Some people are called by God, but they are not yet sent. Instead of waiting to get the full details of the assignment, they started ministry. That is why they’re struggling. The weight of the ministry is too heavy for them to carry. And the next thing is to go to satan for power or to start all manner of manipulation.
Dear young minister, don’t be in a hurry to be known because it is possible you still have weaknesses that God wants to deal with first before He exposes you. If you become popular with those weaknesses, you may bring shame and ridicule to both yourself and the Kingdom of God.
A baby stays in the womb for nine whole months before he or she is qualified to live on earth. If the baby shows up too early, he will be kept in the incubator until he is qualified to live among men. Sometimes, if the baby decides to show up too early, he will die.
Moses sent himself to liberate Israel from Egypt and he became a murderer. He literally ran for his dear life. But after forty years of chiseling and hammering by God, Moses was now qualified to be sent. Moses was called (if you consider his miraculous escape when he was born and the opportunity to understudy Pharaoh) but was not yet sent. Moses sent himself and became a murderer.
When I see how some young ministers hustle to be known on social media I shudder. Relax! There is nothing wrong with social media and popularity, but that is not the heartbeat of ministry. Ministry is divided into two—roots and fruits. The most important aspect of ministry is not to be known by men, but to be known by God. God will advertise you when the time comes, but you must follow due process. Ministers fizzle out very fast because they were called quite all right, but they are not yet sent.
I want to show you some deep secrets about ministry that you must remember the rest of your life today. Let’s consider some scriptures for deeper understanding.
Talking about John the Baptist, Apostle John said,
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” John 1:6 (NKJV).
He was sent from God. That mean, John stayed in God’s presence for a long time that God literally became His address. John was called by God to spend time with Him. The first call is for us to spend quality time in the secret place with God. That is where God will reveal the details of the assignment. That is where He will break us and remold us the way He wants us to be. That is where our weaknesses will be exposed to us. That is where the Holy spirit will prepare us.
“This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” John 1:7-9 (NKJV).
Even Jesus followed this pattern. After His birth, the next time we heard about Him was at age twelve.
“His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.” Luke 2:41-47 (NKJV).
What do you think would have happened if Jesus started His ministry immediately because of the wonderful ‘sermon’ he delivered at the synagogue? It would have been premature exposure. That is what some young ministers do today. Because they preached one sermon that blessed people, they think it is time to start ministry forgetting that every head of ministry will preach at least fifty-two sermons every year. Do you have the spiritual capacity and intensity to preach different messages every week for twenty straight years?
For eighteen straight years nobody heard from Jesus. What was He doing at that time? Nobody knows. But I believe His Father used that period to prepare Him for the ministry. That is, Jesus used eighteen years to prepare for a ministry that lasted for three and half years! But the impact of His ministry is still reverberating on earth till tomorrow. It is not how long you have been in ministry that matters; it is how impactful it is.
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17 (NKJV).
When God calls you to Himself and you answer, He will announce you by Himself at the right time. That is why some people are not struggling in ministry. That is why some people are not struggling to get invitations from other ministries and churches. If God announces you, you will accomplish in one year what others accomplished in twenty years. Your ministry will soar on the wings of the God, not on your ability.
“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2 (NKJV).
We are talking about God—Jesus is God. That is, God waited for eighteen years before He started His ministry. And before He even stepped out, He went for forty days praying and fasting retreat to be well equipped for the assignment ahead. When He stepped out of the wilderness, there was an eruption everywhere. Brother Luke opined,
“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” Luke 4:14-15 (NKJV).
The eighteen years waiting period was not in vain. The forty days fasting and prayers was not in vain. When the time was right, God sent Him, and Jesus became popular overnight. Nobody has been able to replicate the impact Jesus made within a space of three years and six months.
He left the wilderness in the power of the Spirit and God advertised Him by Himself. Signs, wonders, and miracles erupted wherever He ministered. From the synagogue to the street and everywhere, all manner of miracles took place. And the world has never been the same ever since.
Dear young minister, it pays to wait. It is good to be called by God, but please, don’t step out until He tells you to do that. If He doesn’t send you, kindly remain where you are. It is only when God sends you that He will show you the location where your ministry is needed, the message you should deliver to the people, and the pattern of ministry you will run.
In acts 9, Paul had an encounter with Jesus Christ. Let’s just say, Jesus Christ called Paul into ministry. But Paul followed this same process before he lunched out fully.
