Hi. This is Audrey Drummonds. I'm with Interior Coverings Ministry, and I want to share a little bit with you coming from the book of Ephesians that Paul wrote. My husband and I went on a road trip, a three-week road trip from Florida to Arizona. Arizona, Utah's some of my favorite places of exploring. We found out though that a lot of things were closed. It was a challenging trip to go out there. We took Interstate-40 going out, and when we got out there after about a week of doing as much as we could because a lot of stuff, like I said, was closed down, we found ourselves constantly saying, "Turn around" or "Go around". Now we laughed about this. We tailgated with another couple that was pulling a car, and if you've ever done any RV, you realize you just can't turn around as easy as you can in a car, the length of it, as well as the extended length of a car. So using the words "turn around" or "go around" isn't as easy as you might think, but yet we laughed.
We literally ended up back-trailing from Arizona back to Florida on the exact same road, Interstate-40, which was so bizarre because that was not our plan. Our plan was just to get out and have a great time, but not to backtrack and that's ending up what happened. But the Lord spoke to me. This was during the time of Counting the Omer in 2021, and he spoke to me and he said, "Rethink this word, 'turn around, go around' revisiting things," and the word repent kept coming up. And how often we've used that word in the Christian arena as pulling somebody from, "You're no good. You've going to go to hell, unworthiness and you just need to repent and get your life back with Jesus." And it might sound truthful in an aspect, but the flavor that it's coming through often is very intimidating, degrading, and an unworthiness, and a lot of times it's followed through with, "You're never going to be good enough. Now that the grace of God has allowed you to come into the Christian community because you have repented, you need to do this, this and this."
Well, all of that becomes real, real challenging in today's world, especially of the age of information, people controlling, people now having more openness of having to learn and explore to find out what really is truth. So as we, on our vacation, are doing this turnaround and I'm like, "Let me revisit the word repent and how it's had such a strong hold in the church and the community of believers and how it's used." As soon as you say it, somebody that may not be a believer almost kind of cringes of, "Oh, I don't want to go to hell. What do I need to do?" kind of stuff. Very fearful. Well, on our turnaround, we had to use caution, we had to rethink, we had to review, but our turnaround experience actually brought newness.
It showed us things that when we first went in one direction, we missed a lot of stuff. We were up against a lot of heavy winds, so we were having to monitor our vehicle. I mean, the winds were really, really strong, but coming back, the winds weren't as strong, and we were able to slow down and relook at this same area that we had just crossed over a week before and find out, "Wow, we didn't see that. We missed that too." So I say that as to taking an opportunity to revisit many of the places that are very familiar. You can probably quote scriptures. If you've been a Christian for a long time, as soon as a portion of scripture is stated, somebody can finish it very easy. The challenge is God's ways are new every morning. His word is new every single day for us.
And if we are eating and processing the word according to the way we learned it the first time, maybe 10, 20 years ago, we are missing a very vital thing that John wrote to the church of Ephesus about. You missed your first love. You see your first love is every day is a new day with Jesus. Every day is an awakening, an attitude of gratitude, of "I love you. I'm excited about today. Yeah, I might have these aches and pains. Yeah, I might have this or that." Every day is "I can't wait to go and do a little bit of reading of my Bible." I say, "What do you got for me today? What do you want my heart to share and to know with burning passion so that when I go out into the world, your word is leading and guiding me and speaking truth."
So, let's go to Ephesians 1. I'm going to read some here and I hope you'll follow along a little bit, and let me just kind of do some plugins of what I've seen, and see what goes there for you. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God to the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus. Okay. Here's my note. Now I know you're going to have controversy, and it's like, "Oh no, no, that can't be true." Well, you go check it out because this is what the Holy Spirit's showing me. An apostle. Yeah, Paul's an apostle. Guess what? If you have a calling on your life, and this doesn't necessarily make you a pastor, it doesn't make you a teacher doesn't make you an evangelist, but the five-fold ministry that Paul talks about later on has the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the pastor and the teacher.
We had a whole lot of people out there on leadership that are calling themselves pastor such and such, and such and such, but the reality is their calling is evangelizing, just getting out there and telling you the good news that Jesus is not dead. He's alive. You got teachers over here that love to go in in-depth. If your pastor doesn't know your name, you're going to a church and your pastor doesn't know your name, doesn't know your family or anything, he's not really functioning in the office of a pastor. He might be functioning in an office of an evangelist or as a good teacher, but a pastor has a shepherd's heart. So if pastors of these huge churches, thousand churches, and they've got that father's heart, that's like a thousand kids, good luck. How many wives you got in there too? Solomon went crazy over that, but that's the reason why heartfelt, real pastors, they got small congregations and they know you, but they have a father's heart that says, "I'll be at that hospital at two o'clock in the morning if you need me." They understand.
