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When You Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb

Somebody reading this feels like you just don’t fit in. As a matter of fact, you stick out like a sore thumb.

Everywhere you go.

Is it you? If so, I want to encourage you today.

Here’s the thing: If you stick out like a sore thumb, it’s usually because fitting in is not part of God’s call on your life.

That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of solitary loneliness. It doesn’t mean you can’t have friends, won’t have friends, or don’t have friends right now. You can have all the friends in the world and still be different. Very different.

Why? Because God has called some people in this world to be forerunners, and forerunners do. not. fit. in.

They fit in sometimes with other forerunners–but not all the time. But they definitely don’t fit in with the mainstream.

In fact, forerunners are usually about five years ahead of the mainstream; sometimes more.

But this job of forerunner is an actual calling in the Body of Christ. It’s not a calling that’s celebrated, for sure. It’s not a calling that’s talked about very much, unless you’re in a fellowship specifically made up of forerunners. But it is a calling.

We find this calling in Scripture, most notably, in places like Isaiah 40:3, which says:

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

And Malachi 3:1:

‘Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

And Mark 1:1-4:

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’ ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.’ John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”

John the Baptist was a forerunner. His job was to prepare the way for Jesus to come.

And John the Baptist definitely did not fit in. He stuck out worse than a sore thumb.

Luke 1:80 tells us that he grew up in the desert. He didn’t hang out with normal people; Jewish historians believe he was trained in a monastic-type settlement. We know very little more about him, and what we do know is–let’s face it–strange.

  • He ate locusts. (Yes, the bugs.)
  • He ate wild honey.
  • He wore camel’s hair and leather.
  • He preached against the status quo.

John the Baptist was strange. But you know what Jesus said about him? He said:

Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Despite the fact that John did not fit in at all, Jesus said that no one greater than John had ever been born until that time.

(Remember that Jesus was preaching the inauguration of the Kingdom, so His statement about “he who is least in the kingdom of heaven” was like saying, “Up until now … but going forward ….”)

Even though John was so different, God esteemed him very highly:

  • God ordained John’s birth;
  • God announced John’s miraculous birth by sending the angel Gabriel to John’s daddy personally; and
  • God used John as the one man He had chosen to prepare the way for Christ in his generation.

Wow. Think about that.

All from a guy who emanated different.

And you know what? John the Baptist wasn’t the last forerunner.

John was the first forerunner, but not the last. Jesus is still going to come back a second time, and He still needs forerunners.

And I would like to suggest to you today that, if you stick out like a sore thumb even though you’re doing all you can to seek God and follow Him with all your heart, maybe you are a forerunner too.

What do forerunners do?

Forerunners go in advance. They prepare the way. Their job in the spirit realm is to prepare the way for the Lord Himself to come and do whatever He wants to do.

Forerunners–even though they don’t always know it–have a natural bent NOW toward what God will be doing in the mainstream, across His Body at large, in 5-10 years (and sometimes longer). To them, the future move of God is the normal now.

This “life lived in advance” is sometimes a source of frustration for forerunners.

Sometimes they feel like people are missing out, and they get discouraged about that. However, forerunners often put too much pressure on themselves. They don’t always understand that their job is not to gather the people around the new move. Their job is simply to live the new move, and God uses their prayers and their very lives as the seed He needs to implement that new move when the time comes.

Forerunners also have keen insight. God gives this insight because forerunners MUST be intercessors, and intercessors must receive instruction from the Lord about how to pray.

Forerunners don’t always understand their ministry … yet their ministry is essential, incredibly effective, and irreplaceable. However, the forerunner ministry is not necessarily a ministry to people. It’s first and foremost a ministry and a matter of faithful service to the Lord. (And if you’re a forerunner, you must see it that way. Otherwise, you will burn out.)

Mike Bickle’s book 7 Commitments for Spiritual Growth: An Introduction to the Ministry and Lifestyle of a Forerunner was huge in helping me understand my own forerunner call, years ago. If you need some good reading, this book will inspire you, encourage you, and challenge you to spend the rest of your life joyously embracing your forerunner call! Click here to check it out on Amazon.

And many times, if you stick out like a sore thumb for no good reason, it’s because you’re called to be a forerunner.

You stick out simply because you were made to stick out. You were made to birth completely new things on the earth. You were born to be different, because God wants to expand His Kingdom–and He must have someone who is willing to take new territory in order to do that.

So ask Holy Spirit: “Lord, am I a forerunner?”

