Since the beginning of this year, I have been preaching a series of rather tough messages, challenging and provoking the congregation to get serious with God. From the responses I get, I know that God is stirring the hearts of His people. Still, I can’t help but wonder if I should ease up a little on the tone and content of these messages. Maybe I’m being a little too harsh, pushing them too hard? Yet, the messages the Lord lays on my heart, the way He leads me as I prepare the points, the way His words burn as fire in my bones, that I can’t help but preach the way I do!
“But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.” Jer 20:9b
As we sang and worshipped this morning, this same thought came into mind … “Henson, you’ve already hit quite hard last week with those points. Are you sure you want to share what you have prepared? Don’t you think you will bring condemnation into the hearts of the people? What if they can’t take anymore? What if they are offended?” Quite immediately, the Lord prompted me to open my Bible to Jer 1:17 …
“Therefore prepare yourself and arise, and speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, lest I dismay you before them. For behold, I have made you this day a fortified city and an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land – against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you, say the Lord, to deliver you.” Jer 1:17-19
What assurance from the Lord! These words were spoken over me in 2006, giving meaning to another prophetic word released much earlier, “To destroy and to rebuild” (cf Jer 1:10). These words defined for me, my ministry of teaching and preaching, to correct many ideas and doctrines that are wrong in the Church, and to speak the Truth without compromise. Back then, I didn’t fully understand the significance, but today, I am seeing these prophetic words come to pass! I don’t say or write this with arrogance for I know what an awesome responsibility this is, not to mention the opposition I might face. But the Lord is with me, and that is comfort enough for me.
After I read those words, the Lord told me to declare His love to the church. And it is because of His love for each individual and the church that He is wanting His word to stir and provoke them to respond accordingly; not to take things for granted, not to believe in lies, not to be deceived, but to rise up as His sons and daughters in these last days!
I was so overwhelmed by His presence and love that I just sat there crying and weeping. When it came to Holy Communion, I reached out my hands to accept the elements. As I heard the words, “the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ broken with you” and “the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ shed for you”, I broke down again. It reminded me that the call was not about me, how well I could preach (or entertain the congregation), but it is entirely about the sacrifice of Jesus upon the Cross. His death on the Cross secured life and purpose for me. For that reason, I am not to compromise in declaring His Word as it should be rightly declared. The Lord stopped at nothing for us, and we must stop at nothing for Him!
And so I preached my heart out this morning, as the Spirit led and enabled me. I delivered the points with conviction, with urgency, and at certain points, even some anger 🙂 And indeed, the Lord was with me, through it all! After the service, the people responded to the altar call. Those who spoke with me afterwards affirmed the message as from the Lord. Others thanked me for opening their eyes to see their own blind spots.
As I continue to teach and preach in such manner, I am also aware of the spiritual repercussions against me and my family – “they will fight against you”. I am engaged in spiritual warfare, even entering enemy territory to tear down strongholds and mindsets in the lives of believers. I am assured of the Lord’s continued presence and protection in our lives – “but they shall not prevail against you”. As we face trials and challenges (like severe eczema in my daughter’s case), His word promises deliverance! – “to deliver you”. My part is to remain faithful to fulfil my call, and I know my God is more than faithful to deliver us 🙂
If you are reading this and feel led to partner me and my family in this ministry, please uphold us in prayer. We know that we are not on this journey or mission alone, and we appreciate the love, support and prayers of the saints. Thank you for your partnership 🙂