Category Archives: Ministry

Who Do You Say You Are?

Three reasons there is always a desert between the place of hearing an instruction or promise from Yahweh and the fulfillment or acquisition of that promise or purpose are so that we can learn more about Who Yahweh is, about who He says we are, and about what our purposes and goals are when we enter the place we have been sent to inherit.

One day Jesus asked His disciples who people thought He was. Then, He asked them who they though He was. Peter’s answer indicated that he was benefiting from his time in the desert with Jesus. His grasp of Jesus’ identity gained him increased revelation about his own purpose.

Who do people say you are? Who, in contrast, does Jesus say you are? His brother, or sister? His co-worker? An important citizen with authority in His Kingdom?

Who do you say you are? Is there any discrepancy between His answer and yours? Is your answer different from His because of any fear, or pride, or shyness? Because you are still unsure what the answer is?

Knowing the answer is important enough for Him to think acquiring it is worth part of your life. If you don’t have the answer yet, ask Him to help you. The question is on the test, but He is an open Book.

Selfless Ambition

James had this advice about selfish ambition:

Who is wise and understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and lie in defiance of the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
(James 3:13-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible® ©)

Once when Jesus was traveling, his disciples were arguing about which of them was the greatest. Jesus interrupted them. Instead of correcting them about their ambitions to be great, though, He instructed them on how to be the greatest.

Be the last of all, and the servant of all (Mark 33-35).

Some Love From Amy

Amy Carmichael served Jesus faithfully and effectively in India until 1951. She knew Him well and shared that knowledge with all who would listen. Some of her knowledge of Him includes:

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”

“Satan is much more in earnest than we are – he buys up the opportunity while we are still wondering how much it will cost.”

“If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love, for a cup brimful of sweetness cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, no matter how suddenly jarred.”

“If I can easily discuss the shortcomings and the sins of any; if I can speak in a casual way even of a child’s misdoings; then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

“All along, let us remember we are not asked to understand, but simply to obey…”

Using the Bible

Matthew 3:16 – When Jesus was baptized by his cousin John in the river, Heaven opened and the Spirit of God came down on Him. The Holy Spirit then did something that He loves to do after He baptizes someone: He drove Jesus out into the wilderness.

In the place of lack and pain and threats of more, Jesus encountered misery and exile. He began to suffer the things through which He learned obedience. Finally, He heard the voice that His first man Adam and his partner Eve had heard much earlier, because in this place, as a man, He encountered the thief and the deceiver.

Jesus was prepared. Adam and his Eve were not.

Because He knows each person’s calling or destiny in the Kingdom of Heaven, the Holy Spirit knows what preparation is required for a human to stand in the place where the God Who breathed out worlds and stars calls him or her. He is perfectly aware of which weaknesses are present, and which strengths are missing, and He is a genius at preparing educational and transformational experiences that are perfectly capable of producing the exact changes that are needed for each person.

Because Jesus trusted Yahweh to be protecting and preparing Him, and because He had no thoughts that His Father might intend to harm Him, His journey through the Place of Preparation took 40 days. It was a place of victory and of anointing for purpose. Contrast this with the journey through the Place of Preparation the descendants of Israel experienced, which took 40 years, and was only a successful experience for 2 men out of millions of men and women.

Jesus was prepared partly by His knowledge of what God had said. When He was confronted with deception and with temptation to fail, He knew Yahweh’s character and intentions. He overcame His enemy in the Place of Preparation by quoting God properly. He had been with the Father from eternity, so He knew every word that had been spoken. He knew every thought. His successful method of overcoming evil would have been available to every descendent of Israel, though. It was written.

To read this entire article, click here.

Your Work

In the Kingdom of Heaven, the only secular work is something you have chosen to do yourself. When you find what work the King has chosen you for, you will find that it requires a Spiritual gift, that He makes it supernaturally easy, and that doing it gives you life. His yoke is easy and His burden is light when you find Him ordaining your ministry assignment.

Cyrus, the emperor of Persia, was chosen by Yahweh for the work of emperor before he was born. When he began to succeed at the work, he had not yet met the God Who empowered him to success. The purpose of Yahweh’s ordination to the ministry (service) of being emperor was that by being successful, Cyrus would participate in spreading Yahweh’s fame as the One True God throughout the whole earth. (Isaiah 45)

If your work is not giving you life, you are in the wrong line of work. You may have two categories of work – one that generates the income you provide for your household with, and one that brings life by the service to Yahweh it performs. You may find your financial provision through the work that amounts to your ministry.

If you are not finding somewhere in your life the place of service to the King that gives you opportunity to do the works of pastor or teacher or administrator or some Spiritual gift-empowered ministry, you are not where you should be. Seek the Lord for what He wants to burden you with in the earth: what troubles you the most? what excites you the most? Use these answers as clues in the search.

From this place of receiving His burden, seek Him for a yoke that can connect you to that burden and move it so that some part of the earth is different in some way because you manifest Jesus in it. He is the Evangelist and the Apostle and the Helper and the Teacher and the True Source  of every other work in His Kingdom.

He wants to employ you in His service just as He did Cyrus and Moses and Paul and all of the unnamed saints through the ages who have obeyed Him and brought Him the glory that He ordained them to bring.

Ask.

How Much is Everything?

Look at the context of Mark 9:23, where Jesus is quoted as saying, “All things are possible for the one who believes.”