And He will tell you. (If this word is quickening something in your spirit, that’s probably Him already confirming it to you.)

And if you are a forerunner, know these things:

  • There is nothing wrong with you. You have not messed anything up.
  • The fact that you are different is not a mistake.
  • You aren’t doing anything wrong by being different.
  • You shouldn’t try to silence yourself or fix yourself so that other people will consider you “normal.”
  • Find other forerunners with the same heart, and you will find it easier to make friends with them.
  • The Lord has a very special ministry for you. It’s a ministry directly to Jesus.
  • Your entire life will be a signpost, pointing people to Jesus–if you will follow Him with all your heart.
  • You will always be taking new territory. (That’s why it’s so important to find other forerunners for your friends; you’ll need their understanding and encouragement!)
  • The forerunner ministry, fully lived, is one of the most fulfilling works you could have.
  • Being a forerunner does not excuse you from being out of authority. You still need to find a good local church, plug in, be faithful, and get under godly authority.
  • Asking God to bring you the reward of your labor will help you stay encouraged when things get hard.
  • Asking Him to show you the results of your labor will definitely help, too. 🙂

Beloved, the forerunner ministry is essential. Jesus still needs people to prepare the way before Him, so He can come back to earth.

He needs you. He needs you fully engaged, fully committed, and fully ready to live a sacrificial life of faithfulness–even though you don’t fit in.

Will you do it?

If this message about the forerunner ministry resonates in your spirit, please leave a comment below! 

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22 Comments

  1. This resonates with me so much! I very often feel out of step with the church, and my husband and I have witnessed over and over things that we’ve wrestled with or learned on our own, others go through several years later. Maybe we’re forerunners and didn’t know it!

  2. Terry Hodges says:

    Hi Jamie.. thank you.finally some pieces of my puzzle coming together!!This so much me..at least a large part.. Despite my imperfections ..and what I have cried out for against anxiety, torrets, family breakthrough my inner me is always been like a square to fit in a round hole.. for 10 yrs in me I see the great spiritual awakening and Gods power signs and wonders back in the church as we have yet to see! I share with church people all the time and they look at me like a dead squirrel on Easter Sunday.. I don’t fit in the status quo of a church helps..Like a misfit ! I see all the time in “spirit filled church and many on internet like people and the word are dead. Like WAKE UP Jesus is coming, get ready, get ready!! I always see a need for change… and look for God to do something .. At Kairos at Gateway church I do the survey I wrote of the class was outline of conditions before great awakenings how to get ready and receive what go God wants to do and about book of acts today.. This GA will be so much more than we have ever seen God do! My comments had nothing to do with course but it just come out. I share with my kids for yrs and they just look at me!! Cause others don’t get it I’m often frustrated. I did the intense Seminar and tests the on spiritual gifts and confirmed 3 yrs ago mine is prophetic, teaching encouragement a seer and Visionary and all the characteristics of a person with this gift.There is a loneliness I would rather be with God than hang around social christian stuff. 5 yrs ago when I was laid off my job its like nothing for replacement bu t I began to pray all the time I mean all the time, 1 yr an hour day for awakening in America.. and our Nation President Trump and ll the stuff God wants to do. the same for Rodney Howard Browne awakening in Washington DC till breakthrough. I used to never do this kind of praying.. I need the body but don’t fit.seriously!! In services Im like ..let it happen today!! Dr Browne has been very instrumental in my life since touched many time since 93…Words have been spoke over me for special assignment coming with break in Wisdom understanding falling on me.. Yet whats in me to speak it like I also want God to do more in me… A change agent.. wakening a seer a confirmer of whats coming and see the encouragement that follows..I pray and tell other what I see God stirring gin me and on exact timelines and event ..don’t accept much from me but when ministers .I mean well known say it ..like everyone goes bonkers!! I’m not looking for recognition but confirmation and some encouragement! Any advise?Am I gone nuts!! What you say is a big encouragement Jamie.. AS I cry for 5 yrs Lord whats my purpose now and where to step in faith.. Im learning patience,, follow God, listen not have any release yet.. On my face book cover I say “Americans great Spiritual Awakening on the Horizon.. Acts of the Holy Spirit”!! Thank you Jamie for How you put it ..God is up to something in me this whole life of mine just preparation?

  3. Angela Eagle says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have always questioned myself because I saw and sensed things when many others did not. I’ve wanted to agree with the majority but felt pulled by a yearning in the spirit. Your posting has helped to put it in perspective. It has served as a confirmation.

