But God You Promised - Sampler
The purpose of “But God, You Promised…” is to connect with the heart of believers who are experiencing a “silent” God in the midst of a wilderness wandering, waiting for their promise to materialize. It is a peek into His process of development: when it appears nothing is happening, is when everything is happening.
“BUT GOD, YOU PROMISED…” WHAT’S HAPPENING WHEN NOTHING’S HAPPENING Copyright © 2010 Martin Schmaltz ALL RIGHTS RESERVED No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any electronic system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews. This book is sold for information purposes only. Neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for the use or misuse of information contained in this book. Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information contained in this book, we assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. Any slight of people or organizations are unintentional. ISBN 978-0-9845503-0-2 Printed in the US by Instantpublisher.com For information: www.martinschmaltz.com email@example.com Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/martinschmaltz ii DEDICATION To Ava, my wife and companion in this journey, traveling is always better with a friend. iii SPECIAL THANKS Jenny Akroyd for her editorial skills. Rick Brewer for his cover design: you can view his portfolio at www.slickers03.com iv WHAT’S IN THIS BOOK Introduction vii Chapter 1 1 A word from the Lord! Chapter 2 7 “God, I didn’t ask for this.” Chapter 3 15 God doesn’t use a normal GPS. Chapter 4 23 “With friends like you, who needs enemies!” Chapter 5 31 Your master’s degree from the University of Hard Knocks. Chapter 6 39 “You mean it’s not about me?” Chapter 7 45 THE END: It’s only the beginning. v vi INTRODUCTION This is not meant to be a big book of theology, nor is it a dissertation on some new revelation of scripture, but it’s a short story of inspiration. I desire to connect with the heart of every believer who is experiencing a “silent” God in the midst of a wilderness, waiting for his or her promise to materialize. I want to bring you some hope, to bump your faith up another notch, to inspire you to keep on keepin’ on! Using the life of Joseph and cameo appearances from Abraham, Moses, and David I plan to explore how the promises we receive from God can actually be the instruments of our refining and character vii development. It’s the purpose of this process to equip and prepare us for the fulfillment of His promise. It’s my desire to be transparent and give some of the nuggets of truth I have picked up along the way--at least the ones I can hang on to! I will not give you a list of “name it and claim it” scriptures to memorize and quote; on this journey, it usually doesn’t work like that. I have prayed and quoted many verses to myself and still walked away frustrated, empty and even sometimes angry. The uniqueness of this book is that I am not writing from the “expert” who has arrived: I am a pilgrim like you, still on the journey – maybe a little farther along, maybe a little behind you, but still on a journey. So if you are ready, (to quote Bob Seger) “turn the page…” viii 1 A word from the Lord! It began in late April 2006, the day the Lord messed with my theology, forever changing my paradigm of ministry. I remember it like yesterday: I was attending a conference that was not even of my own organizations (really stepping out on the limb here). The topic was related to the apostolic and the five-fold ministry. For months, I had felt directed to study these ministries, their place and functions in the body of Christ. An intense hunger was developing in me to see something that, to me anyways, appeared to be missing within the church. So I began looking at other 1 sources for information; thus ending up at this meeting in a North Georgia church. Now I have to admit, I went with a guarded mindset. I did not want any “weird” doctrine being thrust into my spirit. So I scrutinized every song, sermon, and piece of material that was presented. Yet God was able to speak to me through my suspiciousness. It was during one worship service as I was seeking intimacy with Jesus that He spoke to me. As I was focusing on Him, thinking about his goodness, grace, mercy, His voice spoke into my mind, totally interrupting my thought process: “Apostolic to Asia.” In three simple words, he totally rocked my little world. It was so foreign to me that I stopped worshipping and said, “What does that mean?” But to my frustration, no answer came, at least at that moment. It was in the following weeks that He began to give insight into apostolic authority or born again believers being sent as legal representatives of Jesus. The illumination of scripture came in such a dramatic way; it was as if He was doing a download to my mental hard drive. These truths eventually 2 became the basis of our first book, Apostolic Authority, Every Believers Privilege. This understanding and the application of these principles further clarified the meaning of those three simple words he spoke to me. So with great excitement I began to study, preach, and write this message on