Ways to Show Honour 02 Listen

Listen Up: 3 ways to improve your listening · Certus Recruitment Group

In our last post, I shared that the foundation of showing honour to someone else is attitude. I also shared that unless we can show honour to someone we can never succeed in life. There are five main ways to show honour, that I use the mnemonic ALARM to remember. The first we know is attitude, the other four are Listen, Alter, Recognize and Money. ALARM!

So today we will look at how to honour someone by listening to them. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon tells his son to “attend to His Word” (Proverbs 4.20). You honour someone by attending to their words, by listening to them.

If you do not listen to someone, you do not honour them. I cannot make that any clearer or direct. Children, if you do not listen to your parents you do not honour them!

Paying attention to the words of your fathers in the faith is really important. Your attitude to someone’s words reveals how much you honour them. If you have a poor attitude to Jesus’s words you will have no honour for Him! If you have a positive attitude to His words, if you love listening to Him, you honour Him.

When I am preaching, those with their notepads and pens are the ones showing honour. Those who are playing Candy Crush on their phones – not so much! Paying attention to someone’s words and wisdom is proof that you honour them. Who you listen to is the way of finding out who you honour!

Remember in the last post, we discovered Jesus could do no miracles in Nazareth because of the lack of honour. Well, in the inverse of that, Jesus’ first miracle was done in an atmosphere of honour. Jesus’ mother said to the servants “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it”, and Jesus told them to fill up bathtubs with water and serve it as wine, and they obeyed a strange, almost foolish, instruction, and in that atmosphere there was a miracle (John 2). Jesus’ mother summed up honour very well: listen to Him! Listen to what He says! And then do the instructions!

Listening carefully to someone’s instructions is a sign of honour. Many people will obey the instructions they like and ignore the others. That’s not honour, and will never lead to miracles. I have learned I cannot work miracles in a place where Jesus is not honoured and where I am not honoured. And the first sign of that is not listening to instructions!

Imagine if those people at the wedding refused to fill up bathtubs with water and serve it as wine. Imagine if they thought “that’s such a stupid idea, that’s not any sense at all, I think those instructions are dumb”. They would have dishonoured Jesus and missed out on a great miracle. One of the greatest signs of honour is to listen.

Every year I go to Andrew Wommack’s pastors’ conference, twice. I go the UK one and the US one. And I go for one reason. Not to meet others, not to be seen, not to this or that, but to listen to Andrew. I honour him and I honour the influence he has been in my life. How do I listen carefully:

  • I bring a notepad, and take notes. Recording what someone says is vital
  • I ensure there are no distractions
  • I make sure I get a good night’s sleep
  • I go over the notes and work out how to apply them to my life

I actively and deliberately listen. And it has never ever failed to benefit my life ever. One of the greatest points of honour is paying attention and listening. Let me give you a secret, pastors, I have never once been stabbed in the back by someone who takes notes when I preach. Listening leads to honour which leads to loyalty. Selah.

Ways to Show Honour 01 Attitude

OUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS LIFE. Each of us reacts to life with various… | by  Mabel Katz | Thrive Global | Medium

Jesus was going around the nation of Israel healing the sick. Everywhere He went thousands and thousands of people were healed and transformed. People loved him, they received divine truth, their lives were changed. They honoured Jesus and the anointing on Him flowed to them. How you honour someone depends how well your life goes. If you cannot honour your father and mother, you will never live long and strong in the life. If you cannot honour your nation you will not succeed in life. If you cannot honour your pastor, you will never prosper on any level. So many people fail in life because they cannot honour someone else.

So, to help you as leaders, I am going to show you how to honour others. All of the increase in my life is due to honouring others well. I have great relationships with people from all over the world because I know how to honour people on every level. The power of God flowing through me comes because I know how to honour others.

