Welcome to our Partner Letters Archive . . .

Dear Partner,

Can you tell we are in a season of change? I know the old adage, “There is nothing as constant as change.” But it seems to me that some kind of shift in the realm of the Spirit has occurred about the middle of the year. I am getting reports from people who are telling me that “suddenly” they feel an increased intensity, desire, and freedom to get back into prayer, the meditation of God’s Word, and even fasting.

Some of my friends in ministry who have been going in a certain direction for years are "suddenly" receiving instructions for radical change. One church I know of is now becoming a training center for revival instead. A missionary I know who has served in the field overseas for years has now been instructed to pioneer a new church here in the USA. It is in a state and a city he has never lived in before. The Lord is telling him he will need all of the experience he has gained pioneering works overseas in order to fulfill what God has called him to do now.

Eccl 3:1   To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Here at the Prayer Center certain people who have never ministered overseas before are “suddenly” being instructed by the Lord to travel and minister for the Kingdom of God in other lands. People are coming to understand that our Lord Jesus Christ is alive and He speaks TODAY from heaven with fresh instructions for the church. He does this by the agency of the Holy Spirit, the One who has been sent to lead and guide us so we would not be as orphans in this fallen world. Jesus is the head of the church, seated at the right hand of the Father. He speaks from heaven His instructions for the church and the Holy Spirit brings those instructions to us collectively and individually as we learn to sit, listen, and hearken to His counsel.

One of the biggest traps of the enemy is that he takes advantage of man’s natural tendency to get into a certain pattern of doing things and then remain in that same pattern forever. In modern terms we call that getting into a rut. I heard somebody define a rut as “a grave with both ends kicked out of it” and I think that is pretty accurate! If we start out as a pastor, we tend to remain a pastor forever. If we start out as a missionary, we tend to remain a missionary forever. I know the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, but that does not mean there will not be diversity and fresh assignments from the Lord along the way for each of us.

As we read about the apostle Paul's life how the Lord directed him we see that no "ruts" were ever allowed to develop. Paul began as a teacher in the body of Christ. After years of faithful service the Lord promoted him to be an apostle during a meeting in Antioch. But even as an apostle Paul's life and ministry experienced many seasons of change. There were times when the Lord would send him to a new area (Philippi, Corinth, Thessalonica, etc.) to pioneer a new work. As Paul would make converts to Christ, there were seasons when he would be instructed to stay and function more like a pastor as he nurtured these newborn lambs into maturity. Sometimes he would stay and function in the role of pastor/teacher for years until there was enough maturity in the flock where he could appoint pastors and elders to continue the work. Then, he would be instructed to launch out again and pioneer a brand new work in a completely different region than before.

Many people would resist that kind of change. Their attitude would be something like, "Lord, what do you mean you want me to start all over again in a new area? I have poured my heart and soul into these people. Now that they are finally reaching some level of maturity and things are beginning to function a little more smoothly, you want me to hand this ministry over to somebody else and start all over again?" What is sad in that scenario is that we don't normally see that attitude as being one of an owner … not a servant. This is another major tactic of the devil … to cause us, little by little, slowly over time to begin thinking of what we are doing in the kingdom as "our" ministry instead of "His" ministry. God forbid! There is only one valid response from believers when we hear instructions from our Lord in heaven and that is, "Yes Lord, thy servant heareth!"

I think of the different seasons of service Sue and I have lived through since we began following the Lord more than a quarter of a century ago. We have had seasons of prison ministry, worship leader, bible study teachers in other people's homes, bible study teachers in our own home, the teaching ministry at the Prayer Center, seasons of traveling ministry across the United States, and the season of overseas ministry to Europe, Africa, and Asia. In recent years He has not had us traveling very much because He wanted us to focus on making all of the teachings available to the world "free like water" through the website. But now we are entering a new season and we are not free to share much about it yet, but soon you will know all about it.

It is so exciting to know that we are not serving in some dead religion. Christianity is not a religion. It is a family. Jesus is alive and well. He is the head of the church and He is speaking even today to those who will sit, listen and hearken to His voice. Be encouraged! You are one of His sheep. You hear His voice better than you think you do. "THE BEST IS YET TO COME!"

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


Back « to the Resource page or on to the Next letter » Aug 2008