We must be continually examining ourselves. That’s the Lord’s will for us. We must make sure that we are right with Him and have our priorities in order. We are to judge ourselves. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates. (2 Corinthians 13:5). For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:31-32).
The Lord has postponed judging us as long as He could. His mercy is beyond human understanding! God is love. We get upset with people and want to knock them on the head because they made one mistake or two. Just think of how many mistakes we have made and how merciful the Lord has been to us!
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, (Hebrews 12:1).
It is easy to become too entangled with legitimate affairs of this life. These things may be good in themselves, but are not what God has called you to do. There are things that are not necessarily wrong, but they will slow you down in your particular race. They will hinder you from growing spiritually and from fulfilling God’s purposes in your life and ministry.
Sin in your life will not only hinder your fellowship with God, it will dull your spirit and cause you to be less responsive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Sin left unchecked, will cause you to live only in the natural realm, and you will miss God’s best for your life and die prematurely. Sin is fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lying, cussing, stealing, etc. However, sin can also be a failure to be a doer of the Word of God, failure to spend quality time in prayer seeking the Lord’s will and plan and walking in disobedience to the plan of God for your life and ministry.
Dad Hagin said, “the only time I have been attacked with sickness was when I failed to obey what the Lord told me to do.” He pointed out that when you are in disobedience, you get over on the devil’s territory and he can attack you. He always repented and walked in health.
I have experienced that in my own life and ministry! I had failed to obey what the Lord told me to do and it opened the door to the devil to attack me physically and financially. I went to prayer, or was driven to prayer would be a better way to say it! I had a prayer life like most other Christians, but much more prayer and obedience was required.
STEP ONE: PRAYER
I laid aside legitimate things that I thought I needed to do in life and ministry and gave myself to prayer instead of doing those things. I started off repenting of my failure to seek God and obey Him like I should. When I made that decision, I didn’t feel one goose bump and Jesus didn’t appear to me, nor did an angel show up. I thought deeply about it and made a sober, calculated, disciplined choice. I thought about how old I was and with 35 to 40 more years left, over half my life was behind me. I knew it was better to pay the price, deny the flesh and my selfish desires and walk in the blessings of God.
The Lord told Dad Hagin, in the book “ I Believe In Visions” on page 92, that he would have died at the age of 55 if the Lord had not permitted him to trip and fall off the platform and fracture his elbow while he was preaching. The Lord told him He allowed it to arrest his attention because Dad Hagin had been walking in the permissive will of God instead of the perfect will of God. If he had died at that age, there would be no RHEMA Bible Training Center and the nations of the earth would have never received the revelation that was given to him for the body of Christ.
I beg you, to make a calculated, sober decision to pay the price to seek God and follow His plan for your life. Many have only a few years left (if the Lord tarries) walking in the flesh, living for their own desires and pleasures. Remember, when you are not following God 100% you have the door open to the devil and he will take you out if he can. Serving God, really doesn’t cost, it pays. It pays to serve God! It may seem like a large price right at the moment from the fleshly standpoint and our natural desires, but payday will come for obeying the Lord or disobeying Him.
You may ask how long do you pray? I started out praying and seeking the Lord about four to seven hours a day. There are times I fast and pray all day and into the night. To him much is given much is required! (Luke 12:48). It is not easy on the flesh to begin with, but the joy of the Lord always comes on me sooner or later! I got up this morning laughing in the Spirit as the joy of the Lord filled me. I laughed right in the face of the devil with glee! I laughed at problems and ministry related things that there seemed no way around. It takes prayer and the Word of God to do that. When you get into the presence of the Lord He will tell you what you need to do personally.
STEP TWO: CONSECRATION
I realized I had been to this place in the Spirit many times over the years and had obeyed the Lord for a while, like I should. I would slip back into the way of the flesh and natural desires after a while. The children of Israel wandered around the same mountains, or places in the Spirit for 40 years. I knew there was a promised land and I would never get out of the wilderness and possess it without total consecration to God. Neither will you. Things have been prophesied over me over the years by legitimate ministers. (Dad Hagin for one) I thought if just one of them came fully to pass, it would surely be a blow to the kingdom of darkness. No prophesy, that was spoken over you, can come to pass unless you’re dead to selfish ambition and desires and walking fully with the Lord. It is based on the condition that you are totally consecrated to God.
Consecrating to the Lord is not a one-time event. It is what you do continually. You turn your will and desires totally over to the Lord and only want His will and plans. While I was praying and doing this, I realized that I had not been willing to pay the price by denying the flesh and giving up my natural choices and desires. It had hindered my life and ministry. My daddy raised me as a do it yourself kind of person because he was like that. I witnessed him, and anyone that knew him will confirm this, do amazing feats that it seemed no one person could do by himself! He was stubborn and determined. He raised me to work hard and accomplish things. I have leaped out of tall buildings with a single bound. I escaped from prison where they said it could not be done. I have dodged bullets and out-smarted track dogs. I built a pontoon boat years ago from scratch with no plans while people laughed, but I rode up and down the river on it. I have rebuilt car engines from the bottom up. I have bought buildings that looked like a trash dump, while people laughed, and turned them into a place of beauty. I have made lots of money in the past by dabbling in the world system with hard work and natural ability. BUT none of those things move me and I count them but DUNG and doodoo. THERE IS A FINAL QUEST THAT I HAVE EMBARKED UPON AND THAT IS TO KNOW HIM AND GIVE MY LIFE TOTALLY TO HIM THAT HIS PLAN MAY BE FULFILLED THROUGH MY LIFE. I WILL TRUST HIM TOTALLY ! I WILL DEPEND UPON HIM TO CARE FOR ME AND MY FAMILY. I WILL PROVE HIS FAITHFULNESS TO MY GENERATION. I WILL NOT SEEK THINGS, FAME OR FORTUNE, I HAVE DETERMINED TO SEEK ONLY HIM. TO HEAR WELL DONE THY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT IS MY ONLY DESIRE!!!!!!!
STEP THREE: PEACE WITH GOD
The gentleness of the Lord and the peace of God settles upon you as you surrender completely to Him. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalm 23)
I encourage you not to wait, make changes in your life if you need to. Draw close to God and see Him draw close to you. Walk in all that He has for you.