I laid my hand on him and began praying. As I did, a quick vision crossed my mind. In it, I saw him sitting on a bunk in a small prison cell. He was facing the back wall; his face revealed extreme hopelessness.
As I looked on, the view of the prison cell changed. I could see the front of the cell and the door was open. There were beauty and life waiting for him on the other side of the doorway. He just needed to stand up, turn around and walk out the open door to freedom.
Though this vision was for the man on that day, it is also apropos for my situation at the little church I attended.
So, how was I finally set free from the prison with a steeple on the roof?
The first thing that happened is the husband and wife pastor team bought an RV and began traveling. They felt this would lead to a national apostolic ministry. In their place, they appointed a young husband and wife to replace them.
The new pastor team also had prophetic and apostolic callings, but their vision was a totally different one; and it did not include me.
My only responsibilities when the two pastors left for Texas were cleaning the church, helping with the food pantry and prayer. I still prayed for an hour at the church every morning and usually arrived an hour early to pray for each church service. Seldom – as in hardly never ever never – did anyone else show up to pray with me.
Well, a prophetess and her friends from a nearby city showed up one evening and prayed for me. The prophetess gave me a tough word. “The Lord is unhappy with you. He doesn’t want you to be this church’s prayer meeting. Every member needs to pray, not just you.”
I quit praying at the church in the mornings and before church services.
Next, a woman phoned and asked me to help her and her husband with their children’s outreach ministry on Thursday evenings. It was a time of teaching, prayer and evangelism. Dozens of kids gave their lives to the Lord through their ministry.
I prayed and felt the Lord wanted me to help her. Ever mindful of Hebrews 13:17, I asked the young pastor if it was okay. He said, “Yes, go ahead.”
As I helped the couple out, they allowed me to give teachings and to pray for anyone and everyone. Soon, the Thursday night meetings mushroomed into a Sunday meeting where I was also able to teach, preach and prophesy.
Now, it wasn’t long before I felt the Lord nudging me to leave the first church and go full-time to the house church. Once again, I asked the young pastor for permission and he said, “Go with my blessing.”
When the two senior pastors returned from their trip to Texas and discovered I had left the church, they called me on the phone. “You’re out of the will of God,” they told me.
“I don’t believe so,” I replied.
“Well, we do,” they said. “Not only are you out of the will of God, but your calling, and maybe even your salvation, will be hindered by leaving our church.”
I said goodbye and hung up.
So, was I totally set free just because I quit attending the prison with a steeple on the roof?
(Continued in Part 10.)