There Is A Price To Pay!
There Is A Price To Pay!!
By Rodney W. Francis
Christianity is presented in many different ways these days, but the challenge we face is to make sure we follow Jesus Christ according to His teachings in the Bible and not according to ideas and theories that result in an “easy-believe-ism” society. When Jesus was on earth He taught that those who follow Him must take up the cross: When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever desires to save his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:34-38, NKJV).
There is much more to being a born-again, Holy Spirit-filled believer than having a Bible knowledge of Who He was and is. Because the Holy Spirit way is so very different to the way of natural and worldly thinking, it is not surprising that true Christians are persecuted, scoffed at, and very mis-understood in today’s society. There is an anti-Christ spirit that is at work in the world today and its very purpose is to oppose and try to quieten us down, so that the Message of the risen Christ Jesus will not be spread abroad. To become effective and fruitful in the purposes of God will mean there is a price to pay. It will cost us to be a “full-on” Christian! The big question is:
- “Is our relationship and walk with Jesus real enough to make us want to be more effective in our being a positive witness of Jesus”?
- Are we willing to pay the price that Jesus talks about in our Scripture above?
To follow Jesus fully means that we have to deny ourselves and take up our cross. The cross always speaks of death to self. Until that happens we will never know or experience the joy of a new and risen life in Jesus Christ. We might ask “Why do we have to die to self?” The answer is simple really. Because our self-life will never comprehend, know or understand the ways of God. His ways are far different to ours and they cannot be received by the natural mind and reasoning (see 1 Corinthians 2). God is a Spirit, and once we start living the life of self-denial the Holy Spirit is able to open our spiritual eyes and ears and give us revelation of the truth and purposes of God. Christianity is a very different way to every other way of living. It is not religion ~ it is a life of reality walking with the risen, living Jesus Christ! He lives and speaks today to those who follow Him according to His teaching.
THERE IS A PRICE TO PAY IN THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY
When it comes to walking, living and functioning in prophetic ministry, so many Christians do not understand this realm. Teachings have taught people that the Five-fold Ministries and Spiritual Gifts passed away with the death of the Early Church Apostles. When there is a clash of teachings, then there always is criticism, ignorance, mis-understandings, accusations, etc. that come against us. There is a principle that I have noticed over the years: “Ignorance breeds fear, and fear will always cause us to reject” (that which we are confronted with). Yet when people do catch a glimpse of prophetic ministry and start to see the results, fruit and impact of it, they want more. Sadly, in their desiring of more of the prophetic it is often their leaders who try and discourage them! Over the years of my ministering in prophetic ministry I have come across so many reasons and excuses as to why it should not be pursued. It is sad to hear these things because it is robbing so many of what the New Testament Gospel is all about. It is supernatural. It is God-ordained and these ministries are given by Him for the building of the Body of Christ. Prophetic Ministry is simply listening to the voice of God and obeying it. Spiritual Gifts being exercised are simply the outworking of the voice of God in our lives! But because God’s ways are not our ways, our actions can become suspect, because it is all new to those who have never experienced living that way.
A WAY OF LIFE
For me it has been a way of life since I first heard the voice of the Lord in the first year of my being a Holy Spirit-filled Christian. As I have endeavoured to follow what He has told me, I have discovered that God opens doors of opportunities and ministry that come no other way. I have been so encouraged and blessed to have a ministry like The GFM where we are able to minister to thousands of people around the world. These things came about because God spoke and told me to do such and such. Others have prophesied into my life things that today I am living in the fulfilment of. We even live by faith and have seen God provided hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to enable us to do what He has asked of us. This ministry has consumed our lives since we took up our cross to follow Jesus fully. No one can take our testimony away from us, because it is a God-happening that we have experienced for over 50 years. And the best is yet to come!
May you be encouraged to commit your all for the cause of Christ. You will never regret it. And you will accomplish things in the name of Jesus Christ that cannot be accomplished any other way! God bless you!
Other helpful Scriptures to consider: John 12:24-26; Acts 16:16-40; 2 Timothy 3.