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Kings – See the Big Picture
February 14, 2005 Hi

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Kings – See the Big Picture

When we allow ourselves to pursue our heart’s desire and dream of the great things God has for us, we set ourselves up.  Ultimately we set ourselves up for great victories and great joy.  But there is a need for faith that goes beyond our natural abilities (way beyond) and a need to do the work and stand up to the warfare that goes with expanding the Kingdom.  The real reason many “pass” on exploring their heart’s desire is the fear of disappointment.  I want to explore a few of those emotions because we’re feeling them in this season.  As the bow is being drawn back to release the arrow toward its target… many are just feeling the sense of going backward.

Jonah was a prophet great used of God. But, he was also a man that had some natural reactions working through his relationship with God.

Feeling like a loser

– Have you ever felt that things are going so wrong, so consistently that their must be a big target painted on you somewhere.  Jonah volunteered to get thrown into the ocean because he was responsible for a storm that threatened the life of the crew.

The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”  “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” Jonah 1:11-12

Jonah “felt targeted” by God.  In this case he was!  Ever felt targeted?  Once you decide to be a King and pursue the plan of God the enemy will target you. You win in the end but the feeling is still there and in some seasons the setbacks will be too.

Mad at God

– Jonah apparently held the classic view of God where he believed just enough in predestination that he wouldn’t allow God to change His mind.  The Lord asked Jonah to prophesy a 40 day fuse on the destruction of the city… the people took the message to heart, fasted and repented… and God, “had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.” (Jonah 3:10)

Now we find out why Jonah ran from God in the first place – he was mad at God!

But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry.  He prayed to the LORD, “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.  Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”  But the LORD replied, “Have you any right to be angry?” Jonah 4:1-4

Jonah saw his prophetic ministry as more important that the city of Nineveh!  He didn’t want God to tamper with his prophecy and was willing to dispense with 120,000 lives to be right.

Losing the desire to live

– When your dreams get trashed or delayed the sparkle in your eye also begins to wane and the progression can go all the way to asking the Lord to take you home if your ministry isn’t going to come to fruition.  Life isn’t worth living without a dream.  Although God had mercy on Nineveh, Jonah sat on a hill waiting to watch the destruction that wasn’t going to come.  The Lord grew a vine to shade Jonah (Jonah is happy) and then withered it later in the day (Jonah is mad and ready to die again).  Here’s God’s answer:

But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?”  “I do,” he said. “I am angry enough to die.”  10 But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” Jonah 4:9-11

Jonah held the quality of his prophetic ministry in higher esteem than the plan God had for Nineveh. God loves two things more than my ministry.  He loves people that aren’t saved yet, and he loves the church.  He loves me too… In fact he loves you and I enough to give us ministries that bless people.  As Kings, we are extensions of his love for cities like Nineveh and His church.  If we get too myopic in measuring the success or failure of our personal ministries, we may start Jonah’s progression of feeling like a loser, mad at God, and wishing we could just check out and go to heaven.  Want to know a secret.  Many believers have been angry enough to die and God gave them their request.

Mad at God? (Cause and effect)

– Jonah was mad at God because God changed a prophecy and a vine. The first chapter reads like Jonah had several prior disappointments with God or he would not have “run” in the first place.  Like Jonah, when our theology causes us to believe that God can’t change his mind we’ll get mad at him too. God sovereignly controls certain events in the future but not all events. When he saw Nineveh’s reaction to Jonah’s prophecy he decided to forgive them.

When we say to ourselves, “God is in control,” he’s not trying to control of everything. If we believe God has predestined the details of our lives and ministry, we can’t avoid blaming him if something bad happens. Quite frankly, most of us have been taught that God is sovereign and does control or predestine our lives according to a scripted plan. He does have a general plan, but he allows us to participate in shaping the details. Our decisions and prayer really do change the plan and the way God interacts with us.  “God controls all” is just not Biblical theology and it will lead you to be angry when you see bad things happen. We recommend “Who Is God” by Harold Eberle for a thorough treatment of the theology of God’s nature. It will put the smorgasbord of conflicting theology we’ve collected over the years back in order.

Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them-do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no!  Luke 13:4-5

Choose life! You win in the end – prophetically you start winning in 2005. God will show you a way.  Your dreams and the big picture of God’s plan really do come together.  That’s the foundation for co-laboring with Christ.  The “Big Picture” is that we serve a big God; Powerful and wise enough to draw our dreams and his will on the same portrait. Don’t give up your dream – do allow God to lead you – through every circumstance.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28


John & Harold

Conference in Holland

March 28 – April 5

Harold has made ministry trips to the Netherlands for the last few years. When Releasing Kings came out they wanted to translate the book into their native Dutch language. So It’s natural that this trip have a Marketplace Ministry theme. One of the seminars has a Dutch web site at  Please Keep this trip in prayer. We’re expecting God to do great things on the international scene… Sue and Linda are both going as well.

Here’s the tentative schedule.

March 30th     19.30 hrs. meeting in Anna Palona Church

April 2nd          Releasing Kings / Marketplace  WHOLE day SEMINAR  in Almere

April 3rd.         Ministering in Churches

Morning: Pinkstergemeente Almere with Pastor Ton Verdam

Afternoon: Rafael-gemeenschap with Pastor F. Obdam

April 4th.          Marketplace  Seminar BELGIUM

Progress – Kingly Bio’s are Up

We’ve completed the first round of interviews with Kings.  These are real people that have been blessed by God in the Market Place and have hearts for ministry.  Check it out at  If you have a success story, we’d like to post it by giving you a web page on our site.

Progress – A Teacher’s Guide

We’ve completed the first version of a study guide that targets those teaching the material in Releasing Kings.  It includes a page of notes on each chapter, all the graphics suitable to make overheads, and a PDF file of the book with the key points highlighted that includes marginal notes, comments, and questions.  This material is available for purchase on the teacher’s guide page of the web.


Friends Tell Friends

Harold and I have both been hesitant to “market” this book… sounds self-serving.  Here’s the “grassroots” reality.  God has given us a great tool to communicate a message that sets people free in an amazing, contagious, life-changing way.  If you haven’t read it – get it.  If you have read it – give it.

We’ve gotten a ton of positive feedback on the newsletter too… get it, give it.  Reloading Seniors was powerful.  Pass the link on.

PS: don’t forget to look at the free reports – show your pastor the article on marketplace ministry from the pastor’s perspective.  You can simply email him this link or print a copy to give him.


You can get your copy of Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace at

1-800-308-5837 (or)

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