The Lord Jesus said to Ananias about the Apostle Paul at the beginning of his ministry: “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim My name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for My name.” (Ac 9:15, 16).
This word applies to all who desire to follow Jesus and do ministry. The word ‘suffer’ means experiential pain, not just imagination. If you want to serve the Lord in any capacity, if you desire to be an ambassador for Christ, then you need to carry this cross that kills the flesh; not all at once, but little by little, and daily… Ministry is not money and glamour. Ministry is pain that becomes praise, tears that supply the river of life, a broken alabaster box that spreads the fragrance of Christ to the whole house. If you can do that, then the money and the fame may come.
This is my testimony: For every drop of the revelation of God’s name, I had to suffer. I had to become ‘friends’ with loneliness, sickness, discrimination, misunderstanding and painful betrayal from people who were close to me. Why? So that I have just one desire: to desperately know my Lord and the power of His resurrection! The appreciation of God’s grace is not free. The knowledge of the power of the name of Jesus is not cheap. It is much more than a prayer ‘In the name of Jesus’. It is not English! It is Blood! The door of God’s intimate treasures is never found by them who just pass by and covet from afar. There were times when I was sick, really sick. In the midst of the sickness I had no desire to go to see a doctor. Why? So that I learn to press on to know who Jehovah Rapha is, how He operates, delivers and heals…in the quietness of my spirit, there came a knowing…that my sickness is not ‘a sickness’, not a punishment, not a dead end… but a pathway, a road… Sickness helped me. Pain became my teacher… I did not like his face at the beginning… I thought about changing classes… It took me long to learn the patience of obedience and the joy of reward coming from suffering. When this inner pain refused to go away, it forced me to come closer to the throne to receive a fresh testimony, not just of healing, but so much more…My reward was the impartation of the Excellency of knowing my Lord, the King of kings!
The strange sickness and the mysterious healing baptized me into the Body of Christ. As I moved on, from victory to victory I started changing. The old Lia died. The new Lia lives on… I can never be the same. I am now so much hungrier to know the Healer and not just His healing touch of the moment…I was once a student in the Medical School… I am now a disciple to Jehovah Rapha…what a privilege…how can I ever describe in words the class room in the clouds…the surgery done on top of the holy mountain…all my new class mates dwell in the same atmosphere and they too have lost the desire to be ordinary…
The first test expected by Jehovah Rapha is to praise Him in all situations, not because I feel like praising, not because my pain is gone, not because I like music … but just because the praise belongs to God!!! God is jealous for His praise. He forbids that idols should steal it! You too be jealous to give all the glory to God alone! This is my counsel: if you need healing, the fruit of the womb, or a financial breakthrough, then praise God with all your strength! Do not cheat on praise! Do not imitate others! Do not compare yourself with others! Praise God! Think of God, think of His power, love, glory, willingness to touch and heal you The presence of the pain, oppression, frustration, anxiety, infirmity, sickness can be the pulpit from where the praise goes up to the Owner.
Like a little flower in the desert, with no water and no shade, but happily blooming by the power of the Holy Spirit within, I will rejoice and praise my Savior, my Lord and my Healer! “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines; though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food; though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls… Yet! I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in God my Savior!” (Habakkuk 3:17, 18). Glory to God!