how to demonstrate the miraculous power of His kingdom. These truths became the focus of the ministry at the local church we pastored. God manifested his presence in powerful ways when these truths were ministered. During this time, we saw more miracles happen than I had seen in years. Many of my contemporaries that I shared the concepts with encouraged us that they needed to be shared and taught. It was an exciting time – Yea! The first year, everything seemed to be moving steady. I had my plans all laid out how the Lord would bring His promise to pass. I saw my schedule filling with conferences and missions trips. Then it happened. I have a friend who used to say: “When everything is going good, that’s the time to watch out, something’s about to happen.” Well it did. 3 Somewhere, around 18 months after the Lord spoke to me, things seemed to slow down. I still made trips overseas and ministered to the church we pastored, yet all these opportunities I saw in my mind did not materialized. I came to the place that it appeared the promise would not be fulfilled. To add further frustration, there came greater illumination of apostolic church structure and the order of the five-fold ministry; yet there was no outlet for this illumination. So I have to admit, it has been quite rough, knowing I have a promise and commission from God, yet it doesnâ€™t seem to be coming to pass â€“ all dressed up and nowhere to go, so to speak. Then one day a friend of mine commented on a scripture he had recently used in a sermon. He did not know how the Lord was using him to give me understanding into His preparation process. The text was in Psalms and it spoke of another man who God had given a promise or word to - then his life fell part. 4 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.1 Emphasis added In short, until the promise came to pass, this very promise was the source of Joseph’s trial or purifying. Wow! With shocking clarity, I saw a reason why I just might be where I am. Mind you, not that it changes the situation, just how I viewed it. I can imagine many of you have found yourself in this same place. Whether you sought it or God just gave it to you, you received a word or promise for your life. With excitement you embraced it and began to dream of its completion. Then, for no apparent reason or fault of your own – BAM! You come to a screeching halt. You can't help but wonder: Why? You might have even said something like the title of this book: “But God, you promised…” It’s to you I want to share my journey. 1 Ps 105:17-19 5 6 2 “God, I didn’t ask for this!” “God, I didn’t ask for this!” Has God ever personally promised you something? I do not mean you are claiming a promise in His word, I mean has he literally communicated to you a specific promise? It may have been in a dream, a time of prayer or a spoken word to you, but you knew He was speaking directly to you. It might have been about a loved one, a job situation, or even a promise of a particular work you were called to carry out. Remember the joy and excitement that it produced? You were ready to tell the world you heard from God! 7 The word of God is filled with examples of individuals who received a promise: Abram, Moses, David, the children of Israel, and Joseph, just to name a few. An interesting thing that I noticed is that the great promises seemed to come “out of the blue” to the least suspecting individuals. To Abram: God shows up and says: “Get up, leave your family and country and go to a place I will show you… Once, you do that, I will give you so many kids they will be like the stars of the night sky.” Wow, what a promise but who was Abram? Just some seemingly average Joe. 2 David was a youngster, just taking care of dad’s sheep. Sure he loved God, but he was just a shepherd boy. The prophet Samuel comes to Jesse’s house, David’s father, to anoint a new king over Israel. This process begins as usual with the most obvious choice the eldest son: God said “nope.” They then work through all the boys, God responding the same for each. Finally, maybe even a little confused himself, Samuel asks if there are any more sons. 2 Genesis 12 8 Almost as an afterthought, Jesse brings up David, the runt of the litter.3 Once David arrives, God says “Yep, that’s him.” So Samuel anoints him king over Israel. Who is this David? Isn’t he just a kid, what does he know? Now there is The greatest promises Joseph: the next go to the to youngest of least qualified Jacob’s sons, his father’s pet. God gives Joseph a dream of his brothers and family bowing down to him. Bowing to little Joseph? Yep him.4 The interesting nugget here is that it seems God gives great promises to the least expecting, and by the world’s standards the least qualified. In my personal promise, I did not consider myself as one worthy nor did I even expect it. I simply hungered for more of what God had. Remember those PE days of high school, or the neighborhood softball or football 3 4 1 Samuel 16 Genesis 37 9 games? The cool, athletic jocks were the team captains. They then chose their teams in decreasing order based on talent until it left us: the uncoordinated misfits. We know it’s