Now Jesus is being honoured and miracles are happening, until He goes to Nazareth, his home town. When he gets up to speak, rather than honour Him, they start talking about His past, His previous career before he was called to minister, they start chatting about his family while He is preaching the Word to them (it’s all in Mark 6.1-5, have a read of it!). Now if you do that to others, you will not prosper in life. If you let others treat you like that, they will not prosper in life in your church!

Jesus confronted these people in Nazareth: “A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And there he could do no mighty work”. An atmosphere of dishonour will be an atmosphere with very few miracles, very little life and very few manifestations. And if you think that describes more than a few churches in the UK, there could be a reason!

The first way to show honour to someone is called attitude. This the root of all honour, if you honour someone with a gift, but have the wrong attitude, it is not honour, it is bribery! I have seen that, people giving gifts to ministers they do not respect to curry favour and gain influence. That is not honour, that’s selfish behaviour. So we must start with an attitude of honour!

Jesus was actually stunned that He was not being honoured. The people questioned His teaching – that is an attitude of dishonour. The people did not believe in His mission – that is an attitude of dishonour. The people got offended at Him when He did not even do anything – that is dishonour. The people were talking throughout His teaching – that is dishonour. The people were discussing and picking apart His family and His past – that is dishonour! Those people never received their miracle because He was not being honoured while He was preaching. I have seen this. Twice in my life I have stopped a service and kicked people who were dishonouring me out the room, and both times we had some remarkable miracles afterwards.

The people just did not listen to Jesus! They attacked His backgroud, His family, His calling, His sincerity, His anointing. That is dishonour. It is the wrong attitude to receive.

I still encounter that attitude today, and it is amazing the different ways it happens. Some people will compare you to a minister who is 80 years old when you are not even 50! Some people will attack me for being British, for being from Essex, for being white, for all sorts of background issues. I have had people fail to receive from me because of the way I drink water while I preach! That’s just not clever. It’s an attitude that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy! The people in Nazareth who said “Jesus’ ministry just is not that great” – they were proved right in their own lives.

I still have people who think their ministry is to relentlessly question my ministry! Who is your covering? What exactly makes you think you are a pastor? You are too young to be a pastor. You are too arrogant to be a pastor. You are too brash to be a pastor. Who appointed you? Which Bible College did you go to? Who do you think you are? Wouldn’t someone else do your job better?

Just this week I was told I cannot possibly have invited the right speakers to a conference because a certain person thought I should have brought other speakers. I offended someone because I asked them not to get up in the middle of one of Tree of Life Churches’ meetings and plug their own church. I was told by someone that because I disagree with someone else who believes something I don’t, then I cannot possibly be a good pastor. I was then told by someone else that by holding a marriage course not endorsed by another minister, I was vulnerable to deception and a bad shepherd. All of that comes from the same root – dishonour!

Some people think honour is all about money. Money is important and we will discuss that in another post. I often say honour is spelled c-a-s-h, and there is a truth there, you have to put your money where your mouth is, but you have to have the underlying attitude. You can give someone honour without anything tangible changing hands – that’s called an attitude of honour. We need to know what honour is!

To honour someone with attitude is to think well of them, to expect the best from them, to praise them. Questioning the person aggressively, suspecting a person, accusing them of trying to lead people into deception, saying they do not know how to run a conference because they did not invite speakers you know, all of that is a lack of honour. I am not saying we swing the pendulum to the side where we accept any behaviour without question, but when someone is serving you for month after month, bringing truth to you day after day, your default position should not be to suspect and doubt! That attitude of dishonour will lead to you spending your life spinning in circles.

When a son honours his father, you can hear it in the words. When he dishonours his father – you can hear that in his words. Accusing words, blame words, reproaching words. If you let a culture of dishonour sprout in your church or your living church, or your business, or wherever you are leading, then no one flourishes.

You need to learn to honour your pastors as a pastor, and you need to help your people know how to honour you. Honour starts with how you think about someone, and how you take control of your thoughts about them!

Raise a Generation That Loves New Wine 03: Realize Miracles Are Essential

Christian Worldview and Apologetics: Do Miracles Really Happen? - Baptist  Courier
Miracles are essential!

