By Susan McIntosh
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A few years back the Lord reminded me of the Scripture Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace!”
At the time, some things were happening in Government in D.C. that were a major concern to all of us who love God and America. I thought on Isaiah 9:6 for just a moment and my attention was drawn to, “and the government shall be upon His shoulder.” I spoke right out to the Lord, “What! If the government is truly on Your shoulder, Lord, then why is all of this unrighteous stuff being legislated?”
The Lord is so wonderful. His reply was, “Where are your shoulders?” I answered, “On my body.” He responded, “So are Mine on My Body – My Church. Different members of My Body operate in specific functions to carry out My agenda. I use Members of My Body to 'shoulder' in My plans. It is important that each of you obey My Spirit and stay active and available in My plans for the Body. Some of you operate as My shoulders. I want to be able to use each of you significantly so My Kingdom can come and My Will be done on Earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!” Immediately, I saw a mental picture of our pastor in Tampa, Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne and then others also came to mind. The Lord continued, “I have chosen Members of My Body to 'shoulder-in' My government. In the future, from time to time I will show you others that I am using to 'shoulder-in' for Me.” Wow, how awesome is this!
Interesting that around that time Pastor Rodney had begun to host the Great Awakening meetings in D.C. the week of July 4th. So far there have been 5 of these D.C. July meetings. RBI students, River Church of Tampa Staff and Associate Pastors, multiple pastors from the greater D.C. area and other Christians who fly or drive in for a week of these meetings, not only take part in nightly meetings at the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), but during the day they are in the offices of Senators and Congressmen, as well as out on the streets of D.C. praying with people. Thousands have come to know Jesus, glory to God! During the Inauguration celebration, Pastors Rodney and Adonica were among the group of pastors who gathered around President Trump and prayed over him in the Oval Office. What a glorious way to “shoulder-in” God's government order!
There are many in every nation the Lord is using to “shoulder-in His government.” Our friend, Natalie, owner of Fort America military store, sends military editions of the New Testament and Kenneth Copeland's devotional book designed with a military cover to chaplains all over the place so they can be distributed to the troops. The week of Trump's Inauguration, she provided Ralph and me lots of these items to share in the Reagan Washington National Airport in D.C.. We were there in the airport for 5 days that week, quietly sharing the materials and often praying with people. If you recall, there were rumors of possible protests that week, so people were a bit unnerved and readily received from us. We were in essence, “shouldering-in the Kingdom” for our Lord.
Nation-impacting assignments are taking place around the world. Some Members of the Body might be more in the limelight at times, but, everyone of us who is obedient, impacts the world around us! It is vital that we are men and women who are reading and decreeing God's Word as a lifestyle. It is vital that we invite the Holy Spirit to fill us, teach us and direct us in God's bigger picture even as we go about our daily lives working, taking care of our families, holding and attending Bible studies and readily sharing the Gospel with people everywhere we go. Many times my husband and I have greeted someone and been led by the Holy Spirit to pray with them and encourage them. It isn't until we obey that we sometimes learn they have a key role in government or in our nation's military. Obedience has a ripple-effect, amen! Our decisions of obedience to the Lord are like small keys that open gigantic Kingdom of God doors through which scores can step through into God's blessed agendas. Sometimes we see the beginning of the multiplication, sometimes we don't see the people again and just trust the Lord that He is using them.
On a Friday in July, 2018, my husband's younger sister, Ruth McIntosh, a disabled Veteran, formerly a nurse in the U.S. Air Force, met up with us in Washington, D.C.. We had already planned to be in D.C. that week and had no clue of her plans to be there too. God is fun! Ruth has created some amazing works of art which honor the Armed Forces tremendously. Curators on staff at the U.S. Library of Congress in D.C., heard of her work and surprised her with a letter of invitation to put her artwork on display at the LOC. You can imagine Ruth's surprise! We were blessed to be there the day Ruth presented it. Ralph and I and 5 other family members watched in wonder as Ruth interacted with the curators and shared that the paper her paintings were on handmade paper she had made from pieces of military uniforms that had been worn in every war since the Second World War. The technique of shredding the fibers and making them into paper is very tedious. It was a very moving experience for our family members as we stood beside Ruth as she shared briefly of the meanings behind each of her art pieces. Her art is going to soon be on display in our nation's Capitol! Many people will be impacted by its message. Ruth is “shouldering-in” God's Kingdom.
