Lola and Buford Crossroad, true worshippers of GOD, raised three sons Robert, Brian and James. Robert, 47, is a fit man of average height with a booming voice and a great sense of humor. James, 43, is tall and muscular with an engaging personality. He has a confident stride. Brian, 40, is slightly pudgy with a melancholy disposition. He walks with a pronounced hesitancy.
Lola, a stocky dark-haired firebrand, and her husband, a gentle giant, faithfully served GOD. The family had membership at Refuge Tabernacle, a church body that practiced Mark 3:15, “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Before Lola and Buford went to be with the Lord, they were blessed to see each of their sons accept Christ as Saviour. They were further comforted that each son had made a wise career choice. Robert, a deeply anointed man of God, became, to his parents’ delight, a pastor - first at Refuge Tabernacle and then at Love Joy House of Worship, the church that he and his wife, Rose, formed. His wife affectionately calls him “Preach.” James became a media technician on full time staff at Refuge Tabernacle while Brian became office manager there. Both James and Brian sing in the choir at the family church, as well.
Over the years, Refuge Tabernacle changed considerably. It went from being a fire to a dim burner. By that time, Lola and Buford had passed on to be with the Lord.
Robert is becoming concerned about his brothers, both of whom are carnal Christians. He confides in Rose about his feelings.
“Brian and James work at Refuge and sing in the choir. Neither one of them is devoted to GOD. The Lord revealed to me that they have provoked Him to wrath.”
Robert continues, “Brian smokes, plays the lottery, and spends ungodly time with sinners. James drinks beer and is clubbing on most weekends.”
“Are you wondering how long they will continue before the Lord comes against them about their disregard of His Word, and His holiness?”
Robert exhales, and sadly answers “Yes.”
Robert goes on, “They accepted Christ many years ago – they know better. It appears that they do not believe that mocking GOD will result in painful consequences.”
Rose kisses Robert on the cheek. “Preach, we will keep them in prayer and trust GOD to do what is necessary for His glory.”
Robert squeezes his wife’s hand. He forces a smile and nods.
Meanwhile, for Sunday service at Refuge Tabernacle, Pastor (no anointing) Philips selects Brian to open the service with prayer. Brian prays but his compromising lifestyle renders his prayer powerless.
“Dear God, thank you for waking us up this morning. Thank you for our jobs and families. Thank you for blessings and favors. Thank you for your love. Amen.”
When he finishes, congregants there in the Holy Ghost realm, know why Brian’s prayer has no power. It was a selfish weak prayer with no mentioned content from the Holy Bible. Brian is not anointed – he has no holy authority – and no power from GOD. Why? because he is not a true worshipper of GOD. GOD delights in the prayers of the righteous and the effectual prayers of the righteous avail much. The Word of GOD states in Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”
Stephen, a deeply spiritual man, and one of the main soloists in the choir has just recently returned from three years of military service. Much has changed at Refuge but Stephen is more spiritually fervent since his return. The Lord leads him to sing, “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Stephen is so heavily anointed as he sings that people weep and go into high worship of GOD. There is no altar call yet people are rushing to the altar. Some drop to their knees while others prostrate themselves in holy humility. Healings are being performed by the anointing that is heavily present. Drug addicts are saved as are alcoholics, gamblers, and prostitutes. Business men in expensive suits lay prostrate at the altar while the once lame run without aid. Tumors shrink – lumps disappear – despair lifts –Oh GOD! – the yokes are destroyed because of the anointing – Isaiah 10:27!!!
Pastor (no anointing) Philips does not know how to respond. He is unable to partake of the anointed flow because he is in rebellion which is as the sin of witchcraft
I Samuel 15:23. He sits there.
The Holy Ghost continues to have His way. Later…James gets up to sing his solo. No anointing accompanies him – no holy authority – no holy power. He is seized with sorrow as he knows why his solo has no impact or spiritual significance. The Lord jolted James through what occurred after Stephen’s solo. James drops to his knees in repentance. His body heaves with sobs. Eventually, he stumbles to his feet. Stephen steps out and lays hands on James. The Holy Ghost takes James down where he lays under GOD’s power.
Pastor (no anointing) Philips preaches a short self-absorbed sermon that does little to affect the congregants.
The closing prayer is done by Stephen’s wife, Leslie.
“Awesome Father GOD, You are the most High in all of Your ways. Truly, You rule in the kingdom of men. From everlasting to everlasting, You are GOD. We thank you, Lord, that Your Holy Ghost fire fell here today in our midst (she pauses to lift her arms in praise). Bless Your holy name. Lord, You alone are worthy of our praise (throughout the church, hands are raised in worship). Your name alone is
JEHOVAH – glory to GOD. We are commanded to be holy as You are holy. Forgive us our sins and transgressions. Father, lead and guide us in Your ways (congregants utter, “Yes Lord.”). Teach us, daily, Your precepts, and help us to steadfastly conform to Your image, in Jesus’ name – Amen.”
Brian does not comprehend that the Lord has showed up in magnificent splendor! He does not get it. On his way to the church exit, he feels compelled to look to his right. Seated there, with tears streaming down his face, is his brother Robert. Brian is not ready – he hastily rushes out the door. Robert lifts his hands to GOD in thanksgiving. He has faith that Brian, one day, will be ready.
Robert gets up. James spots him. The brothers walk toward each other, and heartily embrace.