If you want to pastor a church of people who love the new wine of the Spirit you need to absolutely and without a shadow of a doubt develop an intense conviction that you as a pastor and leader are not leading a successful church if there are no miracles and gifts of the Spirit happening. It’s really that simple.

Most churches, and it is a tragedy to say it, do not see healings often, do not see miracles and do not see much in the way of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit and they are missing God. You cannot lead your people into a love for the new wine if you are not absolutely convinced it is essential. The way to lead a church into miracles is hard work. You need to be dedicated, and that means you must be convinced – utterly convinced – that you need to have miracles in your ministry and church!

There are three powerful reasons why you need to have miracles in your ministry and church:

  1. Miracles Validate that You are Approved by God

Acts 2.22 says that Jesus of Nazareth was approved of God by miracles and wonders and signs. If you do not accept that without miracles, you have no way of validating that God approves of your ministry, you will find a way to do ministry without miracles, without the Holy Spirit, and without supernatural power.

2. Miraclces will mean Your Ministry Matches the Bible

Have you noticed how full of miracles the Bible is? The pages of the Bible are stuffed full of miracle after miracle. If you want a Biblical ministry, you must have miracles. If you do not have a miracle ministry, your ministry is not Biblical. You need to have miracles. You need to put the power of God above every other power. We cannot be so educated we do not need miracles!

3. Miracles Will Put Off Deniers

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (1 Tim. 3.1-5, NIV)

In our days, so many people make the times terrible. These people love themselves more than God, love money more than God, and love pleasure more than God. They are awful people to have in the church. They are impossible to disciple, easily offended, spread gossip and rumours and will make a noise no matter what happens. No wonder the Scripture is clear: have nothing to do with such people. Nothing at all, nothing no matter what. Do not give them the time of day, do not meet them, do not give them a minute, do not let them speak in your meetings, do not make them elders, do not have anything to do with them.

But here is is the good news, these people have a form of godliness but deny the power of God. They do not believe in the power of God. So when you have miracles in your ministry and church, you will get rid of them.

You see people can have the form – the appearance – of godliness and deny the power. And still love themselves, money and pleasure more than God. They can preach, they can minister, they will love to talk about God’s love and forgiveness all the time, but if you want to see God’s power you cannot have anything to do with those people. It is hard to work miracles in a church full of scoffers, hypocrites and mockers. The presence of doubting people is the strongest antidote to miracles you can have in your church. Jesus could not do miracles in the middle of doubting people, and you are not greater than your master. As a pastor, you need to understand this.

I have seen many ministers start off with miracles but end up without miracles. The doubting and scoffing of people will end that miracle ministry. You need to absolutely deal with these people and make sure that you have nothing to do with them. But you break through and you start working miracles these people will leave. And it’s the best for you, the best for your church – and the best for these people.


Raise a Generation That Loves New Wine 02: Teach People to Expect Benefits

The best wine from the best grapes

If you want to give your people a taste for the new wine, a taste for living in their promises, a taste for victory. If you want to pastor people like Joshua and Caleb and less like the ten spies, you have to point out the benefits that they have in Christ and teach them to expect those benefits.

Ephesians 1 gives us ten remarkable benefits that you need to teach your people to expect, dream, imagine and then go and possess!

