DRAWING NEAR – PART 8
A KINGDOM OF MINISTERS
A mystery that has been hidden from the church world is that ALL of God’s children are called to His ministry. Each disciple of Jesus has been given talents and unique abilities that are a part of their divine destiny. Many leaders have intentionally portrayed the ministry as only pertaining to the paid clergy, fearing that if Christians considered themselves a minister it would seemingly diminish the significance of those in charge. It is true that not all have been called to be a pastor because this is a particular office the same as prophet, apostle, evangelist and teacher however, the general “ministry” has to do with being trained to DO the work He has called us to do. We have mentioned before about how the church has fallen into a mindset of seeing the congregation as spectators and the clergy as the laborers but this is a trap from the dark side to eliminate the power of the church! The idea from Satan is to reduce the army of God from the potential of millions of soldiers to only a handful of leaders – all in the name or organized religion. When will Christians realize that if a person is truly born again, that God has a highly detailed mission for them to accomplish and it has everything to do with knowing who they in Christ! The revelation that God is waiting for the “sleeping giant” to awaken and get to work must be the message of this hour! The church is wasting too much time talking about things that are NOT preparing God’s people for battle and instructing them how to ACTIVATE their ministry.
Alright, so what are the important guidelines for Christians to consider when learning how to fulfill their calling? Well, there is a library of details about living in God’s will but let us just mention a few of the pillars that are crucial to our success. First; we can never over emphasize the importance of PRAYER. Since we are filled with the Holy Spirit – we must allow Him to lead us into God’s general and specific destiny for our life or we will be like a blind man helplessly stumbling through life. The Lord is waiting for us to acknowledge Him and depend on His wisdom and power but if we think OUR talents and abilities is enough we will eventually learn after we fall on our face enough times that we must have His assistance. The closer we can become connected to Him the more effective we will be! The Bible says to “pray without ceasing” and rightly so, because we need spiritual clarity every moment to walk in His Spirit.
TIMING is one of the most difficult aspects of Christian living especially when it comes to the ministry. Maturity is crucial and I Timothy reminds us that the ministry is not for the novice because of the dangers of pride. OK, so we learn some things (maybe even go to seminary) and get our feet wet with doing some religious activity or we are given the opportunity to use our spiritual gift and we automatically think we are ready for a salary and an office. This is NOT how it works! To begin with, very few Christians have been called to be paid or hardly even recognized for their labor. We serve the Lord because we love Him not because we want to be validated or compensated. We are not trying to make a living out of serving Him – we serve Him so that He can make something out of our life! (I think I’ll write that down). I personally have struggled with timing and to be honest I still am. Recently I have been pacing the floor waiting for opportunities to arise and open doors for me to go through. This is very difficult and frustrating because many times we believe we are ready – when maybe we are not. One way to explain this is to use baking as an illustration. If I take a pan of brownies out of the oven 15 minutes before they are done, the end result will still taste like chocolate – but they will be an overall failure. People may taste them but they will not continue to eat them or recommend them. When God reminds us to trust Him and wait on His timing, we just need to relax and know that His ways are much higher than ours and that He has everything under control. Remember He is the one that drew our blueprint and He has a perfect plan of how He wants to use us. He knows the perfect time that we will be the most effective and does not want to put us in a situation where we will fail. He wants the best for us and the best for His Kingdom! God wants to use us to bless His people and also be a strong and mature witness to the world when He finally releases us to do HIS work. It is His ministry and not our own as we are bought with a price and are instruments to be used in the hands of the Master builder. When the time is right we will be anointed and others will discern that we are in the perfect place at the appointed time.
Another guideline that is also associated with this point; we must be pure and holy. Oh, sure we can fake it and put on a show in front of people but it can only last for a season. This is like trying to build a house of cards and expecting them to stand solid through severe shakings and strong winds. ALL Christians have been commissioned to be a representative of heaven – this is NOT an option or open to debate but we CANNOT be led by the Holy Spirit if we are distracted and a servant to willful sin! Mathew 6:24 reminds us that “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other…” Hypocrites are like a sparkler on the fourth of July, you light them and they fizzle for about a minute and they are burn out and gone. Someone that does not have pure motives and a heart of Agape love will never be able to sustain wearing a mask or be satisfied living a lie! If a person becomes satisfied with being carnal and living in a lukewarm religious attitude, it would be better to not tell anyone they are a Christian because instead of helping the cause of Christ they have become His enemy. We will be exposed as Luke 12:3 explains that “what is whispered in secret will be shouted from the housetops.” Only God can build a ministry and He will NOT help us if we are a dirty vessel that has no intention of going through His refining process. Of course He has patience and will gradually work with us where we are but this is conditional on our motives and how serious we are about purity. Yes, we are all sinners but the key is the passion within us to love Him and to yield our will in order to LEARN by our mistakes and become the witness He has called us to be. There is no place for a carnal leader in God’s Kingdom because they have no intention of surrendering their will and eventually something terrible is going to happen. (This may be why many talented people are NOT allowed to become leaders). Whether we have been called to be a missionary in Africa or to bring toys to the children’s cancer hospital, every child of God is a minister! Our spiritual “incubation” is all about preparation and development so that we can emerge as a trustworthy and faithful servant.