Me Is Exalted
People called to full-time ministry often face the temptation of making things happen by the arm of the flesh. I’ve heard stories about messes ministers created when trying to expand their ministries ahead of God’s timing. Jesus said in Luke 14:11, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
I’m willing to help a brother or sister advance in their calling if the Lord leads me to. