Another thing I would suggest. I’m sometimes reluctant to say things because if I preach them I almost always go through them. Welcome adversity. Don’t react against it. I say when something really goes wrong and seems to be going against you, embrace it. Because God is in it somewhere. He knew you needed that. I don’t see everything as the dealings of God. I believe in prosperity. I believe in abundance. But I think God knows what it takes to make us the kind of people he can trust with abundance.
We’ve really talked about two things. Number one, hearing the voice of God. Number two, praying things through before they happen. Number three, walk in your calling. You will only succeed in your calling and God won’t permit you to succeed anywhere else because he wants you where he’s called you. The beginning of this year I sat down and reexamined my own personal priorities. I’m glad I did, it was a very worthwhile thing. I don’t do that very often. But after my personal relationship with God and my wife, my next priority is the ministry of the word. That’s what God called me. I’ve tried to, in a sense, be almost apologetic for that. But there’s no need to be. Not everybody is the same. I understand what it is to shepherd people and care for them, but it’s not my primary calling. And when I really bless people the most is when I am doing what God called me to do.
I was very, very concerned at a certain time about a certain man of God who was behaving in a very unethical and wrong way. And yet was very successful in his own particular field. If I named him, as a matter of fact, everybody in the room would know the name. I’m not going to, that’s not important. And I did something I’ve never done and I haven’t done since and I don’t think I’ll ever do it again, I said, God, I want to know how you can go on blessing the ministry of a man who is so unethical in his dealings. And I’m not going to give up until I get an answer. God gave me the answer very clear. This is what he said. As long as he continues in the area of ministry which I have given him, I will bless his ministry. But one day he will have to account for his stewardship. That solved so many problems for me. The man’s ethics were not right but he was in the ministry which God had placed him. And he’s gone from success to success. And today, thank God, I can even be happy for his success. And God also showed me very plainly it wasn’t my business to supervise other people’s ministries. I’ve observed men of God, I’ve observed evangelists with powerful healing ministries. And when you’re a minister yourself you know what is going on inside the man when he is on the platform. I’ve seen them up against it. Things aren’t working, people aren’t getting healed. And I’ve heard one after another pray some kind of a prayer, God, you called me to do this, I didn’t do it of my own initiative. And if you’ve called me God, you have to stand by me. And I’ve seen that in a sense, is the ultimate in the ministry of God. God, you called me. I know when I’m doing what God called me. And I know that I have God behind me. But when I get outside, then I have problems. I may have a measure of success. I wonder how much of the success is permanent even then. I don’t believe there’s real permanence outside of the will of God.
I’ll tell you something else free for no extra charge—and it’s closely related to the subject we’ve already been dealing with. I have two major spiritual forces that I have been directed by God to make war with. One is Islam, the other is witchcraft. By the time I’ve dealt with those two I don’t need to look for anything more to handle. In neither case was the choice mine. God clearly directed me. The Bible says, “With good advice make war.” Don’t start until you know that God is the one that sent you on the expedition. It was comical because when I got into the ministry of deliverance, for a time I was very much involved in that as you know. Let me say, incidentally, I still believe everything I taught at that time. I haven’t changed. But once a year I get a letter from somewhere: “Brother Prince, somebody has told me that you’ve repented and you don’t any longer believe that way.” That is not true. I still believe in getting demons out of Christians if they’re there. Why should Christians be the only ones that can’t be delivered? I am not in that ministry in the same measure that I was.
Thank God, God has raised up many other men to do it. When I got first launched there was hardly anybody anywhere that knew what to do with a person with a demon. But at that time it was comical. I would walk into a church and I would walk past a woman and she would start to tremble. I mean, physically, visibly tremble and they would say to me, Mr. Prince, I don’t know what’s the matter with me but when you come near I start to tremble. Well I learned it was witchcraft. They had a spirit of witchcraft and there was a kind of invisible head-on clash between that spirit and me.
