Disclaimer – I know this Blog is long but you never ask a teacher/preacher to talk about or write about something and expect it to be short. Hence, this Blog will be in two parts.
You are sitting in your prayer closet worshipping, praying and seeking the Father’s will for your life. A thought or idea pops up in your mind and as you meditate on it the Lord begins to impress upon your heart that He is calling you to a specific place and ministry – a place where you can minister as you were trained. There is a feeling of excitement because the God of our universe has a specific plan for you.
You continue to pray and seek His face regarding the assignment, the preparation, timing, etc. Then you are released to share it with your spouse, family, leadership, and Brothers and Sisters that will keep this dream/vision in prayer. The excitement grows as your spouse and family (especially your children) come into agreement with the dream/vision. Then all the situations in your life regarding this assignment begin to fall into place and the day arrives when you are being commissioned to go. The leadership is praying and laying hands on you and sending you out.
Whether you are being commissioned as an apostle or by apostolic leadership you are still being sent – you and your family and/or partners in ministry are being sent to invade enemy territory and extend the Kingdom of God.
I recently read an Essay by Dr. Joseph Mattera, titled “True Differences Between the Apostolic and Prophetic Function. This was an excellent essay (worth your time to Google and read), but I was especially intrigued by his research and definition of an apostle or a “sent one”. And I quote: “This view goes along with the nature of the title apostle which literally means a sent one. This term was taken from the Roman Army, which called their generals, that were sent to set up beachheads in enemy territory, apostles.”
These armies would set up a siege around a city, cutting off food supplies, water and communications. The vast armies also displayed banners to indicate who they were. The Roman armies had such a reputation that the mere sight of these banners struck fear into the hearts of the leaders and the people of the city.
Further research, on my part regarding the word apostle, indicated that once a city was conquered, the Roman Emperor and Senate would send a governor (also called an apostle) to the city to teach the people the Roman way and to change their culture. Their belief was that if a conquered people did not have their culture changed, they would always try to rebel and overthrow Roman rule.
The word beachhead really stuck out in my mind. As I meditated on this I began to think about the beachheads established by the great conquering armies of the Romans, the Greeks, the Mongols, the Huns, the Zulu Nation, our allied forces in World War I and especially in World War II. All of these armies were focused on securing a small area which became a stronghold from which they could advance and conquer and take control of the rest of the territory.. The particular beachhead that I began to dwell on was the famous Normandy Beach landing on June 6, 1944. Here the Allied forces landed and established a beachhead, a stronghold, which was the beginning of the liberation of German-occupied Europe and the eventual Allied victory over Nazi control on the western front. Many lives, both Allied and German forces, were lost that day.
Coincidently, that week I was studying in Ephesians chapter three and verses 8-12 stood out and I began to understand what establishing a beachhead meant.
Alas, Part 1 of this blog, “Invading Enemy Territory” is becoming too long. In Part 2, coming in a few weeks, I will share some insights and draw some analogies regarding beachheads and invading enemy territory from the passage Ephesians 3:8-12. Be blessed and stay tuned.