What An Awesome Privilege
WHAT AN AWESOME PRIVILEGE
By Rodney W. Francis
Recently I have been reflecting over the years of my Christian life and service. I have so much to thank and praise the Lord for, as He has led and guided me over the years in all kinds of situations around the world. I was saved in 1959 and then early in 1960 I had a sovereign encounter with God when He sovereignly filled me with the Holy Spirit in the middle of a herd of cows at 5:30 a.m. in the morning. The presence of the Holy Spirit came over me and I began speaking in other tongues as clearly as though I had been speaking them all my life. Then He spoke to me and said these words to me: “I am raising you up to be a preacher of the Gospel, and my sign to you that I am raising you up to be a preacher of the Gospel is that I am going to open the doors for you to speak right away”. I was just 18 years and two months old. And that’s exactly what happened. An opportunity opened up to me to preach; and I have been preaching ever since. It has been an awesome privilege to love and serve the Lord Jesus over all the years. In April 1964 God spoke to me to start The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry. From very small beginnings and virtually no experience, we stepped out in faith and have been amazed at what God has done through it over many years. What an awesome privilege to be a worker together with God!
The Holy Spirit kept speaking to me and told me of things that would happen and how He would use me to touch peoples’ lives. A few years later God opened up overseas ministry to me and Jean and we went to Fiji for six months (1967) where the Lord grew our faith for greater things to come. The simplicity of faith that the Fijian Christians had was a real eye-opener to us; I think they helped us more than we helped them (smile). We had supernatural experiences of seeing what God can do through simple faith. After visiting and ministering in the Fiji Islands on numbers of occasions, God began to open the door into other nations and so a world-wide ministry began to grow.
I have had the privilege of meeting and fellowshipping with lots of wonderful people; of ministering in a President’s Palace (Philippines); in a Government (Papua New Guinea); have witnessed multiplied thousands of believers being filled with the Holy Spirit; and many more released in the Spiritual Gifts to prophesy and give words of knowledge in accurate ways, etc. In 1995 God spoke to me and told me He wanted me to concentrate my preaching on the Prophetic Ministry and to conduct “Schools Of The Holy Spirit” and “Prophetic Equipping Schools” in different nations. Our first one was held in Manila, Philippines in 1996. Scores of people have been impacted through those times over the years. Numbers have gone on into their own ministries and are touching multiplied numbers of people today. What an awesome privilege to obey and serve the Lord!(We are no longer running these Schools).
It has been my privilege to minister in over 40 nations (some a number of times), to experience God working in different cultures, and seeing the hunger in the hearts of people for the reality of the Holy Spirit ministry.
Has it all been easy? No, there have been different times when we have been criticized, tested, threatened, survived three death contracts on my life (which the Christians did not believe), falsely accused, etc. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken” (Psalm 34:19-20). I learned that in the times of adversity, if I allow those times to push me closer into Jesus, practice forgiveness as quickly as I can, then God actually uses those experiences to break things in my life and to help me to break through into an even greater and more impacting ministry than I had before. Praise the Lord!
A FEW MIRACLE TESTIMONIES
At different times over the years I have had the privilege and joy of witnessing some wonderful miracles of God. In Sigatoka (Fiji Islands) a young 16 year old received a mighty miracle of healing after prayer when a boil on his shin turned around, split the skin open and pus ran down his leg as we watched. His mother had the gift of faith and said it would happen within 30 minutes of my praying ~ and it did! In Swansea (Wales) a young man learned to write as a result of my obeying the Holy Spirit, taking him into my arms and imparting a father’s love to him. Two weeks later I received the very first letter he ever wrote! In Columbus (Georgia, USA) a lady with a permanently damaged voice-box began to sing prophetically when the experts had told her she would never sing again. In Webuye (Kenya) when a pastor was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other tongues, his wife and children were all healed over 300 miles away at the same time! In Panama I witnessed an intellectually handicapped man giving accurate words of knowledge to the people as the Holy Spirit moved him. In Trapani (Sicily, Italy) a lady was used of God to bring a mighty healing to another lady dying with a large brain tumour (after God gave me a word of knowledge for her that she would be used in the Gifts of Healing).
Then there have been countless numbers of times when the Lord has prompted me to say or do something in a meeting that has been the launching of other people into being released by the Holy Spirit to say or do something. For example, as I was ministering in Hereford (England) one night to a young couple, the Holy Spirit directed me to a lady sitting in the row behind them. He told me to tell her that she could sing the song of the Lord and to release her. I doubted a little and so asked her, “Can you sing?” To which she replied “No!” The congregation then spoke up and said she could. So I told her what the Holy Spirit had told me and said she could sing prophetically right now in the meeting. She did! Then she got released and went and gave the pastor a word of knowledge, as well as several other people, then went and sat down again. She had never done those things before.
LIVING THE FAITH LIFE
What an awesome privilege it is to listen to and obey the Holy Spirit! God called Jean and I to live totally by faith at the end of 1999, and our journey has been an amazing one since. We have seen the faithfulness of God in supplying our needs personally and for The GFM Ministry which continues to grow daily. This might help you to realize why I am so committed to Prophetic Ministry. Things happen when we listen to the Holy Spirit and obey (even though it might seem ‘stupid’ to our natural thoughts). The sooner we can listen to Him more than ourselves or others, the more He will be able to use us in simple yet amazing ways to bring God’s answer to people. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). So much more happens when we are following the Holy Spirit; more needs are met; more people are blessed; more lives are sorted out, etc., because the Holy Spirit knows exactly what a person needs at that particular time. I have discovered that there is always someone waiting on the other side of our obedience! It is my conviction that God is going to call more people to live totally by faith so they can experience the reality and wonders of God more closely. He is amazing at what He can do! What an awesome privilege to serve Him in these days!
God is looking for people He can work through. Are you available?
True Christianity is following God’s ways ~ not trying to fit God into our ways!
Are we listening to Him, with a commitment to obey whatever He asks of us?
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
There is no greater honour and privilege on this earth than to be chosen of God to serve and represent Him on the earth today. Yet so many Christians are reluctant to offer themselves to the Lord for whatever He desires of us. We need to be like Isaiah of old when he heard the voice of God to him personally ~ his response was: “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8-9). That response saw God using him as a great prophet to the nation. He will use whoever is useable. The harvest is plentiful but the labourers (willing Christians) are few (Matthew 9:36-38; John 4:34-38). Christian, make sure you are fully available for the service of God. You will never regret it. God will bless and provide for you in ways the world never can. Hallelujah!
Let this year be the year of new commitments, of putting God first like never before, of hearing His voice more clearly so you can be totally obedient to whatever He asks of you. You cannot lose for winning when Jesus is Lord of your life! Rise up in His name and prove Him like never before. God bless YOU!