  • The Blessing. Ephesians 1.3 says we are blessed with all the blessings. You need to teach your people they are blessed not cursed until they develop a taste for being blessed. They have a taste for walking in health and wealth, a taste for enjoying the benefits of walking with God, a taste for God’s goodness and grace!
  • The Choice. We are chosen by God (Ephesians 1.4). Tell your people when they are walking into their destiny to expect the one who chose them for the task, God Himself, to open the doors, split the sea and knock the walls down. Teach them to expect and develop a taste for the favour of God.
  • The Family. We are adopted as God’s children (Ephesians 1.5). Teach your people to expect that when they cannot make it another day, the Father, or one of their many brothers and sisters, will have a word or an assignment from God to make their life easier and better. It’s awesome being part of the family of God, and there is nothing like it. Teach your people to expect all the benefits of being in such a great family.
  • The Redemption. We have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Himself (Ephesians 1.7). That means we belong to Jesus not satan. Teach your people to expect the benefits of being part of the kingdom of God, and not being part of the kingdom of satan.
  • The Forgiveness. Ephesians 1.7 says we have the forgiveness of sins. Teach your people to expect never to be judged for their sins and to be treated by God as someone who never has sinned. This develops a taste for praise and worship like you would never be able to do any other way!
  • The Wisdom. Ephesians 1.8 says that God has abounded to us all wisdom. Teach your people to expect God to give them novel solutions, witty ideas, remarkable inventions, ways to approach unapproachable people, ways to solve unsolvable problems. Teach them to expect the benefit of God’s wisdom.
  • The Will of God. Ephesians 1.9 says He has made known to us the mystery of His will. You have to teach your people to expect that they will know God’s will, know God’s plan for their life, know their destiny and God’s good plan for their life.
  • The Sealing. Ephesians 1.13 says we were sealed by the Holy Spirit. The “ye” in this verse is our born-again spirit. Your spirit is sealed, a demon can’t get in, sin cannot get in, darkness cannot get in. You are sealed. Teach your people to expect to be living in a bubble of grace and goodness every day of their life!
  • The Throne. Ephesians 2.6 (ok, I jumped a chapter, but this one is important). tells us that we are seated with Him in heaven. Your people are sitting with Jesus, tell them to expect the authority and life that goes with a throne, the kingly lifestyle.

If you teach your people about the benefits, over and over, they will develop a supernatural hunger and thirst for them. When they hunger for them, they will be filled. It is that simple. And people hungry for the kingdom of God are easy to lead. Moses told us something very special about how God leads His people:

He set him atop the heights of the land,
    and fed him with produce of the field;
he nursed him with honey from the crags,
    with oil from flinty rock;
14 curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
    with fat of lambs and rams;
Bashan bulls and goats,
    together with the choicest wheat—
    you drank fine wine from the blood of grapes. (Deut. 32.13-14, NRSV)

God sets His people on high, and feeds them well. I love the end of this passage – fine wine from the blood of grapes. Blood of grapes is a Hebrew phrase meaning the best grapes, the Message Bible calls it good wine, Young’s calls it the purest wine, the Good News calls it the finest of wines. God gives us the best wine from the best grapes! That’s the best of the best. God wants to give you and the people you pastor the best of the best. Start telling them now. Start getting their hopes up, start training them to be expectant.

Raise a Generation That Loves New Wine 01: There is No Joy without New Wine

20 Funny Quotes Only Wine Lovers Will Understand | VinePair

You are designed to win, and as a leader you need to impart to other people a sense and attitude that they can win. People come to Tree of Life Church checking us out and have a range of different ideas. Most people are weary, defeated, they feel like they are slaves to circumstances and slaves to their past and slaves to sin. My job as a pastor is to get inside their mind and change that attitude and develop a sense of freedom in them. My job is to raise a generation that loves new wine. A generation that wants to be in the promised land far more than they want to be in Egypt. We need people uncomfortable in Egypt, uncomfortable in the wilderness, but are comfortable knocking down walls, taking grounds, slaying giants, obtaining promises, living by faith and winning battles.

You are designed to dominate. You are not the prey of any creature on earth, you are the lord of every animal. We keep lions in cages, they do not keep us in cages! We are in charge. We need to develop the attitude of lordship and domination.

You have to develop greatness in others and the only way to do this is to help people discern they are designed for greatness, to help them desire to be great, to help them gravitate towards success – to give them a desire for new wine. Raise a generation that loves new wine!

Everyone you lead is destined for elevation, for celebration, for greatness. They were all born to desire the new wine of achieving, and it is our job to develop that taste in people as leaders. Never ever forget that or you will dull your ability to lead.

