“Successful” Ministry

Luke 10:16-20 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”

17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

I repented for my sin and believed in Jesus, according to Scripture in 1999. I was baptized in His Spirit, according to Scripture in 2005. A few years later, another promise, according to Scripture, manifested when I began receiving visions and dreams -and prophesying what I saw and heard to others.

Acts 2:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.

I was such a baby at the time. I had NO idea how to digest the Word of the Lord in my heart before feeding it to others. How I needed spiritual mothers and fathers to train me in the way I should go!!! Instead, I foolishly delivered many of those messages in haste, and as a result, I was threatened, scowled at, and ignored by many in the Church. Still, the Lord was faithful to lead me, feed me and care for me in the wilderness, as I licked the wounds of rejection and betrayal from those that were supposed to love me. In the desert, I had to realize: God did give me good gifts to use for His glory and to encourage others. I did hear from heaven and speak what I heard. But first, I needed to open my mouth and eat what He gave me (Ezekiel 2:6-8).

ministry.jpgAfter the wilderness experience, a few people began accepting my messages as I prayed with them. Demons obeyed me too! Men, women and children encountered Jesus and were healed, delivered and set free from bondage right here in my living room! I rejoiced in my “successful” ministry. And I told others about my success; in person and on social media. “Look at me. Look at me. Look at ME! I’m in ministry. I’m gifted. Yay me!!!”

Then the Spirit led me into the wilderness…again. There I stood, naked before Him, with nothing to hide behind. In the dryness of the desert, “my ministry” dried up. In His mercy, the Lord began shining His light on the pride hidden in my soul. Grieved over my arrogance, I repented & retreated to the shelter of His wings (Psalm 91). There He began exposing the fear of man. Fear of man has many different arrows that pierce the heart, mine were designed to penetrate a longing for acceptance, approval and affirmation through what I do. So, when I performed “successful” ministry, and people accepted my message and approved of me and affirmed me, I felt loved. When they did not, I felt unloved, rejected and abandoned. All the attributes of an orphan of the world, not a child of the Creator.

In His shadow, I child finds rest. In His refuge, a child is safe from the trap of successful ministry.  In His shelter, no evil will conquer a child. In His love, a child will be rescued. In His protection, a child will be rewarded. (Psalm 91)

I’m still a child, still learning to hide in the shelter of His wings. Are you? In deep humility, I plead with you: do not fall into the trap of believing the lie that “successful” ministry will gain you entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus’s warning, according to Scripture is clear. Do you know Him? Does He know YOU?

Matthew 7:21-23 New International Version (NIV)

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

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