Now that isn’t the same today although interestingly enough in a church in Rotterdam we were doing fine, we were really having a good time of ministry and an extremely pregnant young woman came for ministry. And as I reached out my hand witchcraft reared up in her and she reached out to claw my eyes. And she was a small rather timid appearing woman but when this thing manifested itself she became like a cat with its claws out. So the men held her and the spirit came out and she became a very quiet docile type of person again. But that incident was a breakthrough in those meetings. It was at that point that a woman who had no hip joint miraculously received a hip joint. She was on her own, we weren’t praying for her, she was at the altar and she started to scream and jump up and down about two feet in the air which she could not have done before. But after that, the next fifteen persons I prayed for were delivered from witchcraft one after another just like that.
And what I’m saying is witchcraft normally will manifest itself in a woman. The word witch is a feminine word. There is a masculine which is wizard, I don’t know whether people realize wizard is the masculine of witch. But when witchcraft manifests itself or operates through a man, it’s far more powerful and does much more harm than when it’s through a woman. And I have discovered one reason why it can gain control of men. I believe when a man is successful in ministry at a certain point, God will ask that man to lay his ministry on the altar, to bring his Isaac and offer it. Isaac in a way can be compared to your ministry. Isaac was supernatural, he was God’s gift. I mean, it’s the most amazing thing that God would ask Abraham to offer up the son that he himself had given him. But that’s a principle. When God gives us something there will always come a time when we have to offer it back to God. Well, if a man does not accept God’s dealing and does not offer his ministry back, step back and say God this is your ministry, this church I’ve built, this ministry I’ve built, this worldwide outreach I’ve built, whatever it is. Not mine, it’s yours. If you want it back, there it is. Now if a man doesn’t do that, the blessing of the Spirit of God lifts.
He’ll still get many, many results. He may go on, the ministry may visibly increase but there’ll be another force that begins to work through him. And that’s the force of witchcraft because witchcraft and rebellion are twin sisters. And you’ll find there are two key words regarding witchcraft. Manipulate and dominate. Satan prefers to dominate where he can. But if he doesn’t have the power to dominate he manipulates. Two things that are never from God are domination and manipulation. And what I have observed is where you are dealing with a man who dominates and manipulates and maintains his ministry by doing that, there will be a lot of apparent results but if you analyze the fruit, there’s very little that’s permanent.
Now, let’s come back to staying within your calling. All this is related because a man can be in his calling and be successful and yet have many flaws in his character. Ultimately if the character flaws become too serious they’ll probably make it impossible for him to continue in his ministry. But you would be amazed at the kind of flaws that can be in the character of successful ministers. In the ministry of deliverance I’ve had wives of well-known ministers come to me and show me the marks of a husband’s violence on her body. And yet the man was preaching and getting tremendous results. So I’m not recommending that we don’t cultivate Christian character. What I’m saying is the lesson is the importance of being in your calling and how you can be the best good guy but out of your calling you’ll be a flop. And the harder you try the less results you’ll get. When you’re in your calling you don’t really have to try so hard. I don’t mean there won’t be tests, challenges and hard work but normally when you’re in a calling it’s not a lot of effort. When I’m doing the things I’m called to do I feel like a bird flying. When I start to be like a duck that’s running a race, to use Bob Mumford’s expression, or an eagle that’s climbing a tree, I know I’m out of my calling. Better repent quickly and get back.
Let’s look at some scriptures here. This will be the last point we’ll deal with this morning. 2 Timothy 1:9. We need to read verse 8 to get a complete sentence.
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner. But share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God. [Now we come to the sentence:] God who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
I believe that there is a principle there that God, when he saves us, also calls us. I don’t believe that God’s salvation stops short of calling us. He saves us and he calls us with a holy calling. We may not hear the call, we may not be obedient, but the call really goes with the salvation. Being saved is not static. You’re saved into a life, not into a condition. And this calling is not according to our works. It’s not the result of our effort. It’s not produced by what we can do but it’s according to God’s own purpose and grace. Two things: God’s purpose, God’s grace. And this was given us in Christ Jesus before time began. What do you say in your translation? Before time began, is it the same? Before the beginning of time. I think we need to see it that way, that our calling is from eternity. Before time began God had it planned. Therefore, it’s no good trying to go any other way because it will not work. This thing isn’t an improvisation, it’s an eternal plan.
