2 Timothy 2:3-4, "You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
Shortly before I was scheduled to leave for a weeklong missions trip, a trip that had been planned months in advance with the pastors of many churches bringing their congregations together under one roof to hear the word of God, one of the staff members here in Wisconsin reminded me offhandedly that we would soon be celebrating twenty five years since Hand of Help's inception.
A quarter of a century is a long time no matter how you slice it, or what angle it is viewed from. To be honest, I was not in what one might call a celebratory frame of mind. In these twenty five years I have laid to their final rest a grandmother, a grandfather, and a mother, I have known betrayal at the hands of men I considered brothers in Christ and friends fueled by something as unoriginal and despicable as greed, I have preached messages few wanted to hear, and have been despised for my stubborn unwillingness to compromise the word of God.
Throughout the entirety of the mission trip, one question kept nagging at me, always somewhere in the back of my mind. Even though the trip turned out to be an encouraging and reenergizing blessing, and I saw hunger in the hearts of the people for the truth of God's word, feeling the presence of God in a deep and powerful way, I took no pleasure in the thousand plus crowds or their hearty applause. This one question kept echoing in my ears, and as yet I had received no answer. The question was simple: Is there still a need for a prophetic warning ministry once a nation has entered the season of fulfillment?
To me, a warning is a counsel or admonition to desist from a specified undesirable course of action. When someone is warned, that which they are warned against is avoidable. Take for instance the 'reduce speed, winding road ahead' signs. One is warned to reduce their speed, due to the fact that tight curves are just ahead, but if they refuse to heed the warning, then they will suffer the consequences of their actions. I believe God has stopped warning for some time now, due to this nation's unwillingness to heed His warnings. His judgments are no longer avoidable, and the fulfillment of what has been spoken is visible even to those with no prophetic background.
I arrived back home after the weeklong tour, and still the initial thought would not leave. As I began to further ponder this question, I began thinking to myself that maybe this was God's way of telling me I in fact could go back to my homeland, that I had done my duty, I had fulfilled my mission, I had preached, I had warned, I had shared the dreams and visions, and now I was free to have a normal life, to spend time with my wife, have some children, maybe even buy a dog.
One thing that those who know me have grown to understand is that I am not in ministry to get rich or famous, to build a kingdom on earth or have my own face staring back at me from a bookstore shelf. I am in ministry out of obedience to God, and will not be in it one day longer than God desires me to be. Obedience keeps me; it's just that simple.
Two days after arriving home I had pretty much talked myself into believing that I had received my release to move back home. Since I was flying back for Christmas, to be with the family, I began thinking 'why not just stay? Twenty five years is a long time, no one could blame you if you stayed.'
That same night I had a dream. I dreamt I was standing at the edge of a cliff, overlooking a valley that stretched out below me. Although it was night, the valley was not dark due to the dozens of fires that were burning all around the valley. Large white tents peppered the valley floor, and men dressed in white were hurriedly preparing. Some were sharpening swords, others were polishing shields, but the selfsame look of purpose and determination was evident in the countenance of every one.
As I continued watching I was startled when a hand touched my shoulder. I turned and stood face to face with the same man I had seen in my dreams on previous occasions.
"What do you think they are doing down there? he asked pointing toward the valley and the men.
"It looks like they're preparing for a war, I said gazing back at the valley.
"And what do you call a soldier that flees the battlefield on the eve of battle?
"A deserter, I said.
"A deserter he echoed. "Why would the Father train and equip you for the coming battle only to release you as the battle is about to begin? You think this is the end but it is not. The need for light is multiplied as the darkness grows, not diminished; the need for truth becomes more necessary as deception consumes the innocent, not less relevant. In these dark hours the children of light must shine, in these evil days the truth must be proclaimed with boldness. You can choose to flee, but it is not the Father's will. You can stay and fight, and thus receive your just reward. The world has tainted many who ought to have stayed pure, and many have defiled themselves who ought to have remained undefiled. They have gorged themselves on Nebuchadnezzar's delicacies, thereby disqualifying themselves from being used in these days. The hosts of heaven stand ready even now to do battle on behalf of the righteous. Do not fear the coming days for they have been foretold. Walk in the authority that has been given you, and do your duty as a faithful soldier ought to.
As the man finished speaking, I opened my eyes and was surprised to discover I was in my bed.
Some may wonder why I share this dream, because well, it is not very flattering. In fact I got taken to the proverbial woodshed as the saying goes, but lest we forget the Lord chastens those He loves, and I am ever thankful that He loves me, and suffers my frailty.
I do not know how, but I know that God will make a way. The need for truth is evident. Not my truth, but God's truth, not the truth of any particular denomination, but the truth of God's Holy Word.
As human beings, men and women made of flesh and bone, we make plans, we have hopes and we envision a certain kind of future, but all our hopes and dreams, all our plans must be surrendered, in perfect harmony with the will of God for only in His will are peace, joy and comfort abundant and ever present.
We are on the precipice of volatile and troubling times, witnessing a rapidly changing world. There is a great upheaval coming in the spiritual, just as in the physical, and God will sift those who call themselves His children first and foremost, separating that which is righteous from that which is defiled. We must stand in the righteousness of God, having His Word as our standard and our foundation that we might not be swayed by the winds, or uprooted by the storms. In order to overcome one must face conflict and not flinch from battle, but an unprepared soldier whose armor is not on, and whose weapons are unknown to him, is easily overtaken by an enemy whose bloodlust knows no bounds. Our faith and obedience will carry us through the darkest of nights, because when faith and obedience are present the light of God shines brighter than the sun, dispelling the darkness.
Romans 16:19-20 "For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.