The first thing you need to help people in your church or organization realize is this: there is no happiness without the new wine. What do I mean? We cannot be happy without being successful at doing what God has called and designed us to do. Being popular will not ultimately make you happy. Getting married will not ultimately make you happy. Fame will not ultimately make you happy. Money will not ultimately make you happy. Position will not ultimately make you happy. What makes you happy is discovering your purpose and destiny and developing the wisdom and character and backbone and faith to walk in that and do it.

True success is three things:

  1. Finding out what God has designed and destined you to do
  2. Starting what God has designed and destined you to do
  3. Finishing what God has designed and destined you to do

You need to help everyone you lead realize there is no true, lasting happiness outside of doing what God has designed them to do. You need to let people know every other wine might help for a night, but pain will come in the morning, but the new wine of doing what God has designed and called us to do – that adds no sorrow! As people realize they can only find true joy in the new wine, they will develop a taste for it. That will make your job so much easier, and so much more enjoyable.

The Future is Bright 04: The Glory is Rising!

The Sun Declares God's Glory | theTrumpet.com

Arise and shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you! – Isaiah 60.1

One of the things that marks the end of our age is shining Christians and shining pastors. I am telling you that in the UK there are pastors about to do things they have never done before. They are going to shine brighter than they ever have before. You will accomplish things tomorrow that today only seem like a wild dream, an impossibility, a hope of what you wish you could be.

In the last days, there will be a great darkness all over the earth (Isa. 60.2), but we are going to shine. We are not going to embrace the darkness around us, we are going to shine. We are going to shine as evil multiplies.

This is what separates a carnal prophet from a spiritual prophet! A carnal prophet can see the dead, dry bones and they get upset and they shout at the bones “you are so dry and dead”. A spiritual prophet sees the same dry bones but speaks life and abundance and glory!

We do not need to be spiritual to see the darkness falling on the planet. Lies, deceit, sexual immorality, all levels of foolishness in our society. The dangers of socialism and the foolishness of churches abandoning the truths of Scripture are everywhere and very obvious. But if you are spiritual you will also see that the glory is rising. Miracles are happening! Great churches are growing! Good things are happening! It is in the darkness that God builds His greatest darkness. It is the soil of death and pain that the Tree of Life grows in!

It is the time of shining stars. Ask the Lord what changes you have to make to be one!

The Future is Bright 03: Money is Coming!

Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. (Zechariah 1.17)

I am telling you now that there is coming a release of prosperity to local churches. Up until now churches have struggled with prosperity while para-church ministries have gone from glory to glory on their finances. Those days are changing – it is time for there to be food in the house of the Lord. Churches with big building programmes, big feeding problems, churches giving millions to world mission! Churches changing the world. Wealthy churches. Loaded churches. Churches with the money to seriously help people in need.

It takes a lot of money to change the world. But that money is coming. The phrase Zion in the Old Testament is a coded reference to the church – the prosperity is coming to the church!

God has released money into the hands of the church before and it has been terribly misused. But I am telling you that God can bring one person into your church and one person in one offering will give you enough to pay for the entire new building. You will be able to build overseas, invest in church planting around the world. One of the hallmarks of the church moving forward will be unparalleled prosperity.

The future is bright. You are going to have enough money to do all that God has called you to do in even your wildest dreams! That poverty mindset is being dissolved and all that remains will be an ability to expect money, give away money, invest money and dominate and control the money and make it serve the kingdom of God!

The Future is Bright 02: The Least Will Become A Thousand

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing - YouTube

Part 1 is found here.

The least of you will become a thousand,
    the smallest a mighty nation.
I am the Lord;
    in its time I will do this swiftly. (Isaiah 60.22, NIV)

Stop expecting your end to be determined by your beginning. That is not how God operates. Look at this Scripture in Isaiah – the least of you will become a thousand. That means someone can begin with a tiny church and end up with a mega-church. Not only does it mean it CAN happen, it means it SHOULD happen, it is GOD’S WILL that it happens.