For eight years Ralph's parents and the family rode by mule back, a three day trip, to a remote village in the state of Nayarit, Mexico, northwest of Mexico City. They lived among the Huichol people, learned the language, figured out the grammar and at last were able to translate the book of John for the people AND they were able to begin teaching the Huichol people to read their own native tongue! The first convert was a condemned murderer, Roman. He gave his heart to Jesus when Ralph's dad was translating John 3:16. Roman was his translation assistant for those eight years! The whole New Testament was eventually completed with the help of other translators. There are thousands of Huichol Believers now! Ralph's dad went on to be Director of WBT missionaries in not only Mexico, but Guatemala, Bolivia and recruited Japanese Christians to join Wycliffe Bible Translators! In Ralph's dad's teen years he was led by the Lord to learn Japanese while going to school and helping on the family cattle ranch in California. I can remember him using Japanese when I first married Ralph. Years later Wycliffe needed a Japanese speaker to recruit missionaries in Japan. Ralph's dad was a perfect candidate. John and Genevieve McIntosh “shouldered-in” God's Kingdom! Quiet, faithful obedience ALWAYS impacts nations.
My parents and two other families started a Christian school in Richmond, Virginia. It took lots of faith and obedience steps, but, God rewarded them. The school, Richmond Christian School, is still going strong sixty plus years later! The School has impacted many lives, to include mine! My first grade teacher led me to the Lord. She later became a missionary. Interesting that the week she came home from the mission field, Ralph and I started our missionary journey. She Sowed into my life!
Some of the impact ramifications of our obedience we will hear about in this life; however, most steps of obedience Harvests results will be shown to us in Heaven. It is awesome to partner with God. He has said we are His Ambassadors. When we Believers share the Gospel with someone in our communities, we are “shoulder-in” His Government! The Kingdom of God comes and the Will of God is accomplished “on Earth as it is in Heaven” when all of us follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our day to day living. Not one of us is insignificant to God's plans!
Kingdom obedience springs from a heart of faithful love for the Lord. It is okay to have conversation with the Lord. I sure do. Because I have seen Him do some wild and amazing things when I have obeyed, I usually do obey, even if I am asking,“Really, Lord, are you sure?” in the process. True obedience is not done in hopes that something big will come our way, amen. When we obey the Lord readily, it is because we understand His love for us and we serve and honor Him with a quick response of obedience. As we obey, He can trust us with MORE. Sometimes obedience seems too simple to be awesome. Can you imagine how Moses felt when he stood facing the Red Sea with a multitude of Israelites behind him expecting him to “make a way where there seemed no way.” Charging down behind the Israelites was Pharoah's army, ready to slaughter the people of Israel. Talk about pressure, whoosh! God gave Moses a simple instruction, “'Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea... Then the Egyptians shall KNOW that I AM the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharoah, his chariots, and his horsemen.' And the Angel of GOD, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them...and the Lord caused the sea to go back... waters divided...” Exodus 14. Moses obeyed a simple command and GOD did MIRACLES and saved millions of people from destruction. Simple obedience can impact nations!
Some days Members of the Body of Christ operate as His hands. We might reach out and hand someone a helpful gift, lay hands on them in Faith and see them healed or even wave and say, “Bless you,” from our car in traffic to someone on the sidewalk. Sometimes we are His mouthpiece because we speak words of Life which the Holy Spirit is prompting us to say and we learn that it is exactly what the person needed to hear. I have walked passed strangers and the Holy Spirit has prompted me to go back and say, “The Lord told me to come back and tell you that He knows you have had a prayer concern on your heart. He is saying that the breakthrough miracle is about to happen.” You should see the expression on their faces. Sometimes there are tears. Sometimes I get hugged. I offer to pray for them and I do. Hope rises in their hearts because they know God is present with us. His presence floods them. Great things have happened. You would never guess that I was shy before the Lord got a hold of me!
Be assured, the Lord needs each of us to be in His Word daily, to be listening to the Holy Spirit and to be quick to obey as the Lord leads us, never fabricating strategies without Him. On any given day, our obedience to share the Gospel with strangers, can prove to have far greater ramifications than we could ever imagine. Not only will those we lead to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, spend Eternity with Him, hallelujah, but just think of all God can do in and through them when they accept Him! We will hear the testimonies in Heaven. Just think, you might be leading the next Billy Graham to Jesus! That humble man of God was my childhood pastor's best friend when they were both students at Wheaton College. Pastor Seume shared testimonies about Billy Graham's hunger for God and his longing to be used by Him. Pastor said that Billy would lie down on his face and call out to the Lord to please use him. Wow, God sure did, amen!
I encourage you to take a few minutes and talk to the Lord specifically about being used of Him MORE to “shoulder-in” in Kingdom. We can glibly say the Lord's Prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven,” and, yet, not be committed to being a part of making it happen. Not anymore, Amen! We are stepping up to be the Ambassadors He has called and equipped us to be! I look forward to hearing your testimonies. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We live in an exciting time in history. Yes, “gross darkness covers the earth,” as Isaiah 60 says, but, “Arise, Shine, for YOUR LIGHT has COME and the GLORY OF THE LORD has risen upon YOU.” The Light shines best through us when we obey the leading of the Spirit and Word. Fire it up! I am beside you doing the same! Love you, SMc