Remembering that the few times His disciples asked Him to explain something, He replied with detail about what He meant, ask Him some things like:

  • Was the “all things” reference figurative, or literal?
  • Could that “one who believes” mean even me?
  • What does “believes” mean – believing that I can do it? Believing Jesus was speaking truth? Believing Jesus was including me when He said that?
  • What am I missing being or doing in my life, that You want me to step into?
  • Will You include me in the real-ization of that word of Yours? Will You make me able to do all things by filling me with the faith that is required?

The Savior’s Heirs

Hebrews 1:14 is in the section of the letter to the Hebrews that compares Jesus to angels. The letter exposes, in subject after subject, that everything that the Jews held valuable is superseded in value by the Person and the works of Jesus. The priesthood, the sacrifice, the angels, etc.

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

Based on the Greek words used in this question, it could be paraphrased in the form of a declaration about some of Yahweh’s heavenly spirits: “His messengers are priestly, liturgical spirits, and they have been given apostolic missions of being servants to the people who have been given an inheritance of deliverance by the fact that their Savior died.”

When a friend gets annoyed with me because I don’t place enough value on finding answers about how some things in the universe work, or what some mysteries mean, it is normally because I am not making a connection between that mystery and my mission. I don’t try to stop them from seeking answers that the Spirit may be leading them to search out, but I also don’t go seeking the answers just because the answers haven’t been found yet.

When answers to a mystery could help me fulfil my mission, however, I want to find all of them. There are some people who don’t need to know more about angels and how to interact with them. I don’t recommend that they look deeper into that revelation.

I do suggest that if you are one of the people to whom the Spirit of the Lord would like to reveal information that the Church will need in the coming days about how to bless angels with greater power to bless us, that you ask with much faith for that revelation to be made clear to you. Knock until the door is opened to you. Seek the answers like some lives will depend on obtaining them. I believe that they will.

If you don’t know if you are one of that company of believers, start with that question. Expect to be answered.

The Next Change

In Mark 10:17-30, the story is related of Jesus encountering a ruler who was young and rich. He approached Jesus with a question. He knelt before Jesus when he asked it. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?

Jesus responded to his request by first loving him, and then answering him. “Go, sell all of your possessions, give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in Heaven. Then, come, and follow Me.”

It is critical to note that Jesus was not instructing the young man on how to go to heaven when he died. His answer was explained to the disciples – the young man left before he heard the details: it is hard to enter the Kingdom if you are wealthy. He wasn’t talking about getting to Paradise. He was talking about stepping into the supernatural places in the earth or the rest of creation where the King’s power is manifested because the King’s instructions are obeyed.

He told the young man, “One thing you lack…” He says that to us repeatedly as we move forward to enter the Kingdom. “You lack patience…” “You lack honesty…” “You lack freedom from fear…”

When we allow the Holy Spirit to drive us into the desert where we are following Jesus and facing enemies who force us to need patience or honesty or faith or agape, we overcome those “lacks” by having our minds renewed. We enter the Kingdom. We then progress in the King’s domain. We then lead others into His love and service.

If He has not pointed out lately one more thing that you lack, be brave and kneel down and ask Him what’s next.

What are You Praying?

In chapter 5 of Mark‘s stories, he related the events of the day trip to the Gadarenes area. There, they met the demoniac and pig herders. After destroying the herd of pigs, they met the townspeople who came out to check on the reports of the herdsmen.

The demons knew Jesus already, and prayed to Him that He would let them leave the man they had been tormenting and enter the herd of pigs.

The locals all prayed to Jesus that He would leave their community.

The man who had been possessed prayed to Jesus that He would take him with Him.

The demons got what they asked for. The stupid villagers got what they asked for. The guy who didn’t get what he asked for was the new disciple. He wanted to go with Jesus, but Jesus sent him on a missionary journey. Everyone he told his story to was amazed, and he was traveling around in 10 nearby towns spreading it.

Ask Jesus what to ask for before you ask Him. Like Esther, who was going to have an audience with the King sought advice from the eunuch about what the King would like when she was given access to the jewelry and clothing in the royal treasury, you need clues if you are going to have a successful encounter with the King.

Ask the Spirit how to pray (Romans 8:28).

Blessing on Purpose

Matthew described in chapter 10 of his testimony a Kingdom mission that Jesus sent him on with the rest of the apostles. Included was a bit of information about blessing or condemning people along the way.

Jesus sent out these 12 after giving them instructions: “Don’t take the road leading to other nations, and don’t enter any Samaritan town. Instead, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, announce this: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, drive out demons. You have received free of charge; give free of charge. Don’t take along gold, silver, or copper for your money-belts. Don’t take a traveling bag for the road, or an extra shirt, sandals, or a walking stick, for the worker is worthy of his food.

“When you enter any town or village, find out who is worthy, and stay there until you leave. Greet a household when you enter it, and if the household is worthy, let your peace be on it. But if it is unworthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town. I assure you: It will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
(Matthew 10:5-15 Holman Christian Standard Bible® ©)

They were not on a Church-planting mission, but on a Kingdom-announcing mission. They were instructed to be intentional about blessing with their peace the home that made them welcome. Also, if they were rejected, they were told to retract the blessing. Their judgement of the home or village would be enforced later.

It is in your power and under your authority to extend blessing. It is within the scope of your authority as a citizen of the Kingdom to speak into existence, or just to intend or will it into being that people are blessed. It is also in your power to retract blessing and to even extend curse or judgement.

The missions we are on in the earth are both Kingdom and Church oriented. We should not take it for granted that what is in our hearts toward each other or toward outsiders is right or just. We need to frequently ask the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts and to give us the fruit of Who He is to influence our responses to and intentions toward everyone with whom we come in contact.

We should be very intentional about how we influence communities and people in the Spirit.