Changing Forward

September 16th, 2012

It was the summer of 1994 and the spiritual atmosphere was electric.

We had just launched the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship (FGBCF), and held our first annual conference at the Louisiana Superdome with twenty-five thousand people in attendance. God had spoken clearly and definitively: This sovereign move of His Spirit was for such a time as this.

Not long after, things started to change.

We built a dynamic team of ministers who contributed greatly to the success of this new endeavor. As time passed, however, differences of theological opinion arose in our council meetings. By and large, we were working through them and coming to an agreement; but some members couldn’t get past certain church traditions. I had to stand firm because I knew what God had called me to do. God’s assignment for the FGBCF was to change forward, not to retreat back into what we had always known.

About two years after starting the movement, God shook the ranks of leadership. Some of my close associates left our fellowship. I started doing damage control to avoid losing other colleagues when I realized that leaving people in key roles who I knew didn’t fully support the cause would ultimately result in more problems.

I realized the issue was that I didn’t immediately see God’s process. He had put certain people in place for a period of time to validate the movement and help get it started. It was never God’s plan for everyone who was there in the beginning to remain.

Changing forward challenges our thinking. It requires a process of putting the truth of the Spirit over what might seem right at the time. This might be difficult, but it is a biblical concept—a spiritual mindset. In one of my favorite sermons, called “So That,” I explain this. The premise comes from Matthew 16:25: “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Years ago I ran across a poem that flows perfectly within this premise. God gave me a strong utterance whenever I communicated it to others. Somewhat paraphrased, it says:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

God adds a “so that” to our process. God permits certain things to happen in our lives “so that” we may gain insight and change forward.

By the time I founded FGBCF, I had learned this well. It was time to change forward. I’m so glad that I did.

You really can’t see what God wants you to see until you go through His “so that” process. Romans 8:28 clearly says: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (KJV).

Nothing in this life takes place by accident. God knows everything that’s going to happen before it happens. He works out the “so thats” in our lives for His purpose and for our good.

Through the years, God has worked His process in me “so that” I would be prepared to step into and maximize every destiny assignment. I am humbled when I think back to where God has brought me and I can see now how God has worked all things together for my greater good.

When God calls you and activates His anointing in your life, you don’t get to choose whether or not you’re able to carry out His assignment. Moses was a perfect example of this. At first, he tried to tell God he couldn’t deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. God didn’t take no for an answer. He sovereignly gave Moses what he needed to get the job done. He did it for Moses, and He’ll do it for you and me.


Excerpted from Changing Forward: Experiencing God's Unlimited Power (Abingdon, 2012). Used by permission.

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