In my life and time of serving the Lord there have been many times I have heard a ‘voice’ point me in one direction or another. While I know that the voice of God is the most important voice to know and heed, there is another voice that I feel is from God that has lead me through the years. That is the voice of those who minister to me, feed me the word and watch over my spirit. This voice comes from those who pray for me with all their heart, who speak the word of God to me, who teach me how to follow God and His word daily.
This month is Pastor Appreciation Month and I want to talk to you about the voices I hear.
A pastor is one who teaches you, watches over you, prays for you and much more, probably much more than you could ever realize. Not all who do the work of a pastor sit in the office of a pastor. You may have people in your life who do all these things but they are simply leaders in some way – and maybe not even leaders – simply someone who loves you enough to build you up in the word of God. To those people, we should show honor and appreciation.
Your Pastor is your shepherd, he watches over you to make sure you are safe. He/ She prays for you daily. There may be times that he/she prays for you all night long. I know God has put certain people on my heart and I pray for them all night long. Your Pastor studies and digs in the word of God and brings you life-changing messages. He/ She gives you the tools to lay hold of all God has for you….we should honor that this month.
Now, back to my ‘voice.’ Often I hear God speak to me or hear Jesus speak to me, but just as often I will hear another voice, the voice of one who has taught me, who has shepherded me, who has taught me a particular revelation. Let me share a couple of those instances with you.
When my daughter was having Bryson in the hospital, she was in distress. Her heart stopped beating. It appeared I had lost her. I heard the voice of Kenneth Copeland, as he said ‘KNOW YOUR AUTHORITY!’ In that instant, that voice ignited something in me. I jumped up on top of my daughter and began to pray and command her to come back…yes right there in the midst of all the nurses and doctors. After ten minutes, she took a deep breath and said ‘what happened Mom?’ That ‘voice’ gave me the strength to do what needed to be done at that moment.
Recently, I had been praying in the spirit for a two hours a day, one in the morning, one at night. I did that for a couple weeks. I decided to extend my time to three hours at a time. The first night as I prayed in the spirit, at hour two, I came under a tremendous physical attack on my body, in the midst of praying in the spirit. I could not breathe. I could not take a breath without feeling as if I would pass out. One part of my mind was saying ‘there is something really wrong you need to call someone.’ The other part of me was saying ‘this is an attack from the enemy, press through.’
I pressed on and completed my three hours of praying in the spirit. This attack lasted until the following day. I called a friend and had him pray with me. It eased up but kept coming back over and over again. I kept praying and praying. At one point I became angry and I stood up firm in my faith and told that thing to loose my breath and declared that I would breathe freely from that moment on and I did.
The funny thing was, the night before when the attack first started, I heard Dave Roberson say to me ‘what do you think the devil is so afraid of?‘ This is something Dave has said to me many times when I would be trying to press through into a new dimension in God…I would share with him the struggles I was having and he would say ‘what do you think the devil is so afraid of?’ And he would laugh.
The voice of Dave and the voice of Kenneth Copeland brought me through times of great battle. I am forever thankful for those ‘voices’ that speak into my life on a continual basis. These are pastors of my heart, shepherds of my heart and always will be. I honor these men (and there are also women) in my life. There are many more, too many to name, that have spoken into my life over the years.
Pastor Karen Jethroe is another mighty woman of God whose words often ring in my spirit – bringing me through times of difficulty. And Pastor Mack Louallen, who has spoken things to me that still bring me through times of weariness. And Kelita, who gave me a hard word, that I didn’t want to hear, yet it brought me great freedom. And as I said….many, many more.
Do you have those voices in your life? People who have spoken to you or written things to you that come up when you need them the most? If so, tell them, honor them this month. Let them know they are appreciated.
Go to your Pastor this month and let him/her know how valuable they are in your life. I can assure you that they don’t hear that as often as you would think.
1 Timothy 5:17 says; “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.”
Galatians 6:6 says; “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 says; And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.”
This month, let’s remember those who labor, not only among us, but often for us. Let’s remember them and honor them. For all those ‘voices’ that speak the word of God to you, let them know how much they mean to you, let them know how valuable that voice is to you. It’s the only right thing to do.