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Hidden Treasure
    "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name which no one knows except him who receives it." Revelation 2:17
    Several years ago God gave me a new name that only He and I know and it has to do with my calling and the gift that He has given me. To most this would seem like foolishness but for God to give me a name that He has chosen is very special.
    For the past six years my wife and I have suffered many hardships and lost most everything that we owned. God told us to shut down our ministry, sell our possessions and follow Him. We moved out of town and began to live a life of of total obscurity. At first it didn't make much sense to move from a six thousand square foot home and ministry center to a very small one bedroom apartment in a rural south Texas town isolated from everyone and everything; but now I am beginning to understand.
    God has a special treasure chest where He keeps His most prized possessions, far from the world's gaze where only He can admire His wealth. Most women have jewelry boxes where they keep their rings, necklaces and other valuable treasure and when they go out they like to show them off; but God's treasure is for Him and Him alone. To the world it would seem foolish to have something of great value and not be able to flaunt it, but God wants His treasure to be for His eyes only.
    The apostle Paul was one such example of God's special treasure, although we think of him as a "Super Apostle" I imagine he thought himself a failure. Today if someone were to plant churches and write best sellers he would be on the "Circuit", invited to speak wherever he pleased and treated with great respect and honor. But not so with Paul, he was beaten numerous times, persecuted, stoned, shipwrecked and imprisoned for the gospel he preached and ended up being put to death for what he believed.
    Most of Paul's accomplishments were revealed many years after his death and his life for the most part was hidden away with God. Many of the great men of God written about in the bible were exiled or abandoned because of their faith. One such man was the apostle John, often times called John the Revelator. Exiled to the isle of Patmos he received one of the greatest revelations of all time: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ."
    I have found by my own experience on this journey of faith that God is not concerned with how much you know, or how big your ministry is, or even how you look to the world. His main concern is your devotion to Him, and your ministry to Him which for me is hard to fathom. Being a "Lead, follow or get out of the way kind of guy" it was hard for me to submit to the fact that I had but one main ministry and that was to Him. When God finally gets all of our heart and we come to the understanding that we are His most prized possession, for whom He died, set aside in most cases and that our sole ministry is to Him, we then become His "Hidden Treasure."
    King David started out as a mighty warrior for God taking on Goliath and then vanquishing the enemies of the Most High with fearless valor in combat. David was probably the greatest military commander in all of history, talented, rich and good looking, he had it all and was even spoken of as a man after God's own heart. After years of affliction and heartache, trials and affairs God saw David being worn down and finally being set aside to become God's special treasure.
    Sometimes it takes many years of trials and tribulation for man to shut up and sit down before God and confess "I surrender" and it was no different for me. After years of failure, divorce, bankruptcy and trial God finally set me aside and showed me what He really wanted: all of me! At first I struggled with the thought of being alone, set aside, and forgotten, but as time went on I began to see that God couldn't speak to me because I was too busy helping Him out to hear Him.
    The prodigal son is a good example of someone who had to come to the end of himself to finally find God. The boy had to squander his wealth, exhaust his talent and end up in the "Pigpen of despair and hopelessness" to finally realize that being God's treasure was the most important thing in life. When he came to the realization that His father's house was the place to be, he submitted and went home only to be met with the father's joy that his prized possession had been found.
    I am writing this message to those that feel left out, deserted and never looked upon with any true worth or sense of value. Those who have labored without fanfare or accolade for years under trial and tribulation, losing all for the Kingdom of God, sacrificing their very life for Him. Never fitting in with the crowds, but always following the "Cloud" they continue to seek the precious and reject the worthless on their journey to become "God's Hidden Treasure."
Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented- of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. Hebrews 11:36-40