    1. So glad to hear that, Angela. Yes, forerunners never tend to line up with the majority. Even when we wish we could. Sigh. 🙂 But ultimately, fulfilling our call to minister to Jesus in this way is more fulfilling than hanging with the majority could ever be … so, we press on. 🙂 Onward and upward for Jesus’ sake!

  4. Yes Amen to that Word
    I have been given the “left hand of fellowship from more than one organized church as far back as the 70’s because I saw things they could not see .
    Have actually not been involved with a local church for decades.
    There are some things that have been shown to me over the years that mainstream is still not ready to embrace , but I actually feel as though Father is beckoning me to begin to share with a few who are hungry for deeper truth .
    I’m cautious
    Blessing and thanks for your constant words of encouragement
    Michele

    1. I’m glad this post encouraged you, Michele. Forerunner-ing can be a lonely road. However, I do encourage you to find a good local church and get plugged in right away. The Church is the funnel of blessings that God uses to pour into our lives. His glory is found in the Church, and we are always better off for being plugged into it! I love the local church!

  5. Geraldine Espinal says:

    PTL!! THIS. IS. ME!! Amen???? This confirms EVERYTHING for me!! Thank you Jamie. This just came at the PERFECT time….when I was just thinking and taking about this a few minutes before I read this. Confirmation! Confirmation! Confirmation! God is such a good good father!!

    1. Yay! That’s awesome, sister! So glad to hear Father confirmed some things for you. Blessings to you today!

  6. Laurna Tallman says:

    Right on, Jamie. And thank you for the reminder.

  7. Christy Beals says:

    I’m a forerunner

  8. At first i thought it was me i had people tell me you don’t belong here but still trying to fit in i have no friends and feeling lonely all the time feel like a outcast nobody there for me so i talk alot to GOD and pour my heart out to HIM in a situation but HE is the only one who can bring me out and fix me and things it’s dark now but GOD WILL GET THE GLORY!!!

    1. Maria Sekgetho says:

      Thank you Jamie it was wonderful to be in His presence through you. I had a sleepless night yesterday pondering about my condition at work. I could not even pray but I browse through my phone to get a prayer that can connect me with the Lord Jerusalem and the Holy spirit.. until late I found your website page indeed I felt revived by just going through your page.. thank you a lot

  9. Kathleen Vojta says:

    Thank you so much for your post about forerunners. Having that ministry, we have to be so careful to seek approval from man instead of God.

    “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭29:25‬ ‭MSG‬‬
    http://bible.com/97/pro.29.25.msg

    1. Thank you for such awesome reminder ? I sense Papa is been trying to teach me that. Blessings.

  10. Abida Peltola says:

    Praise God for the confirmation this is the word in season Jamie
    I have come out of muslim faith and my husband and u are now involved with inner healing and deliverance ministry we are not involved with one particular church as God took us out to start a home ministry of setting the captives free and healing the broken hearted and the outcasts from churches Yes it is different and not many are doing this but we are seeing lives transformed God bless you for your giftings now God is looking fir hope restorers according to mal4:5-6 the spirit of Elijah is here restoring the hearts of the children to the father and the father to the children God bless you abundantly

  11. Awesome words Jamie, thank you ?

  12. One thing a forerunner is sure of is Gods abiding presence even when all things or the world is going crazy around her. And they are never get surprise about things that surprise others cause they hav been there or seen them already. Sometimes they don’t understand themselves n people don’t understand them either. But people can see on Gods hand on them and Their hope is always on the Lord who is able to deliver them n work out things for His glory. Thank you Ma. God bless U more grace. J

  13. Wow I am blown away! Last night I jumped up on the middle of the night with the strong thought to google ‘sore-thumb’ , you see I’ve had a sore right thumb for last few days, so bad I could not sleep and I’ve been asking God WHY won’t He heal this for me? I grabbed my phone and entered ‘sore- thumb’ and THIS BLOG popped up! Between crying and praising God for this revelation I read your post which describes me to a ‘T’ and I am now singing a NEW song of JOY, because I never understood my life until NOW!! Praise God. It is finally time, to reveal and be revealed, Romans 8:18-22. BLESSINGS Jamie and ALL in this tribe♥️

    1. Wow, Jo, hi and thank you for sharing that very cool story. GO JESUS! I’m thrilled that Papa God encouraged you. Hope to see you more in this community! Nice to meet you!

      1. Thank you. Nice to meet you too♥️

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