JOHN: Okay. Jesus made a statement. He’s speaking to the “11.” Judas has already gone to betray Him. These are the eleven closest men to Him on the face of the earth. These have been His very best friends. Jesus is allowed to have friends, you know that, right? Okay. So Jesus looks at these guys after Judas leaves. And He says “No longer do I call you servants.” Now the fact that He says no longer do I call you servants means at one time they were looked at and merely regarded as servants. That’s not a revelation, that’s a grammar lesson. Okay? Why does God do that with us? Why is there a time in our walk with Him that even though we’re an “heir” He treats us as a servant? Remember Galatians 4:1 “As long the heir is a child he differs nothing from the servant.” Why? Now listen, this is so important that you understand this. Why is there a time when even though we are an heir God has to treat us as a servant? Can I tell you why? To protect us. Because He loves us so much. He doesn’t want happening to us what happened to Ananias and Sapphira. Okay, let me give you an example that’s really weak but it works, okay? We worked for two very large ministries, worldwide ministries back in the 1980’s. One had a staff of 450 people, the other one had a staff of 150 people. When we were launched into our own ministry in 1990 I came up with a new concept of leadership. Every employee’s going to be my best friend. So some of you already know the stupidity of that wisdom. Okay. So I hired our first guy on. His name was John. And I employed my new strategy. He’s my best buddy. So we’re playing basketball, we would even watch videos, he’d hang out at the house constantly, he’d eat dinner with us all the time, bestÖ the guy was great the first year, until I had to bring some minor correction to him. Because at our resource table he was treating people kinda rude. And so I sat him down after a year and I said, John, listen, these are God’s people. We love them. I don’t want you to be unapproachable at the table. I want you to smile more, I want you to help them. And he looks back at me, no kidding, and he points his finger at me and he starts railing on me. Well you’re this and you’re that and you’re this. And I’m sitting there going, “Ho, my, my.” So I immediately look inside, I said Lord, what do I do? And the Lord said, “Fire him.” So I let him completely vent. And when he’s done venting, I said, “Well you can’t work for Messenger International anymore. I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Well he storms out. He’s mad. And I start crying “cause I really cared about the guy. Now I’m crying and the Holy Spirit speaks to me and says, “He will be back working for you and he will be twice as faithful.” So three months go by, I haven’t heard a peep from him, don’t know what’s going on in his life, I have no idea. And I get a phone call from him. He says, John, this is John. He said for the (laughter). He said for the last, for the, for the last three months God has dealt with me and really spoken to me like He’s never spoken to me before. He said, John, I lost sight of the place God had put you in my life. I lost sight of the place God had placed me in your life. He said I started treating you as common and ordinary. He said I did the same thing with Lisa and he said God has really dealt with me. And he said I am just calling to tell you I am so sorry. I really, really misunderstood and lost sight of who you were in my life. I said John, I forgive you. Well I talked a few more minutes. I said would you, would you come back and work for us? He said “Absolutely!” He came back and worked for us, we never had problems with him in that area again. Now 24 years later I have a new policy. I have 30 employees, right? My policy now is I will not share intimate things of my life with any of my employees until I know first of all they’re very established in who God made them to be in my life and Lisa’s life and until, well they’re very established in who I am in their life and they’re very established in who they are in my life. Right? Are you with me? Because I don’t want to destroy, and I don’t do this because I’m scared to reveal my heart to my employees. I don’t want to destroy them like I almost destroyed that young man. But once I know an employee of ours, a team member of ours is very established in who I am, and very established in who they are, I’ll bring ‘em in. Some of my employees are my closest friends. Okay? So this is what God says to us: He says until you’re very established in who you are before Me, and very established in who I am before you, I got toa keep you at a servant level even though you’re an heir because I don’t want happening to you what happened to Ananias and Sapphira. But once you’re established in who I am in your life and who you are in my life, the fear of the Lord, I can bring you in as a close friend. Are you seeing this?
AUDIENCE: Yeah. (APPLAUSE)