What does God want Christian Missionary Fellowship International (CMFI) to look like? What does God want the work in the nation to look like? Recently, the Lord told me, “You want a Convention? The Prince of Yaounde has been overthrown, the prince of Douala has been overthrown, and the prince of Cameroon was overthrown. When you gather all these people, what will be the testimony that something happened when these princes were overthrown?
Nehemiah 9: 1-3:
On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and having dust on their heads.Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the wickedness of their fathers.They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the LORD their God.
This is another convention—Ezra’s convention. Ezra was shocked at the mixed marriages in Israel, by the worldliness that had invaded the people of God. There was no gap, there was no separation from the people of the world; everything was just mixed. The believers’ children were marrying unbelievers, and Nehemiah was angry. And when Ezra heard about it, Ezra fasted, and Ezra was angry. But after some time, some of the leaders told Ezra: “You are the one who is the leader, you must do something; call a convention, let us deal with this worldliness.” And Ezra called this convention. They read the word, explained it, repented, fasted, and consecrated themselves. The convention report finishes in chapter 10; they repented of their sins, and they took practical commitments, to be committed to God. They committed themselves, not to neglect the house of God, not to ignore the things of God; they committed themselves not to take their relationship with God lightly; but they came back to God—through fasting. They came back to being the Covenant people; they came back to the Covenant, through fasting, and repentance.
What we have studied so far has been national events: the Sinai convocation, the Mizpah convention, and this Jerusalem convention; they fasted to meet God; they fasted to come back to God; they fasted to come back to their relationship with God. But it was not just the general fasting. There were other situations where leaders wanted to meet God. Some leaders were desperate to meet God because they needed to meet God for their leadership, and they fasted to meet God.
The first case is Moses in Exodus 24:12-18:
The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.” Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.” When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Of course, we know that he was fasting. There are the other passages where it says he was fasting, he didn’t eat or drink anything or sleep. He neither ate nor drank nor slept for forty days and forty nights, to meet God; so that God can give him the spiritual skeleton of the nation, the identity of the nation, so that God could define the nation, give him the vision to mold. He needed to know what to do with God’s people, and it wasn’t his ideas. God told him: “Come and receive what I have prescribed.” And Moses went, and fasted, for that encounter with God.
What does God want CMFI to look like?
What does God want the work in the nation to look like?
Recently, the Lord told me,
“You want a Convention? The Prince of Yaounde has been overthrown, the prince of Douala has been overthrown, and the prince of Cameroon was overthrown. When you gather all these people, what will be the testimony that something happened when these princes were overthrown? Don’t you know that something becomes My own by the principle of the tithe? Have you given me the tithe of Cameroon? What is the population of Cameroon? Have you people given Me a tithe? When you say that Cameroon is Mine, that I own Cameroon… The tithe is a principle that establishes God’s ownership; when you give God a tithe of your money, your money becomes God’s money, it can accomplish what without God it will not accomplish. When the money becomes God’s money, it will do what it will normally not do. The tithe establishes God’s ownership. The satanic prince has been overthrown, where is the tithe? You people have not given Me a tithe. Will you come here in December to celebrate what I have done, without a testimony?”
The church in Yaounde is not a tithe of the city; the church in Douala, is not yet a tithe; the work in Cameroon is not yet a tithe.
I called brother Jean De Dieu, from my retreat, and I told him, “Don’t come to the convention, without a tithe of the nation, so that we will not be bearers of false testimony.” What does God want our ministry to look like? You cannot lead God’s people with your ideas. You cannot! There are many churches; you cannot just borrow what another church is doing to do in the church because you call it a church. The leaders wait on God, they must meet God, to have God’s blueprint. The leaders must meet God, to have God’s blueprint, so that they know where they are carrying God’s people so that they know what they are going to do with God’s people. We don’t have the liberty to do what we think. We don’t have the liberty to do what we think is good. We don’t have the liberty to do what other churches are doing. Come up to Me, I will give you the ordinances and the law. I will give you the skeleton, the identity skeleton of a nation for God. Come up to Me. I will give you the skeleton of a nation (for God,) for Me. And Moses did. When he went up there, God gave him six days, while fasting, to discharge him of leadership burdens, to discharge him of all his worries about people; and then for thirty-four days, Moses went through a video-clip of the nation, and Moses went through a revelation of God’s will. God told him, and then God gave him a tangible emblem and representation that summarizes both the ordinance and the vision—the Tabernacle. God give him the Tabernacle, to summarize in imagery what a nation for God looks like.