So, I say that to begin with it that we need to revisit. It's not that evangelists don't have a strong heart for leadership. We need the evangelists. We need the teachers. But an area that a lot of problems that we've had is the prophets and the apostles because for centuries, through church leaderships and seminaries and Bible colleges, they have taught the apostles and the prophets don't exist for today, that this was just New Testament at the beginning of the church, and that this was Old Testament fulfillment. That's not what Paul was talking about though because when Paul talks about it, he's talking about a five-fold ministry. So if we are functioning as a church of leadership and one we're functioning out of order, because there's pastor over here that's got a name, but he's functioning wrongly. He's neglecting his kids because he's really out doing evangelizing.
Or if we have renamed the word apostle into just church planting, okay, missionaries, that's not what it is either. It sounds good, but that's really more of an evangelist. If we remove these two, what do we have? It's really hard to grab hold with three fingers. That's a tough thing. You need the prophets, and these are prophets today, not prophets trying to make a new thing, but bringing in the finished work that's already completed, coming into the unity of what was already spoken thousands of years ago by former prophets and re-bringing it through not from a coming time, but from a finished work that was already completed. Apostles, what's the apostles doing for today? Most of them are behind the scene. A lot of them don't even have a title, had never been to a Bible school.
Oftentimes, it might be the quiet woman, little grandma figure sitting on the back row, but she sees, and she hears, and she understands things from a depth that is so, so deep. And she knows, or he knows, that speaking to it because of the position that they're holding in, they have a calling, lets it go and shoots to that mountain, that mountain issue and says, "Let there be light." In the midst of whatever limitations these others might be doing, the apostle anointing is not getting on the stage and declaring, "I'm an apostle. I'm an apostle," and everybody bowing down to him, but it's the behind-the-scenes person often that's not looking to get recognized. But when push comes to shove and you're in warfare, that apostle will go up to the forefront, lay hands and decree, "Let there be life," or decree and say, "Not on my watch. Not on my watch will you die. Not on my watch will that cancer have authority. Not on my watch will that family fall apart. Mm-mm (negative). Nope. It isn’t going to happen."
Not because of convincingness out there, but because of the agreement of one with Jesus Christ that that apostle's anointing carries. And in doing so, the apostle anointing lifts up the prophet, lifts up the evangelists, lifts up the pastors coming alongside and showing them greener grass for their sheep, and lifts up the teacher to help clean the ears a little bit more. This is what Paul is talking about here. He's not trying to elevate his self as "Whoa. Look at me. I'm one of these other guys over here." No. He's saying that there's a new beginning. There's a new understanding that the old man is dead and there's a new creation in Christ, and "I have an apostolic anointing to speak that message. I understand this message, but if this message here is not spoken, then these here are just busy out here trying to do something, but they can't really grab hold of much."
Many of you have an anointing in ministry for the body of Christ as an apostle. You find yourself writing things down. You don't know who to share it with. You get these little nuggets, little just quick things that says, "I don't know where that came from, but it has so much life to it, so much love to it. I don't even know if it's in the Bible, but I feel it so desperately in my heart, and I'm just kind of waiting for God to show me." And then somebody else will come along and say, "He showed me that too, a little bit maybe different angle, but on that same life-giving, birthing process." And now when the two of you come together, that's an apostolic anointing. And you go into what's called a Jewish Midrash where you share back and forth and saying, "Yeah, but this is a hindrance." "Well, this is kind of a hindrance because I was always taught this," or "This is a hindrance because I was always taught that."
But to help to break the hindrance, just as the two archangels on the Ark of the Covenant that they look at each other and then they look into the word, the mercy seat, and then they look at each other. And you know what they see? They see the face of God. They see the truth that's setting them free because the word is there within them, and it's speaking life. The scriptures now have flames of fire coming forth, not just printed material, but living and moving and winds flowing. This is Pentecost. This is the day of Pentecost to where your tongue becomes a flame of fire of life and love, not just speaking in a new language of an unspoken tongue, and that's for a different conversation, but it's a new language that says my natural mind doesn't understand it. That's the apostolic anointing. That's what starts the church coming together.
You see, the church is not broken in its bones. It just is not connected in the joints. But when we start connecting the joints together and we bring all of what history has said, not to unravel or de-value it or say "You got it wrong all this time," but to build upon it, build upon what all of the different denominations have been speaking and sharing throughout the generations and building upon the apostolic anointing that Peter said, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God," and that Christ in you is part of the bone of his bone and the flesh of his flesh. As Paul was saying that Jesus Christ is the head, the church is the body, the arms, the legs. This again brings about an understanding of the body of Christ that Solomon talked about in intimacy and in love. Think about that, and I'll get back with you and hopefully continue covering the book of Ephesians. God bless you. This is Dr. Audrey Drummonds again with Interior Coverings Ministry at www.icministry.org.