First of all, Jesus called Paul and connected him to Ananias,
“Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” So, the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.” Acts 9:10-12, 17-18 (NKJV).
He first received an impartation from Jesus Christ through one His disciples, Ananias. What happened after?
Paul reported what transpired by himself:
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.” Galatians 1:15-19 (NKJV).
Paul was called by Jesus Christ to Himself, not to go and establish ministry. If Paul had started ministry immediately, he would have invented doctrines that would divide the body of Christ. He needed to be groomed by God. He needed to stay with God to have the full picture of what God wanted to do through him. So, he spent three years in God’s presence and was thoroughly equipped for ministerial exploits.
It was after that that he went to the those who were apostles before him to have a firsthand knowledge of Jesus’ earthly ministry. So, Paul had supernatural encounter with Jesus Christ and an in-depth information about His earthly ministry. It is the same process.
Jesus spent eighteen years in the secret, and then was baptized by John who started ministry before Him. Paul spent three years in the secret place with Christ, and then was publicly acknowledged by the apostles of Christ. That is how to establish a ministry.
David said something that we must consider when it comes to ministry.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.” Psalms 40:1-3.
David started with “I waited patiently for the Lord.” He wanted to have clarity on something, so he went into the secret place to spend time with God. This statement doesn’t mean that God is far, God is actually in us. But this waiting is to have a direction.
It was while waiting that God brought David out of a horrible pit and miry clay. That symbolizes confusion. David needed clarity and chose to wait. God showed up and pulled him out confusion and showed him the right path to follow. It was at that point that God set his feet upon a rock, established his steps, and put a new song in his mouth.
Setting our feet upon the rock symbolizes following the footsteps of Jesus in ministry. Establishing our steps is God showing us where our ministries are needed, the people we are called to reach just like Jesus sent Paul to gentile nations, and then put a new song on our month—that is the message the people we are sent to needs.
So, while waiting, what should we do? Do what David did but from a New Testament perspective:
“Do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.” Ephesians 1:16-19 (NKJV).
To me, this is the most powerful prayer in the Bible. Paul said that God may give you the spirit of wisdom (Greek word, sophia—supreme intelligence), and revelation (Greek word, apokalupseõs—an uncovering), in the knowledge of Him (Greek word, epignosis—precise, accurate knowledge).
Then Paul said, “that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened.” That is, you need clarity. You need full understanding of the assignment that God is giving you. Stay in His presence, keep praying these scriptures until He removes the debris in your eyes to see what the hope of your calling is.
I want to encourage you to pray Ephesians 1:15-20 the rest of your life. You need clarity in ministry. Don’t join the bandwagon. Stop trying to copy what others are doing. Do what God reveals to you in the secret place as long as it is in line with scriptures. To be used by God, you must spend time with Him.
Popularity is not bad. Jesus was popular while on earth, and He is still popular till today. But popularity should not be your aim. Your chief aim is to follow divine instruction. I can guarantee you that while following divine dictates, you will be popular on the process. By then, God would have chiseled away fleshly ambition from your soul. At that point you’ll love His presence more than preaching or being popular. By then, no matter how people hail you, it will never get into your head. That is when to launch out.
But if all you are aspiring to achieve as a minister is to be popular, you will soon walk into trouble. You will soon start sharing fake testimonies in order to be seen as a powerful man of God. You will soon start arranging miracles to attract crowd.
While waiting, serve those who are sent! Serve them in all capacities. While waiting for eighteen years, brother Luke opined,
“Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.” Luke 2:51 (NKJV).
Jesus the Christ went back home after that display in the temple and remained obedient to His parents. Do likewise. Prayerfully locate whom God wants you to serve. While serving them, you will also be learning how to lead people and other areas of ministry. Sometimes, God will begin the exposure through your service to others.
Another thing you must do is to feast on the Word of God. I can tell you from my experience that the time of waiting is the time of preparation. The insights you generate from the Word of God during the waiting period will help you immensely when the pressure of ministry starts. You’ll appreciate it when you start preaching from Monday to Sunday, January to December.
In conclusion, while in the secret place, Paul said that this is what will happen to you,
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV).
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If you want to recieve Jesus into your heart, say this short prayer and believe it from your heart:
Lord Jesus, I belive that you died to rescue me from damnation. Come into my heart and save me. I declare today that You are my Lord and personal Saviour. I am saved. I am born again. Thank you Jesus. Amen.
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