“I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the One who calls you by name” (Is. 45:3, NLT).
The greatest riches mankind has ever received, were those effected during a period of darkness—a period of darkness which had no logical or rational explanation.
“At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock” (Matt. 27:45b, NLT).
This was the moment when all of heaven was hushed and in deep mourning, for the Son was abandoned by the Father. This separation plunged Jesus into a black abyss of utter hopelessness, despair and horror—a state of mind and emotion that our finite minds and sentient hearts cannot fathom. This, was the cost of our redemption—the one eternal offering wherein and whereby we all might be saved: “For by that one offering He forever made perfect those who are being made holy” (Heb., 10:14, NLT).
The cost for God to reconcile us to Him is a cost that has no parallel, yet the contemporary Church is largely making light of this—a posture which borders on blasphemy. Most of us have no hint of a clue of heaven’s collective agony at the separation between the Father and the Son—the one universal act of redemption for mankind.
This act of redemption accomplished on the Cross, has availed an ongoing work of reconciliation through those whom God has uniquely prepared for such, and it always comes with a heavy price tag. This work is never accomplished through men who are largely esteemed for intellect, academic prowess, popular literary contributions or relative fame. This work is rather a hidden treasure chest of activity which is most often born of extremely dark origins—places and seasons which the saints of God must willingly trod if they are to speak-into any measure of authentic and lasting unity in the Body of Christ at large. Enmeshed in, and adorned with, the sufferings of Christ; they carry a hidden weight of anguish on behalf of a sea of souls—a profound intercessory act, wherein they harbor no account of the shame and rejection they suffer as the result—shame and rejection often rooted in woeful misunderstanding.
Those who stand in the greatest gap between God’s Kingdom purposes and man’s soulish ambition towards fulfilling “the work of the ministry,” are rarely readily identified, for they typically do not carry a recognized title fabricated and affirmed by the mainstream church. What they do carry however, and that which is readily identifiable by those walking in cultivated discernment; is a mantle—a mantle which carries the authority to place the collective guilt of a sea of souls, the Body of Christ Universal, before a Holy God; that He may in His infinite mercy, stay His wrath.
“Do not hold us guilty for the sins of our ancestors! Let your compassion quickly meet our needs, for we are on the brink of despair. Help us O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name. Save us and forgive our sins in honor of Your great name” (Ps. 79:8-9, NLT)
To carry this burden to the nations is to continually stand before God in an act of deep intercession. God imparts to these servants, who are largely hidden in obscurity, His heart for the nations, not only through the hidden treasure deep within His Word, but also by implanting within them His very heartbeat—reflected in a life-giving testimony which cannot be refuted—a testimony which enables them to impart hope and sustenance not readily found in the marketplace (Jn. 4:32). These servants bear this testimony wherever they go, breaking-down generational strongholds and frustrating the principalities which seek to preserve them.
With such self-less servility comes many great trials and testing’s. One of the greatest of these trials is that in being misunderstood, and very often by those closest to them. I do not speak of misunderstanding by mere words. Much rather, I speak of the misunderstanding of heart-motivations—the mutual understanding of which can only be obtained by approaching Kingdom works with the purest intent, an intent which is shared. The subsequent rejection, ridicule and slander from such misunderstanding can be excruciatingly painful. However this brand of pain is the tuition fee for those seeking degrees as Ambassadors of Christ.
One of the greatest misappropriations of contemporary Christendom is that in perpetuating the belief that graduating from a bible college, a school of ministry, or a seminary, by necessity places one closer to being qualified to carry-out the work of the ministry. Not to be found within the walls of these establishments is a course entitled: The Sufferings of Christ—a course of instruction which can only be obtained through a personal crucifixion to soulish ambition, and an uncommon yielding to His ways and means which results in the public destruction of one’s name and reputation—the willingness to be made of no reputation. This is the tuition fee for Ambassadorship.
To represent the ambassadorship of Christ is to represent the highest authority in the universe. It is to wear a signet ring only visible by those who have earnestly pursued the Gift of Discernment, coupled with having earnestly pursued the slow death of vain pursuits for reputation and esteem within the Body of Christ at large. It is for this reason that Christ deals so severely with those who are called herein. Most who glibly quote Matthew 22:14 (“many are called, but few are chosen”), do not understand that this verse, spoken to them personally, would rather read: “Many are called, but few are willing to pay the price required to be chosen.”
It is for this reason that one finds but a remnant laboring in the ministry of reconciliation.
As Jesus willingly sanctified Himself for us, in like manner ministers of reconciliation must continually sanctify themselves in truth, on behalf of the Church—pressing toward the goal of becoming one, together with the Father and with the Son. Through this only, will the world believe (Jn. 17:19-21). For many years I have meditated upon the condition of the Church in its universal state of disarray and disharmony. In so doing; and while yet holding to the promise of John 17:21, I have also harbored unbelief—unbelief that even God Himself could remedy such mass confusion. To God, and to the reader, I confess my sin of unbelief.
It was as I began to understand the unspeakable cost of our redemption, that I in turn began to see, albeit “as through a glass darkly;”that the whole scenario of the Cross, with all its terrifying aspects, has the capability to overcome everything the gates of hell can throw against it; even all the confusion, strife, warring factions, theological streams, mega-personalities, gross misunderstandings and catastrophic mistakes within the Church Universal. Perhaps God really meant it, when, through the prophet Jeremiah He stated: “I am the Lord God, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too difficult for Me?” (Jere. 32:27).
Many of the divisions, points of confusion and misunderstandings being perpetuated in the present, have their source or roots in the lives of previous generations, leaving us no visible solutions. We therefore generally accept our present state, and with little hope for restoration within the Body of Christ. However, when we begin to look at these seemingly unsolvable problems objectively, we begin to realize that perhaps there is a remedy, if someone is willing to pay the price, and to be held personally accountable. It was this very posture in which the prophet Daniel was found, in sackcloth and ashes, fasting and praying, and confessing his sins and the sins of the people (Dan. 9:3-9). Daniel understood the principle of stepping-into accountability, for the purposes of thwarting a generational curse.
Herein lay our hope for the redemption of present generational curses. It takes but a remnant, with an apostolic mantle, carrying the testimony of Jesus, to begin changing the course of history, and to effect healing and restoration within the Body of Christ—a remnant willing to accept full responsibility; being made wholly accountable.
The Church presently has tens of thousands of instructors teaching on the benefits of salvation in Christ. This is desperately needed. However, where may one find the Fathers—Fathers who model and impart the grace and anointing required to tap the riches and treasures to be found through a willingness to share in the sufferings of Christ? It takes the anointing, testimony, and mantle of a father to fitly fulfill the mission of a true ambassador (1 Cor. 4:15). Those who try to fulfill this role without these divine credentials will quickly find themselves surrounded by rotten fruit.
It is time for each of us to find our place and role within the corporate Body, that we may function in harmony with all the other parts. This requires a level of humility that only Christ can impart. As we make Him the head and the focus, all other obstructions will vanish. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27b).
Where are the ambassadors that I have described? The answer is this: the potential to walk in such capacity lay deep within the heart of every Believer in Christ. All that is required is that of an uncommon willingness to allow the Lord of Lords to establish His habitation within every cavern of our hearts—even the hidden ones. Such yielding invites a slow and agonizing death to the rhythm of the world. At the same time however, such yielding also invites levels of revelation of the Kingdom of God (the rhythm of God) which enable one to rise above the vanity of our temporal existence, and to focus wholly upon advancing an agenda far and above anything that man may concoct—an agenda which entails the restoration of all things—to a Creator Who simply wishes to convey the depths of His love, to His creation.