to either be related to, liked by, or covered by the “right person” in order to be considered for the event. Then there is the obvious competition that exists in many ministries today: we want to pretend that it doesn’t, but the sad truth is that ministry today is viewed as a ticket to stardom for many people. If they in any way think you could be better than them, they aren’t going to help you get where you should be. Is it the flesh? Sure, it’s not the Spirit. But in today’s church, anyone who dares point this out winds up on the “Black Sheep Roster.” There are hidden facts of ministry that we aren’t supposed to talk about, pretend they don’t exist, and just sit up and smile, left and right, acting like everything is fine…when it’s not. There are exclusions, judgments, narrow-mindedness, and downright unkindness when you don’t fit the mold of what everyone else thinks you should be.
Everyone wants to tell me to wait on God and sit still while God provides. Have we forgotten how God provides? Have we forgotten that God provides through us? Have we forgotten that we are constantly called to obey Him, conform to His will, and that we cooperate with God? Do we consider that maybe the person we are leaving out of the event – simply because we have gotten so narrow in our vision – is exactly the person who is needed for it?
I am tired of the betrayals, the leaders who would just assume look at you as stab you in the back, the backbiting messages, letters, gossip, untruths, fables, and yes, the ultimate control. I am tired of people who come to me, saying they want to “encourage” me, when all they really want to do is tell me what they think I’m doing wrong and how I could do it better when they have been in ministry two years to my fourteen (I dare them to deal with it – you want to walk these past fourteen years, by all means – go right ahead). I am tired of being questioned about things that are nobody’s business, have no purpose, and are without merit. I am tired of being assessed and judged according to some egotistical measure that is not Biblical and is, quite honestly, stupid. I’m tired of the lack of standards in ministry: the defensive ministers who know they don’t conduct themselves accordingly, act without ethics, and just recite the Bible verses they heard someone else recite, like a parrot. I’ve spent years studying, learning, growing, and becoming, only to have someone with no training and no respect feel some kind of perceived right to “put me in my place.” I won’t say what I think they can do to themselves. I’m angry that we have made ministry so individualized, so personalized, and so conditional, that we no longer have standards, ethics, principles, and yes, even Christian love. I am angry, and I am tired. Even in this state, I am very aware, God is allowing me to see the world in the church so that I can desire a deeper, more intense longing for His presence, and to see His Kingdom manifest.
I have experienced what I have for a purpose, I don’t question that. Now God is prompting me to bring about His change.
Matthew 6:10: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (KJV)
I’ve been told that 2012 is a year of governmental order, “12” representing the apostles. I’m not going to get into the numerological issues present here because technically, according to true numerology, the number for 2012 isn’t twelve, it’s five. Personally I think God does whatever He wants whenever He wants, He doesn’t wait for the Roman calendar to line up. What God is speaking to me, however, does relate to order for 2012 – and in that vain, I share His words here.
I started with what I did because recently the Lord had me do a brief inventory of the past seven, almost eight years – the years that I have known I was called to be an apostle. For a time – a long time, at that – God told me to wait. I waited, I was patient, I trusted. I moved as He called me to move, stopped when He told me to stop. I waited for the opportunities that He had promised would come, to arrive. It was very hard, very isolating at times, and very difficult. I always felt like I was going against the grain, forcing something that wasn’t going to be forced. The longer I’ve done ministry (14 years total), the more I have seen the church fall into a place that seems to get farther and farther away from God, from one another, and from where we need to be to truly build the Kingdom of God.
Ephesians 4:10-12: He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (KJV)
God isn’t telling me to wait, anymore. God is telling me to go – and yet I could easily sit at home, waiting for an opportunity to go to arrive. But I am not going to do that. I waited for many years for someone else to get the vision. I even said to God recently, “Why can’t someone else get it, why does it always have to be me?” His response to me? “You’re the apostle.”
I surrender, God.
I got the vision. In some cases, I’ve had the visions for awhile. Now it’s time to bring them all to pass. Those who look to me as a leader, even as their leader, are waiting on me to move. Then, they will move too, because the apostle is the one sent with the vision. To whom much is given, much is required. I’ll trust Him for the money, heaven knows, with the way things are, those claiming to be church are highly unreliable when it comes to finances. I know there are things wrong with the church, as it is. I will continue to talk about them, because it’s my job to do so. It’s not my job to blow smoke up the behind of errant church leaders and errant members simply because that’s what they want to hear. No, this year, I will go forward with the mandate. We will be in a town near you, with other ministers who have the vision and need the opportunities to proclaim it. This is the beginning of something new, the setting of order in a way that I never have been a part of before. Only a few of us may be the leaders God wants and calls us to be, but I will be one of them, and I will support those who are, as well.
Acts 17:6: …These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also. (KJV)
I am not done yet; God is not done with me yet. Those who have tried to knock me down, you don’t know who you touched and don’t know that I come up swinging. I am not down for the count. I am simply being repositioned and set to go…and turn the world upside down. We are growing, going, expanding. Those of you who want to stay where you are, stuck, arrogant, and stupid, have a great time. Those who are coming, those who are Kingdom minded, know I love you, and let’s build the Kingdom together, in 2012…and beyond.
(c) 2011 Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.