not the wise or strong or the movers and shakers of this world that God chooses – it’s the weak, unnoticed (at least by the movers and shakers) guy on the street that is chosen. It’s to those who think themselves the least worthy that many times God gives his promises. In his writing to the church of Corinth, Paul gives insight as to why God does this. “Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can 10 get by with blowing your own horn before God.”5 (emphasis added) Humanly, we can expect “the brightest and the best and the influential” to be used; after all, that is what we see regularly in the world’s culture. So it comes as somewhat of a shock to us “nobodies” when we hear God’s voice speaking to us these promises. We can experience the same emotional rush as if we were picked first by the jock team captain. Because of how we see ourselves, the promises of God are seen as an awesome blessing. Yet many times, down the road a bit, it can become a source of irritation and major frustration. Why? Because I didn’t ask for this. Yes, I was hungry for more of Him, but I was looking for answers to other questions. Now my life is consumed by his promise. My whole paradigm of living for Him has been forever altered by his words. I cannot go back to how I used to think, yet it seems I still cannot go forward. 5 1 Cor 1:26-29 The Message 11 While many sincere believers ask God to use them, most of the time we really do not know what we are asking for. During one fit of despair, I commented to a friend of mine: “I did not ask for this!” He responded, “Yes you did. When you asked God to use you, you asked for it.” Some friend – I was looking for some sympathy here! Joseph was a young man; his dream would forever change his thinking. He was not looking for this; he was just being a young man then - BAM! Yet as he began to talk about it, his life literally began to fall apart. Sound familiar to you? (Come on somebody, can I get a witness?) It seems the purification process launches when things do not progress as we expected. The fires of excitement and faith have been kindled by the promise, but it’s the lack of progress that fuel’s the fire of frustration. However, what we consider to be the lack of progress is actually God’s method of advancement by going backwards! (What? Read on for more insight.) 12 Info About Martin Schmaltz Martinâ€™s passion is to see Jesus manifested in the lives of each believer as they live a lifestyle of Kingdom authority. In his 13 years as a pastor, he has experienced the transformation from traditional Christianity to Kingdom illumination. During this time, he has seen Jesus manifest his power and presence in mighty ways. Many have been healed, delivered and empowered to walk in apostolic authority. Today, Martin is challenging the traditional paradigm of church, enlightening the body of believers to the potential that lies within them. Much of his time is spent writing and ministering the principles of Kingdom authority and re-alignment of the New Testament church structure. He travels frequently overseas and 13 has ministered in: Okinawa Japan, Pakistan, The Netherlands, Swaziland Africa, Cape Town South Africa, The Philippines and the Kingdom of Tonga. It’s his desire to create a strategic network of individuals whose purpose is to manifest Jesus and His kingdom through the body of Christ. The Mission of Martin & Apostolic Missions Inc To see an empowered body of born again believers, expressing their unique spiritual DNA (gifting) in a connected, missional context. How The primary focus of ministry is the empowerment of the individual believer. By the Word and the Spirit, we challenge the strongholds of thinking that limit the individual’s faith and then reveal their unique placement within the body of Christ. Empower – Empowerment results when we grasp the words of Jesus: “As you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world” (John 17:18 NLT). This sending is an authorization to manifest and represent Jesus and his kingdom. (See What Is Apostolic?) Also, the book Apostolic Authority, Every Believers Privilege. Can be ordered at 3http://www.martinschmaltz.com 14 Challenge – The greatest hindrance to empowerment is the status quo of man’s religious traditions. These beliefs surrender the commandments of God into captivity: this renders the commandments of God powerless in an individual’s life (Mt 15:6, Mk 7:9) (The Barrier to Apostolic). Reimage – This reveals a church structured with the operation of the giftings of the five fold ministry, equipping the priesthood of believers: Which are then sent to manifest Jesus Christ and his kingdom. For further clarification on the necessity of the correct structure see our article: Church Is Like A Sandwich. Results - The manifestation of the mission: an empowered body of born again believers, expressing their unique spiritual DNA (gifting) in a connected, missional context. Join The Mission To find out how you can schedule a meeting or join the mission contact Martin by one of the following means: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.martinschmaltz.com on twitter: www.twitter.com/martinschmaltz 15