Pastor, are you the least church in your town. Do you go to pastor’s conferences and people are talking about budgets and staff and what is going on, and you are nervous to admit you could fit your church in a telephone box? You are a candidate to pastor 1000! That’s what the Word says.

Well, we have been six people for the last twenty years and we are now 5, because Betty went to glory. How can you say we will be 1000? You see God doesn’t operate on what things have been for the last few years! God operates by faith. Your church is where it is today not because of where you have been, but where your faith has been!

Where your church will be tomorrow will be where your faith is today. You could believe that things will never change, things will never get better. You could embrace the lies and deceit of satan and believe God wants you to have no influence, that you are on the shelf, that it is God’s plan and purpose for you to pastor a nice, small church.

Or you could repent of despising the day of small beginnings. You could start dreaming of a 1000. You could get a 1000 of something and put it in a box on your desk and every day remind yourself and talk to yourself that you are going to be the pastor of a 1000 people, because Isaiah said so, and he is smarter than you, he is smarter than some pastor telling you how tough it will be, or some muppet saying in your nation you cannot grow big churches. No – they can’t because they have no faith. But you are going to be different. Starting today. Dispel every myth, and start to believe, declare and dream of a thousand.

It’s time for you to have a thousand tongues to sing!

The Future is Bright 01: There Shall Be Big Churches in the Future!

The mega-churches making mega-bucks

God is good and your future is awesome. I am so tired of speaking to negative and small-minded pastors. If you are a leader in any sense of the word, the best thing you can do for the people you lead is dream big. The bigger you dream, the more positive you will be, the more influence you will have and the more people will be drawn to you. So I am going to give you some Scriptures that will give you a real expectation for a glorious future. The Word of God is true, and what it says is true. I want to really aim these posts at pastors and inspire them to dream a bit bigger. The next pastor who tries to ignore all of the Bible, all of the teaching of Jesus, and all of logic and sense and tell me God wants their church to be small needs to get back into the Word and actually believe it!

Let’s look at Isaiah 2.2-3.

In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and all nations will stream to it.

Many peoples will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

There is a word here for the future. The future will have churches in it that are like giant mountains. Massive, mega churches, powerful churches that cannot be moved, that attract whole nations to them, that attract people from many different nations. They will be noted by:

  • How Established they Are. They will be strong and led well. There are a lot of churches today that will go anywhere at the slightest knock. The media says “this church is doing well” and then all the churches copy them. The media says “put this mark on your Facebook or you are a racist” and the churches fall over each other to put the most hashtags on their social media. A lot of churches are knocked about by every wind of doctrine, even the slightest breeze. But we are going to see more and more mountain churches in the last days, churches that will not be moved. Churches that the worldly culture will not move, churches that promises of government money will not move, churches that someone leaving because they speak the truth will not move, churches that are strong, and no one can manipulate them or intimidate them. Mountain churches!
  • Nations streaming to them. So much of what goes on in countries with large multi-racial communities is churches that are mono-cultural. It’s not the way God wants it. The future is going to include big churches that have people from so many nations. It’s going to be glorious, we all need each other, we can all learn from each other.
  • People saying “let’s go” – they will be evangelistic. People will be so excited about their church, they will not be able to help themselves from inviting people and bringing people. There will be so many salvations, healings, miracles, changed lives, that people will not be able to keep quiet about their faith! The frozen mouths of Christians will get de-thawed when their church is so glorious!
  • There will be teaching about the way of the Lord. Church will not just be an 8-minute encouragement each week, but they will be serious about discipleship. There will be teaching all the time on all sorts of media. Churches will run so much discipleship that many Bible Colleges will just lose their appeal because they were never supposed to exist in the first place – the church will take its place, the place that Jesus always intended it to have, to make disciples of the nations. Churches will have courses in the morning, the afternoon, the evening. Teaching will be broadcast from these mountain churches all the time, and it won’t be cold classroom teaching disassociated from real life, it will be real mentoring and discipleship that involves dealing with real people. It’s going to be remarkable!
  • People will desire to walk in the paths of the Lord. One of the hallmarks of these mountain churches that are going to come up out of nowhere is that the people just love walking with the Lord. The days of book of Acts will be here again where people devoted themselves to the work of the Lord. Some pastors will not be able to cope as they have been so used to doing people’s devotion for them, and have spent years herding goats and suddenly they will be surrounded by sheep hungry for green pastures and still waters. It’s going to be glorious.
  • And the Word will go out from there. There will be so much evangelism in these mountain churches. Sometimes they will send dozens, even hundreds of people, at once into foreign nations to plant a church, and start larger than most of the churches already in that area, and just start a stir that will shake whole cities for the Lord!

