I decided to write on this topic to help other leaders who possibly experience what I have had happened several times. I have had to answer a lot of questions with other leaders as well about being in or out of spiritual flow of meetings and how to handle these situations as they arise. From people taking over meetings, saying mixed prophesy, prophesying out of their own heart or imaginations, missed responses, doctrinal error present, manipulation of a body, and doing things that are perfectly correct and doctrinally sound but maybe in wrong timing. It is one thing to miss something in a meeting that has only an effect for that meeting. That happens probably almost every time we gather. That is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about meetings that have a sovereign intentional release of something required for the corporate bodies mission to succeed. In other words, what is missed carries a key component to affect from that point forward to unlock the future. For me this is probably the greatest time of discouragement is when I know a meeting has shifted from Gods intentions of a great deposit. Thank God He is merciful, but that still does not take away the feelings that occur or the knowing of what could have been.
The Test Described
This test occurs when you realize an intentional sovereign moment of God has been missed that would deposit a much-needed element that is missing. This occurs when a meeting seems to shift direction away from an opening into a heavenly realm. This may be because of others stepping out of spiritual flow affecting a corporate body and taking the meeting in a different direction. It could be because of mixture or prophesy that is assumed to be prophecy when in reality it isn’t, or a host of things. It could be as simple as the hearing of things may be right, but the timing or implementation may be what affects the shift that occurs. It shows well-meaning intentions outside of the timing of God will not create the intentions of God.
This test has both frustrations, disappointments, discouragement, feelings of failure, and an overwhelming feeling of loss. This causes a grieving with it. The grieving is not being able to rescue the moment as the spiritual climate or atmosphere has shifted. This is magnified when only the leader has these feelings and no one else is aware of it. It is as if the pathway to the next thing has been removed. I would liken it to a bridge from one bank to the next. The bridge has been removed, and you see the other bank but have no means to get there. You know it will take time to build the bridge again.
A leader will feel out of sync with the meeting they are in and the feeling can carry on into the next day or several days. Restlessness as they wrestle with the why’s, and if that moment can be recaptured. It will cause deep inner reflection and analysis of their preparation, leadership abilities, and even the call. It will cause a re-examining to find the moment it was derailed or what lead to the shifting so they can see how it could be stopped in the future. A leader will look at themselves first, assuming they did not hear correctly. They will evaluate to see if they are too critical or their expectations were too high or wrong. It has nothing to do with the leader’s role being fulfilled, but what the Body of Christ did not receive. The leader will see the far-reaching ramifications of the missed moment and will try to figure out a pathway forward.
Paul felt this many times with the churches he oversaw. He was constantly having to go backward and relay foundational doctrines instead of advancing deeper into the things of God. He was having to sort out what people did as accurate, verses speculations. He was sorting the mixtures of flesh, doctrines, reasoning etc. He had to address the Corinthians concerning the use of spiritual gifts and the overabundance of what was being released. He had to put in place a structure to facilitate the spiritual flow that seemed to always be open. A lot of this was training. But when there was not training you do not see this overabundance. When you see directives from God given you see precise sovereign moments with little to no input.
What Does the Test Show?
This test is a hard test to get beyond. The easiest route is to say the leader is too serious but this requires them to embrace a mindset they have to compromise in what they knew to be true. To not allow it to affect them or deny the moments importance also diminishes that they heard God correctly. This test puts a leader into multiple dimensions of overlapping conflicts making it hard for them to move forward not knowing what exactly needs addressed. Most everyone doesn’t want to make mistakes and their heart keeps them in check. That is what makes this test so hard to sort out. You cannot find false truth or mixture. But it comes down to timing. Just because a person hears or sees does not mean it needs to be shared instantly. Many times, the opportunity for others to be trained can outweigh the results attained.
This test also shows the interconnectedness of the Body and how each person is to function in unison with the others. Without us being led by the spirit you soon see that the body lacks a full understanding and even missing elements that can make it healthy. This test shows the different maturity levels. I have seen the most screwed up meetings and some people still get touched by God. Again, this makes for a conflicting evaluation by the leader of the meetings impact. We have and still show grace for the body to develop and grow. These opportunities are not taken away but are better monitored and given oversight.
This grieving will test your tenacity to stand against the opposition and even good intentions that have created a false finish line. It reinforces the seriousness of God and it forms a finish anointing. The impasse is being able to stay on course long term in the midst of missing the mark in the short term. The resetting of values is a delicate game of weighing in the scales and not coming up wanting. I have had to weight this in the training of people. Training people will cause mistakes. The mistakes are how we grow. I have sacrificed forward vision unfolding for the sake of giving opportunity. In hindsight I would do it again, but not to the degree I did. I felt it caused the vision to be delayed and kept us always feeling slightly behind or not quite in sync. My conclusion is there are meetings for training and then are some meetings for a sovereign moment of God to come forth. These meetings are not times of training, or it could be derailed. These sovereign moment meetings are setting new courses.
This test also causes deepening of values to occur. As you realize you cannot simply recreate the exact moment or conversion point as almost all factors are beyond your control. This is because the moment was a sovereign moment. You look forward with a different mindset to not allow the missed moments to be allowed. As a leader that knows Gods intention realizes also how far reaching the value is and holds a greater love for Gods intentions and how much He believe in us.
What is to be Formed?
Having others to share the moment with or to talk about it will help divide the burden. The more who understand the burden and are willing to help carry the less the leader feels isolated in the grieving. The bible says to carry each other’s burdens but this is not natural or our feelings but also our spiritual burdens. This is why there is to be team leadership. This will help bring others into greater spiritual awareness and sensitivity. This plays into the scripture of mourning with those who mourn and laugh with those who laugh. We think of natural things, but can we mourn with those who mourn with spiritual things. The Holy Spirit can be grieved, can we also feel that grieving as well. This test softens our heart to God and allows our spiritual feelings to begin to override our natural feelings.
A leader will be more intentional next time and not allow feelings to get in the way to maintain the flow of a meeting. They will also not allow as much freedom and will monitor what is said or done. The verse of all things being done decently and in order also comes into this. The decently is probably not the issue as much as the order. I have found after working through all the processes associated with this test, I have to come to conclusion, that moment may never occur again or will have to be ramped back up to that place. You come to the realization you are going forward with a piece of the overall plan sitting, still available as it was Gods intention, but not fully in your possession yet. A pathway will need to be built towards it again, but then at the possible expense of other things. You also realize God can bring that portion again, it just will have to look different as all the factors have now shifted.
The other thing I have learned is I can’t depend on others to help carry those intentions. Which means I need to not allow the opportunities that I have done at other times. At the end of the day, I’m responsible and I need to take on that responsibility. As leaders we live in enough repercussion of people’s choices! We need to live in the repercussion of our choices more so. Those come as we lead to advance. What we create or form we can shift. What others create or form we are sometimes on the receiving end.
If you have experienced this missing of a moment, you’re the leader God is looking for. Sounds strange doesn’t it? Will its not the reason you missed the moment but that your spirit is sensitive that a moment was missed. Its that you value those moments and cherish them that when they don’t materialize your heart-broke for the people of God and even God himself. It just goes to show how serious you are as a leader. Imagine what would be revealed when leaders gather, that same honor was shown to the atmosphere God was present in. Imagine the body so protecting the atmosphere that it causes their senses to be heightened to it. If you can relate to this then I say to you be encouraged. Your heart is right.