Many years ago, the Lord told me that for me, self-promotion was illegal. I’ve wrestled with the implications of that word from Him ever since. For the sake of profitability for the publishers who produce my books, I’m required to do some promotion of my own, but there are limits. I’ve pondered what the apostle Paul had to say in Philippians 3:8 when he spoke of all that he had given up. He wrote: “Yes, certainly, I count everything as loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have forfeited the loss of all things and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ.”
“Rubbish” in the original Greek is actually a rather strong profanity that illustrates the depth of what the apostle wanted to communicate about the wonder of really knowing and experiencing Jesus. For this, he would pay any price.
In light of this, and after suffering some very painful losses of my own, I’ve come to the following conclusion in the form of a question: How many of us in Christian leadership are focused on building our careers at the expense of a focus on intimacy with our Lord? How many of us raise and spend large sums of money to promote and build large ministry organizations with all the glitz and glamour, but fail to promote a very simple focus on Jesus? How accessible to the average believer have we actually made intimacy with Jesus? How many barriers have we unwittingly erected by serving the star system based on the image of the spiritual hero on the platform or the television show?
I saw in a vision during prayer the hand of God grasping the trunk of a tree and shaking it with such power that a rain of debris was falling from it. The Lord Himself interpreted it: “The day is coming when I will shake out the dead limbs and the dried fruit, leaders who lead where I have not led and prophets who speak the profane, watered-down messages of peace when there is no peace. I have hovered over My people lightly. I am about to descend in storm and great shaking. Some will fall. Others will rise. Some who were unknown are about to be known. I am making a tall tower to proclaim My truth. All men will see and be vexed at My outpouring of grace and love. You will be surprised at the fall of many, but I have preserved My servants for such a day as this. A day of release, a day of mercy. Where mercy exists, the power will fall, and My name will be known. The leadership tree is mine to prune, and a pruning is about to unfold, not in judgment, but for increase. Some have already faded away, but I am bringing more. More will fade away and more will come, rising in the brightness of My shining.”
A great shift is coming in the body of Christ, a shaking-out of the tree of leadership. Great ministries that have garnered the attention of the church and the world but failed in humble focus on the heart of Jesus, will fall in days to come. In their place will emerge a new breed immersed in the Father’s love, obsessed with Jesus. While they don’t seek or care for the spotlight or the stage, they will be placed in the spotlight and stand on the stage precisely because they neither seek nor need these things for themselves.
In Matthew 19:12 Jesus made a troubling statement. “For there are some eunuchs who have been so from birth, there are some eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are some eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.” Ancient kings employed eunuchs to guard their harems because eunuchs would be immune to the temptation to attract the attention of the king’s women to themselves. They would guard the harem and keep it pure for the sake of the king. God seeks spiritual eunuchs in our day who will care for the bride of Christ for the sake of the King of kings, our groom, and will not sample her affections for themselves.
In the same way that the apostle Paul suffered the loss of all things for the sake of knowing Jesus and sharing in everything that Jesus is, God seeks now for humble and broken servants and mouthpieces who have nothing left to lose. They’ll be given great ministries with broad impact precisely because they don’t need great ministries with broad impact. Their singular desire will be to see the name of Jesus lifted up—not their own—and the bride of Christ in love with Him. These will deliver a pure word, and these will have God as their promoter. Our Lord is looking for friends, not handlers. The genuine, not the show. The heart, not the performance.