All of the tests leading to a higher level of service do not come at one time. We grow incrementally in being able to accept more responsibility and thereby in being endowed with more authority.
At first, on a certain level of service, we may be scrambling to complete the spiritual workload and losing a battle here and there to the much more powerful demons that attack Christians on that new and higher level. However, after a while, with the Lord’s help, we begin to handle the spiritual workload on that level. Also, we grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding concerning the enemy’s wiles at that level and are able to either side-step them or deal with them more easily.
In the vernacular, we speak of this stabilizing as “getting on top of it” or “getting it under our belt” (referring to a time when the clothing was long and loose and therefore needed to be tucked up into the belt to unencumber the feet for battle). I am not talking about the prelude to an increased anointing here. We will take that later. We are discussing the period of transition as one advances into greater responsibility and subsequently greater authority.
SETTING THE STAGE
Now let me set the stage (and I will need to use everyday examples to give clarity to that which is- actually- spiritual phenomena).
Let us suppose that you have been serving the Lord in a certain area for a period of time. During this time you have grown and matured. Now-without you knowing it-the Lord intends to promote you—that is—to give you more responsibility and thereby, more authority. What happens?
THE GATHERING OF LIGHT
More light begins to gather around you in the spiritual realm. God is adding to you and you begin to shine more brightly. This, of course, makes you a much more yummy morsel to the demons whose job it is to stop you.
Years ago I remember asking Bob Jones (the prophet) why the demons seemed to know what we ourselves did not know about our advancement. He told me at that time — “because of the light.”
When we are moving out of our usual level of protection—that bubble or shield that has been built up through repeated battles and hard won victories—begins to thin. We are moving out of a hard won “zone” and therefore are more vulnerable.
Now, most of the time, we do not know this. But the demons do. They attack before we know we are in transition and before we have the experience of battling the more powerful demons at that higher level.
Let me give you three real, live examples. A few months ago our prayer team was asked to pray for three Christians that had been damaged in just such a transition into higher authority:
1. One is a young, righteous pastor whose anointing in preaching has increased ten-fold. Likewise, his congregational numbers have increased miraculously—and, after the kernel of the congregation moved from location to location for years, the Lord has looked upon them with favor and given to them a new and truly lovely church home. Before the congregation could move into their new church home, this pastor was caught in a freak and deadly combination car and truck accident. He had to lay his bike down under the wheels of the log loaded 18 wheeler. The Lord rescued him with only minor damage to his heel and equally mild damage to his bike. The enemy was trying to stop the pastor from reaping the reward for his faithfulness and to stop the move of the Spirit to which all indicators are pointing.
2. Another is a dear Christian lady that was teaching prayer in a church in another state. She had written a book on prayer and was preparing to travel to yet another state to teach prayer to those in a mega-church. This church was not known for prayer—for it had stressed other gifts. However, they were ready and willing to learn and were very excited to add their voices to others standing before the Lord in intercession. Suddenly, she was hit with something mysterious and was given a 1% chance of survival. She did survive and is now regaining her strength. I’m sure she was pulled through by the prayers of those very people she had been teaching to pray. The enemy was trying to deprive the body of Christ of a seasoned prayer warrior and a mature teacher of intercession. Praise God, he did not succeed.
3. The third is a very gifted teenager who had just arrived at college. Already he had the gift of healing—which was beginning to increase. At the beginning of the school year he fell and hit his head—eventuating in a concussion. He was sent home to rest, but that same day he fell again—hitting his head again—and giving him a second concussion. He was beleaguered with cluster migraine headaches twenty-four hours a day for months. But he refused to stop going to church or to stop praying for those who needed healing. All manner of gifts are increasing in the young man and he is being healed. Praise God. He is part of the next generation of powerful ministers.
The reason I have given you three accounts is to show you people who had been used by God on one level and are now moving into a higher level of authority in their field or spiritual calling. Since these periods of spiritual advancement happen with all of us—what do we need to learn?
1. Be on the alert.
2. If you sense any change at all in the anointing you are carrying, begin to tread more carefully.
3. We need to ask others to cover us in prayer and we, in turn, need to cover others.
We do not want the enemy to take out of service those needed in the end-time battles. If we are aware of this period of vulnerability in our lives and the lives of others we can close ranks to lessen the enemy’s infiltration and hinder his full-out attack.