THE RIVER FLOWS TO THE LOWEST PLACES

THE RIVER FLOWS TO THE LOWEST PLACES

By Heidi Baker

People will often give me expensive rings. So with great joy, I take these sparkly rings and slip them on the withered, wrinkled hands of the poor—those stricken with leprosy and disease. These poor women are finally getting married, and I slide the rings on their fingers, thinking, "This is God's upside-down kingdom."

God has told me that I could always pray for one thing: to expand our hearts to love more.

One day Jesus showed me a vision. He said, “I want to take you up the mountain to a low place because the river flows to the low places.” If you are in a low place and not concerned about your position, whatever trickling presence of God is in the room, you will be low enough to receive it. First Peter 5:5 says, “‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (NKJV). Perhaps we must be low enough to live in God’s glory love.
 
You should want to be immersed in, and live inside, the very heart of God. From there, all fruitfulness flows. In Ezekiel 47, one of my favorite passages, we read that the trees planted by the river bear fruit 12 months of the year. True apostolic ministry only flows from being immersed in the presence of God. This creates continuous supernatural fruitfulness.
 
I am not sure that I completely understand the whole “apostolic ministry” thing. However, I have heard a good friend of mine named Randy Clark speak about apostolic authority and being sent-out ones. When Randy preached, it seemed that the Holy Spirit stood me up on my head. I like to be low, not high. I like to be hidden under the wings of the Lord, away from the gaze of man. I am not into standing on my head in front of thousands of people.
 
I was so thankful I had on my trousers. It felt as through I was thrown from my head onto my back time after time by the awesome power of God. It was as though I was bruised from head to toe. And I was completely humbled!
 
God spoke to me through this and said, “Apostolic is upside down.” Unlike how people are often trying to exalt themselves, the apostolic is the lowest place. Apostolic is the place of laid-down love where we become possessed with the nature of the man Christ Jesus to become the servant of all.
 
This is God’s desire for ministry: humility. In humility, Jesus became nothing. Even though He knew that He had rights to everything. He chose to stand mute before His accusers. Jesus constrained Himself to the will of the Father. He robed Himself in meekness.
 
Humility is considering others before you consider yourself. It is when you give way to and prefer the crippled man, the blind lady begging at your door, the arrogant preacher, or the one who cuts into the line in front of you. We are to do nothing out of selfish ambition. This does not mean that you never look out for your own interests. Rather, this means to look first at the interests of others. You think, see, hear and feel as you look around you. You stop, you listen, and you consider the interests of others before you consider yourself.
 
What was Jesus’ attitude? It was the very nature of God. He did not consider equality something to be grasped. Jesus knew who He was at all times. A true son knows who he is because he has heard the voice of his father, and Jesus heard His Father as a “voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’” (Matt. 3:17, NIV).
 
A true son knows he has access to all that his father has. In the parable of the prodigal son, the father says, "My son … you are always with me, and everything I have is yours" (Luke 15:31). It is not about proving something to someone. It is about becoming like Him in nature. Jesus freely gave Himself away for love’s sake, and He invites us to do the same.
 
In Philippians 2, Paul exhorts us to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. None of us should want to build our own ministries—that is the opposite of what God called us to. We are called in love and meekness to establish God’s kingdom on earth.
 
Adapted from Compelled By Love by Heidi Baker, copyright 2008, published by Charisma House. This book gives you a glimpse of the reality of how God’s kingdom operates on earth through His compelling love.

5 comments (Add your own)

1. Michael Daub wrote:
Earlier this year I had the privilege of spending a week at the Iris Ministry base in Zimpeto, Mozambique, established by Rolland and Heidi Baker. During my stay I was treated with the greatest respect by the full time missionaries and local pastors. The Zimpeto campus is also home to 400 orphans, taken from the street in Maputo and surrounding villages. All of these leaders and support staff serve under the direction of Heidi Baker. I can testify, all of them are living this message, espoused by Dr. Baker. (Yes, Heidi Baker has an earned PhD, in systematic theology).

While Heidi Baker may say she does not understand the "apostolic thing", they certainly are living it. To date they have planted and now oversee 7000+ churches and are training missionaries to go out to more and more countries. While I was a guest at their conference, I met Iris Missionaries, from the Sudan, Congo, Malawi, South Africa,and Brazil. All have been trained by Iris Ministries in this ethic of humility and laid down love.

My hope is to soon see all of us not only understanding the apostolic ministry, but also to be working together to reach the nations for the kingdom of God. That is why I am a part of the Apostles Theological Seminary. To do this we must come to a unified understanding of the revelation given by Jesus to His original apostles and to demonstrate its power. This is possible. We can do this. Let's Preach the Kingdom, Demonstrate the Power, and Live in His Glory.

Michael Daub
VP Apostles Theological Seminary

Sun, September 21, 2008 @ 9:36 PM

2. Robert Totman wrote:
Wow! Great article. I clicked on the title thinking of the circumstances in which my wife and I live with our four children. I thought, "This sounds right and should be encouraging - the river is flowing here."

The article is right on. I kept thinking of 1 Cor. 4:1 as I read it, "Let a man so account of us, as the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God." According to Strong's Concordance that word "ministers" is a derivative of "to row" and refers to an underoarsman - the lowliest of slaves at the bottom of a ship [in that day]. In our God's paradoxical nature, to receive the highest revelation and understanding is to be positioned in the most humble position, bearing great responsibility and expectation.

I was indeed encouraged by the article; the words caressed my soul and the accurate principle lifted my spirit into a fresh realm of service.

In Jesus' Name,
Robert S. Totman

Mon, November 3, 2008 @ 5:50 PM

3. Yuni wrote:
Perhaps that would be a fair conclusion duinrg the first years following Pentecost. However, we see Paul involved in much edifying and remedial work among the young churches. He aptly defined himself as a wise master builder, an architect. Apostles not only plant the kingdom, they were appointed first in order in the church, and are also parts of the foundation, along with prophets. Bottom line, apostles like everyone else are known by their fruit:Apostles are to father sons who learn how to look to God as their Father. “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.” If we disciple them to ourselves they will look like us. If we disciple them to Him, they will have His image.While all discipling relationships are to be unto life in the Spirit, some take on the specific purpose of multiplying apostolicity through modeling and impartation.Apostles are used to coordinate other gifts and anointing. After two seasons in China, it was evident that they were abundantly blessed with apostolic ministry, and virtually void of the prophetic gifting/anointing. Through counsel, we commended a prophetic husband/wife team to them, who served them well in years that followed. Apostles serve in maturing kingdom-focused, incarnational, and missional churches having a balance of equipping ministries, discipling believers, raising, releasing, and sending workers, biblically ordered by the Holy Spirit’s direction, and prioritizing the church in the city/region.

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