The happy people are those who are walking in the eternal plan of God. And it was given to us in Christ. So think of those words, purpose and grace. God has a purpose for you, he has a grace for the purpose. But he doesn’t have grace for you for some other purpose. You’ve got to find his purpose to enjoy his grace.
Let’s take a look in 1 Thessalonians 5:24, a well-known scripture which I have on the wall of my study in Jerusalem.
“Faithful is he who calls you and he will also bring it to pass.”
I think that’s the NASV if I’m not mistaken. So if God has called you, he accepts responsibility for you. But only for what he’s called you to do, he will bring it to pass. In l944 when I was still a soldier in the British Army, the Lord spoke to me and said, “I’ve called thee to be a teacher of the scriptures in truth, faith and love which are in Christ Jesus for many.” And I now look back 40 years and I say faithful is He who calls you, and He will also do it. I could have never of conceived at that time the outreach that the Lord would grant to my teaching ministry. There weren’t any tape recorders, cassettes in those days. And today I look back and I can say with confidence God has enabled this ministry to reach millions. Why? Because the one who calls is faithful. Amen, he is faithful. Bear that in mind. He is faithful. You find his calling and walk in it, he will never, never let you down. But, his faithfulness is in the area of the calling. Not that he’ll abandon you or forsake you, but he cannot minister to you the grace outside of the purpose, do you understand?
Two more scriptures. 2 Peter 1:10–11.
“Therefore brethren be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble. For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
We will not look into what’s gone before but Peter has sketched out a course of Christian development and he says in the light of that be diligent to make your calling and election sure. What God chose you for, what God called you to do, be diligent about it. I think that’s very, very important. I think I can say and hope without boasting, when God called me to be a teacher to scripture, my attitude toward my calling was like that of an athlete towards a contest. It has been ever since to this day. I have devoted everything I have and know to cultivating the ability to teach scripture. Strangely enough, some of you may have heard me say this, but I was inspired by a ballerina who was a friend of mine in the old days before I knew the Lord and who has become, I suppose, the most famous ballerina of this century, that’s Margot Fontaine. I knew her, I think, when she was sixteen, a snowflake in the Nutcracker Suite. And I have to say God gave me some discernment because I knew from that day she was something special. We were very close friends for a time. We still maintain contact. And I knew the other main female dancers in that ballet company at the time which was then became the royal opera, et cetera. And I know why Margot got where she did because she lived, for one thing, dancing. Everything she did, the books she read, the food she ate, the exercise she took or didn’t take—ballet dancers can’t afford to do much swimming because it develops the wrong muscles— everything was devoted to being the best ballerina she could be. She became and passed it.
Strangely enough, when God called me to be a teacher I thought of Margot. I thought, I’m going to give to teaching what she gave to dancing. I really believe I can say before God I’ve done that for 40 years. I’m very careful what I let into my mind because I’m the kind of person if it gets into my mind it’s going to get out of my mouth. I guard my mind jealously. I don’t let superfluous, unnecessary things get in there.
Let me give you one final scripture which is very, very brief. Exodus 23:31, and I’m only going to quote the NASV. It’s just about four words. God says to Israel before he brought them into the Promised Land:
“I will fix your boundaries.”
God spoke to me last summer, I need that. I need that. God, fix my boundaries. Show me where my limits are. Show me my area and don’t let me get outside of it. God gave Israel total success while they moved in his will within the boundary. But when they got outside of the boundary, nothing happened.
Take Heed Introduction
Take Heed Introduction (Author: )
Take Heed To Yourselves Homepage
Take Heed To Yourselves Homepage (Author: )
Hearing the Voice of God
Hearing the Voice of God (Author: )
Praying Things Through Before They Happen
Praying Things Through Before They Happen (Author: )
Recap and Introduction to Remaining Keys
Recap and Introduction to Remaining Keys (Author: )
Being Thankful (Author: )
Let God Choose for You
Let God Choose for You (Author: )
Rest in Inheritance
Rest in Inheritance (Author: )
Don't Sell Your Birthright
Don't Sell Your Birthright (Author: )