May you be strengthened in your faith unto God, and be powerful witnesses filled with His compassion!
Revelation 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
Different houses of prayer leaders recently met together last week in Brea to raise some of the issues that some have noticed within the community. Some of these questions were raised within the context of understanding that there was one Levitical priestly tribe out of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Levites were called to minister unto the Lord. Their ministry is likened to the houses of prayer today who acts as priests through Jesus Christ that will stand on behalf of the people asking for God’s mercy for the land and for God to heal His people that would usher in the outpouring of God’s Spirit (Acts 2:17, 18; Joel 2). Some of the questions raised were, “Why is it that the business people don’t feel connected to the house of prayer? What does the model look like for those with career? What does it look like for everyone else but they are called to work?” Some of our leaders, David Wiltfong, Joshua, and I talked about it afterward, and these are some of our inputs.
David and Joshua brought up the need to integrate and empower the business people. David believes that some of that includes how language needs to change first. Some of it deals with our definitions of ministry and recognition that everyone needs each other. Even among the feasts, the Levites were among the other Israelites in the community. There needs to be a greater emphasis on community for the others to feel and experience the integration of the calling. Joshua also added that business is still a branch of the church. None of that is separate from the church or house of prayer. One way to help with connectedness is by empowering the business leaders to teach and equip within the community about kingdom business.
For us to be able to better integrate people within business to the house of prayer, we need to recognize that they are part of the house of prayer. Identity transformation through Jesus and empowerment of the people is crucial for integrating those called to work in other arenas of life. Since a lot of the ideologies for the tabernacle of David stemmed from what king David did in his time with erecting prophetic singers and placing ministers before God, we need to look at some of the defining moments in his life during that time. One of them included when he wore the linen ephod given to Levites even though he was a king. He was taking onto his identity as a priest and king. There were two prophetic realities that are given to believers through Christ as well from that which we can see in Scriptures that we are also called to be a king and priest. The Scriptures call us a royal priesthood. Even though there was a main function of the priest to minister before God and the people – we should also notice that the Levites were called to teach the difference between the holy and unholy and command God through their prayers (Isaiah 45:11; which are similar to kings – even through the example of apostle Paul’s life, we can see that we are also called to walk out other areas of Christ’s identities that He has given to us.
We can take on several functions as part of our identity in Christ. Paul was called an apostle, but he was also strong in his gifts to teach, shepherd, evangelize, and prophesy to edify the Church in love. Phillip was called an apostle in Matthew 10:3 and evangelist in Acts 21:8. Also, today, everyone in Christ can act in our priestly call even though we may not be called primarily into it. I believe the Levites’ separation in their function from the people was suppose to represent several strong points for everyone in Christ: we are God’s inheritance, God should be our greatest inheritance and possession, and we are sustained through faith in Him.
The word, “house of prayer,” is interchangeable with the word “church” and “temple.” You can see that when Jesus overturned the tables in the temple while calling it a house of prayer (Matthew 21:13). This happened another time when Jesus said to Peter that on His Rock, He will build His church (Matthew 16:18). The Church is the body of Christ, and we are His temple (2 Cor. 6:16).
Another definition that needs to be changed is our definition of ministry and work. We are all called to be ministers of Christ (Ex: we are called ambassadors of God from 2 Cor. 5:20, He has made us sufficient ministers of the gospel from 2 Cor. 3:5-6, etc.). Ezekiel 44:14 called the Levites who ministered in the temple workers, and Jesus also referenced that a laborer is worthy of his wages in Luke 10:7.
I would also address that there needs to be a bigger vision that we should do all things unto God wherever we are in different spheres of influence. Jesus called His ministry while in the temple a business before His Father (“I must be about my Father’s business” in Luke 2:49), so we also need to be careful to not differentiate in our language but empower the others in the Body of Christ the calling God has given to all of us.
Overall, there are several things we can do to help steward the people within the Body of Christ to walk out their callings and integrate them more with the houses of prayers. Begin to address them as ministers or houses of prayer, empower the business leaders by exhorting them to bring the kingdom of God into their businesses and to teach the Church (a great example is Dani Johnson), and be intentional about community or relationships.