That’s going to be a whole lot of glorious churches. I believe with all my heart I am going to be part of this. And I believe if you believe it too, you will see it too. If you get it in your heart and start dreaming, you will start seeing it on the outside.

The Test of Loyalty 03: The Test of Trouble

4k Big Trouble Ahead, Yellow Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty-free)  18532403 | Shutterstock
There will always be trouble on the roads we travel as Christians, especially as Christian leaders.

For test one, click here. For test two, click here.

If you want to enter the kingdom of God and do things God’s way, there will always be trouble and pressure (Acts 14.23). If you want the fire, you need to be able to handle the heat, and if you want to live in the kingdom of God – you will have to learn how to deal with trouble. Sadly, people who can be loyal with distance and time and pass the test of remoteness and the test of continuance, can then fail the test of trouble.

When you work in an organization, when you go to a church – trouble can come from unlikely places. You might be asked to move departments, you might be given an instruction you do not like. Your pastor might be publicly criticized. You could be going through a tough time and feel it is the churches fault. You could be passed over for a position you believed God was giving you. That is trouble. And trouble can test our loyalty.

Firstly, let me tell every leader reading this – do not be afraid of trouble. You have to learn to embrace a life of trouble and overcome trouble, not avoid it. Trouble makes you focus on God, trouble makes you more of a success. Learn how to win over trouble, not run from trouble. Now that doesn’t mean you deliberately choose trouble – but you don’t run from it either. Trouble can bring the best out of you!

Do you want more people to come to your church? Then welcome trouble. People love being around a fighter. Being in the fire makes you shine more! When you fall into diverse temptations, count it all joy (James 1.2-3).

I have been in trouble more times than I can think. I have been stabbed in the back from people who I thought were loyal, I’ve had people in high places in other ministries try and rip the Tree of Life Church apart, I have other pastors lie about me in blatant ways. I have been hurt from places I never thought possible. And I am not the only one – God is not really concerned that trouble comes to us, that people offend us. What God is concerned about is will we choose to live by faith in His Word, will we be merciful, will we choose to love above our hurts and offense? Will we get bitter, will we be loyal? That is what matters.

It is so important we always maintain a sweet spirit. We have to learn to be sweet in a bitter world! When trouble comes to your finances, do not yield and give up. Do not complain or murmur and do not steal! Do not stop tithing in the financial storm – be loyal to God and the pastor who is feeding you so well.

When trouble comces to your marriage, do not walk out the door. Fight for a happy, blessed, sweet marriage. The world is full of failed marriages, but someone who has passed the test of trouble and is still happily married – that person is attractive. Everyone has trouble in their marriage at some point. You need to get some determination and overcome!

What you have been through tells me you are loyal. The certificate of someone who has survived trouble and thrived in the storm, and walked through the other side not even smelling of smoke – that is worth more than the graduation certificate from any Bible College anywhere in the world.

When Paul wanted to show the church who he was – he told them about the trouble he had faced. The trouble you beat tells a story of your loyalty! Be wary of people who have never been through trouble – because until someone has, you have zero idea how they will behave during trouble. It’s that simple!

I pray that no matter what trouble we go through, we will continue to be loyal to the Lord and the people He has placed us with!