Category Archives: Ministry

Do Your Part

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:11-16 that it is when each part of the body is doing its part that the body grows and builds itself up in love. I have seen many people become annoyed at having to serve the rest of the body and unbelievers with the work that their gifts produce.

Examples are a teacher, because of the drive in her/his heart to learn, and the ease with which they gather understanding when they read the Scriptures, telling people that they just need to study a lot so that they can understand, rather than patiently teaching them.

A prophet, weary of being asked for revelation and answers from the Spirit, tells people that anyone can hear from God; they just need to pray. Paul Cain was weary after a long night of prayer line ministry. On his way out a back hall of the place where the meeting was, he encountered a woman who asked, “Brother Cain, do you have a word from the Lord for me?”

Annoyed, he wagged his Bible at her and answered, “Yes! Its in here!” She responded, “Oh, thank you, brother!” and grabbed his $80 Bible and left. The Spirit offered him no comfort…

Weary intercessors instruct people to pray. Evangelists instruct people to lead people to Christ – its easy! Numbers 20:1-13 contains the story of Moses striking the rock that produced water for the nation and their animals to drink. “Do we have to bring you water?” Moses asked.

The fact that he was a prophet and the leader of the nation under the guidance of Yahweh made the answer to that question be “Yes.” When his attitude toward his work was a desire to avoid it, he was disqualified from the next step of leadership, which was handed to Joshua.

It is the Spirit of God Who works in you both to want to do what pleases Him, and to be able to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:12-13). If you are short on desire to do something He has led you to do, pause and ask Him to increase your desire before you move forward with the work.

Don’t be Surprised

Moving on from there, He entered their synagogue. There He saw a man who had a paralyzed hand. And in order to accuse Him they asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

But He said to them, “What man among you, if he had a sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, wouldn’t take hold of it and lift it out? A man is worth far more than a sheep, so it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

Then He told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and it was restored, as good as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.
(Matthew 12:9-14 Holman Christian Standard Bible® ©)

Your ministry may be somewhere other than a congregation. In that place where you serve Jesus, there are likely to be people who are not godly, who, in fact, are happy to find a way to destroy you. Serve Him well there, with no fear of being cast out or harmed.

Just as David apparently said when his son Absalom was intending to destroy him, “I did not make myself King. Yahweh made me king, and He can keep me king or replace me.” (2 Samuel 15:25-26)

Expect every difficulty in the place where God has sent you to be turned into benefit. Some benefits are costly, some are painful, but the more inclined we are to expect our King to be at work in us and around us and through us, the greater space we are creating for Him to do just those things.

Don’t be surprised when people plot against you. Be surprised that they are silly enough to think they will prevail against your purpose. Your purpose is the desire of Yahweh. Expect Him to be satisfied in your life by surrendering it completely to Him.

You Will Do

At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, because this was Your good pleasure. All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:25-30 Holman Christian Standard Bible® ©)

The first leaders of the Church did not have degrees from Duke or Liberty or Regent or Fuller in divinity or theology. They had burdens and yokes from Jesus. That is actually what you have, too!

You, therefore, are as qualified to serve the King in any way or place that He calls you to as Peter, Paul, James, Barnabas, and everybody else. The way or place may be business, education, government, arts, or anything else that He has put in you as a burden. His yoke is the power He puts in you to move the burden.

Your identity is made up of what you do and to whom you are related. Draw as much of both of those as you can find from Who He is and what He does.

Prophetic Context

One of the works empowered by the spiritual gift of prophet (New Testament style) is the interpretation of current events based on something the Spirit is speaking to the prophet, either through some Scripture, or some not yet written word that He is speaking to the prophet.

Frequently, when a person is sharing with another person something that they believe they have been shown connecting an event and a Scripture, the sharer is accused of taking the Scripture out of context. Nobody seems to be beating Matthew for doing that in what we have marked off as chapter 2, verses 7-15. There, he wrote that Hosea quoted Yahweh in his writing (11:1-7) as having said, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.

In Matthew, it is said by him to have been written to describe Jesus being called back from Egypt after the death of Herod. In Hosea, it is said to be referring to Israel, who sacrificed to baals, burned offerings to idols, and refused to repent.

Our rules for applying Scripture to life do not include how to test whether a prophet is properly announcing a word from the Lord. We need to start understanding how to test such work, because we are going to be dependent on it when things really get difficult.

The deepest darkness has not yet come upon the earth. We have not yet shined at our brightest (Isaiah 60:1-5).

Sanctified Work

“Sanctified”  describes a process of a) being set apart b) to something or someone. “Made holy” is a synonymous phrase.

When we are called to a particular work in the earth, which is the case for each of us, we are given gifts by the Spirit of God that make us able to accomplish the work. When we do that work, we can do it in a style that is proud, selfish, stingy, mean, fearful, or a hundred other carnal ways (Galatians 5:13-21), or we can serve with work that is influenced by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

The one that looks most like Him will be the one that draws most people to Him as a result of being done. The work (and the worker) being set apart to the Gift Giver makes it holy.

