We are entering times when we must face ultimate issues in America and in every other nation. In Scripture, this is called "the Valley of Decision." Everyone called to live on earth during these times must pass through this valley, but now is the time to resolve in our hearts what our decision will be – that we will never compromise the truth that we have been entrusted with and we will never deny the Lord who paid such a price for our salvation. If we remain true we cannot lose, and we are promised to see His glory.
As the Lord also said, as we do unto the least of His, we are doing it unto Him. Therefore, when any of His people are being targeted, we need to rise up and stand with them just as we would with Him. When we learn to do this as Christians, and the love we have for one another becomes known in this way, the world will see it and soon begin to see by this that Jesus was not only sent by the Father, but He is still here in His people.
When the devil knows that he cannot stop someone, he often gets behind them to push them too far. His first goal is to keep people from seeing the light of Christ, but once they do, he can still cause damage to their faith if he can push them to an extreme.
A ditch is on either side of the path of life. Basically, legalism is on one side and lawlessness on the other. The path of life is between these extremes. Many Christians spend their lives oscillating between these two ditches because of their tendency to overreact to mistakes or failures. The key word here is "overreact." If we have been in an extreme, some reaction is necessary, but the key here is not to overreact and therefore fall into the opposite extreme.
Obviously, we also have a problem waiting for the Lord. There are many exhortations in Scripture to wait upon the Lord, and I don't know of a single one that says to hurry. Many, especially the zealous, often get burned from getting ahead of the Lord. The key is not to lose our zeal and become so hesitant that we are hard to get moving at all. A main reason why Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom was his ability to fall or make major mistakes but then get back up and keep going.
Proverbs 24:16 states, "A righteous man falls seven times, but rises again." Many seem to believe that the righteous cannot fall at all, but James assured us that "we all stumble in many ways" (see James 3:2). We all will make mistakes, but "the righteous" do not let those mistakes keep them down. I felt the Lord explained this to me that our failures do not displease Him as much as our getting back up after we have stumbled and continuing to fight on pleases Him.
As I have spent decades working with prophetically gifted people, one thing I began to see early was that those who are trusted with the greatest gifts and spiritual authority are those who sometimes make the biggest, and especially, the most embarrassing mistakes. They are humbled, and they do not quit, but learn from the mistakes and keep going. It seems like it is only after a big embarrassment that the Lord will trust them with greater revelation and authority. Some will wise up quickly to understand that God gives His grace to the humble, so they will gladly embrace the humility and keep on going.
I often hear people say that they would like to step out and try their gifts, but they don't want to fail because they don't want to hurt someone's faith. I've learned to interpret this to mean that they have so much pride, or insecurity, that they're too proud to risk embarrassment or too afraid to risk failure. In this way they trust who they are, or are not, more than they trust the Lord. If our stepping out and being wrong hurts someone's faith, then they have their faith wrongly placed anyway. They need to be disillusioned, which means to lose our illusions. It is an illusion to trust in men instead of the Lord.
Even so, neither do we want to fall into the ditch on the other side that would have us become presumptuous or callous with the gifts of God. As we are told in Proverbs 14:26, "In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge." It is an awesome thing to be used to represent the King of kings, and we don't ever want to take for granted what a privilege and a responsibility this is. If we can stay between these extremes, we will do well.
Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church. He is the author of more than forty books, including The Final Quest, A Prophetic History, and Church History. He is also the president of The OAK Initiative, an interdenominational movement that is mobilizing thousands of Christians to be engaged in the great issues of our times, being the salt and light that they are called to be. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben, and Sam.