In the tabernacle, that represents Israel, the throne, which was the ark is at the heart. So God is king and all the service of the Tabernacle are dictated by the presence of God in the Holy of Holies. That is what Israel should look like. Moses could not have invented it; Moses could not have created it. So God gave him the law, the commandments, showed him the heavenly vision and commanded him to have the life of the nation in microcosm represented by the Tabernacle. Their relationship with outsiders was shown by the Tabernacle; their inter-community relationships were represented by the Holy Place, and the place of God was represented by the Holy of Holies. Moses could not have invented it. Our leaders must know God. And the leaders who want to meet God, who want to know what God wants to do, they cannot but like Moses take long fasts. Long fasts are for revelation, for an encounter with God. Many of our brethren have been given departments in our ministry. They have not asked the Lord, “What is this department to look like? What did Your servant have in mind when You showed him this?” So they don’t grasp what God wants, and they run a spiritual department with carnal love, and then it is surprising when things don’t work. They gave you God’s work, and you turned it into your work.
Come up to Me, let Me give you the roadmap for your leadership. Let Me give you what the kind of nation I want you to mold for Me looks like. He spoke to him, showed him the heavenly model, and encapsulated it in a representative form in the Tabernacle.
Because every day when they would watch the services in the tabernacle (which seems so boring when you read them), they were illustrations of a nation for which God would be king. The outer court represents their relationship with the world. So there, even pagans could enter to seek God. The inner court represented the relationship that had to dwell among them: prayer, the word of God, the light, the incense, the light from the lampstands which is the word of God; and the Holy of Holies, where God is king; God has only one representative in the nation, and only him can enter there. God is not democratic. No matter how holy you were, if you went in without anointing to do that, you died. So this issue of picking up leadership because one is competent, it is not in God’s purposes. Who has understood a little? Maybe you need to go and study the tabernacle; these are things we studied when we were still young believers. In the past, we still had many books from the Darbyst brethren and it was about things such as how the tabernacle reveals the Lord Jesus Christ and reveals the heavenly model. Now people believe and they only want God’s money; Lord move so that my wife will put to birth. Moses fasted for that encounter with God; Moses fasted for that encounter with God; a long fast, 40 days, no eating, no sex, no sleep, no drink—40 days, to have an overview, a heavenly vision of what God wants his leadership to produce.
Leaders fast to meet God if they want to lead God’s people. They don’t just fast for spiritual power. They fast to meet God; to lay hold on what God wants their leadership to produce. Who has understood?
Please, I want us to pray that we will take our responsibility of leadership seriously. We are too arrogant. You don’t know God’s mind about people, and you lead them, to where?
Let’s pray that many will take their responsibility of leadership seriously—at home, in the church, in the nation, in the community, in the world, in the movement that God has called us to, that the brethren will take their responsibilities seriously, and seek God. That they will fast, to encounter God. Just look at Moses, forty days, no sleep, no sex, no drink, no food, no human company, in the immediate presence of God; for one purpose, just for one purpose—To receive from God, His directives for his leadership. God’s vision of the nation God wants his leadership to mold and produce.
Forty days, to wait on God, to meet God; six days God did not appear, God did not speak, so that the world can get out of his head. God does not talk to distracted and confused people. God waited six days for his head and his heart to stop being agitated, for Moses to become acclimated to God’s presence. It was a fast to encounter God; with a view to receiving God’s blueprint, for the nation that his leadership has to produce.
Let some brethren come and pray; whether at the level of the family, at the level of the local church, at the level of the work, at the level of the ministry, that we would take the responsibility of leadership seriously enough to know God’s mind, because we will fast.