I just returned from a trip to Eagle Pass, Texas which is right on the Mexican border. Our services were outstanding in
every way. There was a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit. When I returned to my church here in Oklahoma I shared
with our church family what happened there. The question was raised, “Why don’t we see outpourings like this in our
American churches?” I have pondered this question for years because I am usually faced with this when I return from
ministering in a foreign country. It seems the anointing is much stronger “somewhere else” than right at home.
Here are some of my thoughts on this problem:
1) EXPECTANCY. There seems to be a very high level of expectancy in people when someone from afar comes to visit. I call
this the “minister from afar” concept. Essentially, there is the sense that if someone comes from such a long distance to
minister that surely God sent him and therefore they expect God to do mighty things. God will never disappoint when faith
is present, so He indeed does move by His Spirit in a dynamic way in response to His people’s faith. This truth is born out
several times in the ministry of Jesus when He tells people that it is their faith that has created the miracle they received.
2) FAMILIARITY. Jesus faced strong disbelief from His own brothers and sisters who found it almost impossible to believe
He was Messiah. Why? Because of familiarity. Familiarity is the closeness that people within a family unit feel to each other,
and it can certainly undermine one’s ability to reach those closest to him. The truth is the anointing on the man of God does
not change from one venue to the next, but the responses and perception in those he is sent to touch for the Lord can be
skewed because they know him personally and have knowledge of his human flaws. Even the cadence of his speech tends
to make what he says "not special." In this they fail to fully understand how the anointing works. The anointing of the Holy
Spirit is His grace upon the servant of God to elevate him above his own humanity in order to carry out His plans. It is the
divine enablement given by God to fulfill His calling on his life.
3) SEPARATION. Perhaps in the mind of the servant of God there is a difference in the manner in which he approaches
ministry when he is on foreign soil. We probably tend to seek God more in a strong environment. This is so because there
are fewer natural supports available to him when he is somewhere other than his own familiar surroundings. When I am
with those who love me and from whom I can sense their intercession for me, I “feel” better. Separation from what is
familiar to the man of God has an impact on the intensity of his seeking God for successful and fruitful ministry.
4) THE “GOD FACTOR.” The ways of God are certainly higher than ours, as we know from Scripture. It may be that He places
His servants in strange settings so they cannot lean on the natural supports that are in place there. Time and again in the
Bible we see Him move His chosen servants into arenas of ministry that were foreign to them. (Abraham, Moses, Paul,
Phillip) This concept is the other side to the coin of the “Separation” in the preceding paragraph. The greater the level of
faith at any given point in time the greater is the fruit that is produced from it; therefore, I can easily see the Lord move His
servants into places where they seek Him fully, trusting in His care and relying upon His anointing in them to fulfill His work
5) RELIGION. The Church in the United States, whether we want to admit it or not, is hindered by a religious spirit. I am
saddened to even admit this is so in our so called "Spirit-filled" churches, at least to some degree. Such enemies as
complacency, misguided affections, self-seeking, and traditions of men are like chains around the neck of the Church and
these hinder the move of the Spirit in our worship services. We are holding to a form of godliness but this does not
achieve the will of God and the power of His Spirit in supernatural ways. We must not fall into the pit of simply running after
signs and wonders and miracles, for this too is another form of religion that detracts from our seeking Jesus Himself.
These supernatural manifestations are the bi-products of the presence of God, they are not to be our goals.
The results from this brief study are twofold. First, the minister himself must never allow his setting of ministry to dictate
how he approaches his sacred task. He must give himself fully to the leading of the Spirit of God at all times and he must
seek Him intently whether he is among his kin or on foreign soil. Nothing around him should be allowed to impact his
Kingdom work in the slightest. Secondly, the people who sit at the feet of the man of God should always be receptive to the
anointing of the Holy Spirit. They must always expect God to move powerfully regardless of who stands in the pulpit. Since
Jesus is in their midst, there should be strong faith present which moves them upward into the realm of high expectancy.
Jesus will not disappoint them.
The Lord Jesus desires to move in power each time we gather in His name; therefore, from this point forward let us not
look upon the vessel sent to deliver God’s truth and power but rather purpose in our hearts to receive from Him without
fail all that is in the heart of our heavenly Father.
By Bishop Randy Barnett