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The Unseen Ministry: From the Miraculous Towards Maturity

There is a large spiritual battle constantly taking place. It is a battle for God to find His ‘Moses’ or ‘Esther’ in this day and generation. God always calls a generation to Him, but in truth only a handful of people ‘choose to be chosen.’ As Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 20:16). The Prophet Amos understood that we must agree with God’s will by choosing Him, after He has chosen us. ‘How can two walk together unless they are agreed?’ (Amos 3:3).

Over two million Israelites were called out of Egypt, but only three people actually chose to be chosen and they alone believed God could work the impossible. Thankfully, the faith of Moses, Joshua and Caleb was all God needed to get the next generation of Israelites into the Promised Land! The same is true today, but God stills needs a Gideon or Deborah to work in and through.

However, those who want to fulfil the destiny of God for their lives must understand that we are first called to the secret place, in order to form a sacred bond with Him. This is the life that Jesus described in John 15. If we are to be strong in Him, we need to lay deep foundations, but we only lay substantial foundations in our faith when we obey, abide and seek God in secret. Building solid foundations in Christ is rarely outwardly pretty. It’s far more exciting to be seen as we start building immediately, but if we do this, Jesus’ teaching warns that we shall be building on sand, (Matthew 7:26). If we are to know God publicly, He must first see us privately. If we are to lead others to the mountain of God, we must have first been there ourselves.

Moses knew that he had a call upon his life and he thought that he could go out and get that destiny. He hoped that Israel would recognise him as their deliverer, (Acts 7:24-41). However, he was rejected, failed publicly and had to flee (Exodus 2:14). He then experienced forty years of preparation, as he learnt that he could not do what God wanted him to do. But, (and in the context of testings we should love that word), when he was emptied of self, God was able to fill and use him. He had to be in a place of distress before he could be used as a deliverer.

When Moses’ preparation was complete he was then taken to see the burning bush. He had to meet God in a very real way on his own, before he could take others to meet Him. After that, it was God’s confidence and strength working in and through him. Finally, Israel was delivered from Egypt and he took the people to the exact same place (as he had been) to meet God! (Exodus 19:11).

Today in our generation, God is trying to find His ‘Moses’ or ‘Esther’ but Satan is working hard to contest God’s purposes. When he has finally accepted that he cannot stop us from being Christians, he then decides to try and make us no use to God. First, he tries to dampen the fire of God within us. Then he tries to distract us with the thing of this world. Like Jesus, we may walk into a desert and find Satan saying that we can have all we want, if only we make a little compromise.

Satan knows that true Christians will resist openly walking into sin, therefore he give us an opportunity to do something ‘vague’ which does not feel right by the Holy Spirit’s witness within us. Satan may even send a misinformed or struggling Christian to encourage us “not to take it all too seriously” and “come on, it’s only a bit of fun.”

Meanwhile, one of Satan’s greatest tricks is to offer us our destiny, without having to pay God’s price! This is the temptation he offered to Jesus. If Jesus would only worship Satan, he would give the Lord all the kingdoms of this world, (Luke 4:5). He was indicating that Jesus could fulfil His commission to redeem the world, without the cross! Satan tries to convince us we can do the same, but whenever we are called to God, we have to go through the route of the cross. Death comes before resurrection; humiliation, before exaltation. This is what happened to all the characters of the Bible and God uses the same experiences today. “If anyone desires to come after Me let him take up his cross and follow Me daily” (Luke 9:23).

The cross leads us to the secret place where we are prepared for the call God has on us. It is in the secret place that we learn to hear God’s voice, and greater still, we learn His ways. When we learn to ‘see’ God working, without needing large manifestations of God’s power, we shall be like Elijah on the mountain of Horeb. ‘And behold the Lord passed by and a great and strong wind tore in the mountain and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantel and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here Elijah?” ’ (1 Kings 19:11-13).

When we were spiritually young, we needed the earthquakes and the fire to get us excited about God. Hebrews 2:4 explains that God gave us these experiences to ‘bear witness’ of what He was doing. We needed to ‘feel’ and ‘see’ God at work. But as we begin to grow up in our faith in Christ, God wants to lead us by His Holy Spirit. Therefore He won’t allow us to become dependant upon outward signs, numerous confirmations, prophecies, visitations etc., because we may trust in them rather than in Christ, (Hebrews 11:1).

We cannot live on feelings, but on faith; and this process is the beginning of the transformation from the miraculous towards maturity. He is laying deep foundations and to build a deep work in us, we need to learn to become sensitive to hear the small still voice within us. Jesus said, “However, when He the Spirit of Truth has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13).

Being lead into the unseen ministry can confuse people and they ask, “What on earth is happening God?” and “Where did it all go wrong?” But actually, we are being led into a wonderful privileged position. Once I was on a mission to some tribes in the Pacific and one local person said to me, “Paul, please give my greetings to your chief.” I then apologies and explained that I have never met my chief. Then the man said, “But you have a Queen in England. Give her my greetings!” I then explained that there are sixty million people living in Britain and the chief is too busy to meet with me! Later when I pondered this, I realised that God Himself is never too busy to meet with Me. I can spend all the time I want with Him. He can be as close to Me as I choose to let Him! What an exciting thought! In fact, we can literally set the time and date with God and He will be listening!

Then, there is another amazing witness. The Holy Spirit Himself lives inside of believers who invite Him in! (Acts 13:52). Have we ever stopped to think and fully consider what it means when we state: “My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit!?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). God is not only listening in heaven, but He is living within us! With that thought in mind, we need to do everything to be able to discern what makes Him happy or sad. We need to use the gift of discernment to find His will and His still small voice. We cannot be alone when He is on the inside! Have we really thought about what that means? It means that John 15 can be more than a chapter in the Bible, it can be our lives!

Many are afraid of an unseen ministry. But using the analogy of before, it could be likened to someone who works very closely with the Queen. Very few people know that person’s name, or even that he or she exists, but that individual gets to be at the very centre of power. He or she is welcomed into the inner circle. Could there be anything better than being welcomed into the inner court of God? With this in mind, the unseen ministry in the Lord can be more rewarding that the visible ministry.

In the unseen ministry, we are led like the Levites who hear God saying, “I am your inheritance” (Numbers 18:20). That means that our spiritual inheritance is knowing God Himself! We get the opportunity to have a close, deep and intimate walk with the Lord. We get to ‘see’ what He is doing before He starts to move. It is a privileged position to meet our Chief on a daily basis. In fact, when we surrender all to Him, He lives inside of us and through us!

Paul Backholer


Paul's Books:
The Exodus Evidence Go
The Ark of the Covenant Go
How Christianity Made the Modern World Go