Hearing the Lord

Larry Randolph and Steve Thompson, two men who clearly have ministries of prophet, believe that the process of hearing instruction from the Lord typically has three parts: revelation, interpretation, and application.

The revelation could be a dream or a word or a vision or a picture or a Scripture that seems to be presented to us in some way that might seem strange, like the bush that burned before Moses. The meaning may instantly come with the picture, but more often, there could be 2 or many possible meanings.

The second part of the process is the explanation or interpretation of the word or picture. An example could be that you see me in a casket, dead. The Interpretation of the picture might be that I am going to die, and you need to pray for my family. Or, it may be that you are being instructed to pray for me so that I don’t die. Another possibility could be that my prayer that I die to my flesh’s control of my life will be answered.

Even grasping that a picture refers to a certain situation or person or group doesn’t mean that I will know what to do about it. Should I pray for it to happen, or pray for it not to happen, or warn someone, or change some behavior?

It should be easy to presume that if we get the first part, the Spirit of God wants us to have the rest of it. If you see or hear something that seems to be the Spirit showing you something, or even if you are not sure what you just experienced, ask Him for help. If you have some certainty that you have revelation, ask for the rest. Convince Him that you want it because you know it is valuable.

Ask. Seek. Knock.

One Upping

So the one who boasts must boast in the Lord. For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.
(2 Corinthians 10:17-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible®  ©)

There is a dynamic in us that wants to find things we have in common with people we meet. It listens to their experiences and brings to mind similar experiences we have had. It wants to connect.

When this dynamic is influenced by pride or by fear of rejection, either of these powers can change it into a wrestling match instead of a connection tool. Some people call this “one-upping.”

You tell me about the time you lived through a storm, and I tell you about the bigger storm I lived through. You tell me about a trick your dog can do, and mine can do better. No matter how impressive your shared experience it, my response is “That’s nothing! I…”

Some problems with this bad habit are: People want to connect, not wrestle. When everything you did is declared to be better than what I did, I begin to suspect you of being a boaster, which is unpleasant, and eventually untrusted. If it is fear of rejection that is the secret motivation to boast, your actions fulfill your fears.

When your God commends you, or when someone else who loves you commends you, it is much more valuable than having to commend yourself.

Beware the People of Keilah

In 1 Samuel 23:1-14, the story is related of Yahweh instructing David and his 400 man army to go to a village called Keilah, to save them from Philistia. They were obedient, and they delivered the people of Keilah from the Philistines.

When Saul heard that David was in Keilah, he sent all the soldiers he could gather to kill David. David inquired of Yahweh whether it was safe to stay in the walled city. His response was that the people would hand David over to Saul. My guess is that Yahweh knew before He sent David to protect them that they would have a greater fear of Saul than a desire to bless David, but He still sent His servant to bless them.

That is typical of the sacrifice He made of His Son as a Servant. The difference develops when David was allowed to leave, but Jesus was required to stay and be tortured to death. Even for the sake of those who were sent by the same spirit that ruled Saul, believing that they could destroy Him, because He was a threat to their rule.

Don’t expect everyone you bless to appreciate it. Don’t expect to be honored by the people your God calls you to serve. Serve Him. Bless Him. Be honored by Him (Psalm 91:14-16.)

Asking for Help

In 2 Kings 1, Elijah was instructed to intercept a group of people who had been sent by the king of Israel to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, about his physical condition, since he had been injured. He wanted to know if he was going to die. Elijah sent him a prophecy from Yahweh: “Yes. You are going to die. Did you send to inquire of Baal-zebub because there is no God in Israel?”

In 2 Chronicles 10:13 & 14, the writer commented after recording the details of Saul’s death, that the reason he died was because he inquired of a medium instead of Yahweh. That event is described in 1 Samuel 28.

Some people have estimated that the annual income of businesses such as 900 number psychics and local palm readers exceeds 12 billion dollars a year. Many of those people are being paid and consulted by Christians. Every believer has an audience with the Living God by His Spirit any time, day or night. Beyond that welcome, He has given prophets and people who receive from His Spirit words of knowledge and words of wisdom to the Church.

We have no excuse for either staying ignorant or consulting demons for advice. He wants us to know what He wants us to know more than we want to know it. It takes faith, but it isn’t out of reach.

Ask; Seek; Knock. Know; Find; Enter.

The Cost of Awesome

Being who Yahweh says you are is costly. How ever much you have, usually.

If you see an astonishing musician speaking through an instrument or singing beautifully, it generally has cost them their lives up to that point to be there being awesome. A world-class athlete pays for the glory of the trophy with her/his life.

Nothing that you have is worth more than what your awesome God wants you to trade it in on. Redeem your life for a valuable prize today (Matthew 13:44-46).