WARNING SIGNS

Warning Signs
One of the warning signs we missed was that we were “partying alone.” We
were so happy about the seemingly great things that were happening in our
ministry that we didn’t notice that some other ministries were not having
such a great time. We were rejoicing in our increase, but we ignored the fact
that others were having a difficult time.
Meanwhile, we partied on. We didn’t see or feel their pain. We saw only
our increase. If another church struggled or even disbanded, it was no real
concern to us as long as we continued to grow.
We now lament over having been so self-absorbed. The older I get, the
more aware I am of my natural tendency to pride. I am much more aware
of the promises and struggles of other ministries in my city. I am no longer
content to celebrate alone. When the Lord promises to visit us, we now ask,
“But what about the other ministries in our city? Are you going to visit them
too?” God told Moses that He would make from Moses’s descendants a great
nation after He first destroyed the nation of Israel. Moses pleaded with the
Lord to forgive the sins of the children of Israel. Moses had no desire to see
Israel destroyed and himself made the head of a new nation.
“Therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against
them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great
nation.” Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said:“Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people
whom You have brought out of Egypt with great power and with
a mighty hand? . . . Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from
this harm to Your people.” . . . So the Lord relented.
—Exodus 32:10–14On another occasion, the spirit of prophecy was released on the seventy
elders of Israel. Joshua was jealous for Moses’s honor. He wanted Moses to be
seen as the only one who prophesied. Moses corrected Joshua, saying, “Oh,
that all the Lord’s people were prophets” (Num. 11:29). Why would it be
good if all God’s people prophesied? Moses knew that God’s purpose would
be strengthened and His people would be blessed if more prophesied.
The Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took
of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the
seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them,
that they prophesied. . . . And a young man ran and told Moses,
and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” So
Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, one of his choice men,
answered and said, “Moses my lord, forbid them!” Then Moses
said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord’s
people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit
upon them!”
—Numbers 11:25–29
The Holy Spirit is raising up leaders today who have a heart like Moses,
who are not content to have increased honor and blessing in ministry unless
others are included.
A major warning sign we missed in those early days was that we did not
think much about what other ministries in our area were going through.
We were satisfied as long as our ministry was growing and we were being
blessed. Looking back, I can see my inherent pride and self-centeredness thatI was totally unaware of in those days.
The second warning sign was our lack of perception that we needed other
ministries. A lot of people around the body of Christ had much to contribute
to what we were doing, but we didn’t realize our need for their insight and
input. They could have showed us how to do a lot of things better, but we
were too busy and too caught up in the euphoria of our seemingly early
success to realize thisI was totally unaware of in those days.
The second warning sign was our lack of perception that we needed other
ministries. A lot of people around the body of Christ had much to contribute
to what we were doing, but we didn’t realize our need for their insight and
input. They could have showed us how to do a lot of things better, but we
were too busy and too caught up in the euphoria of our seemingly early
success to realize this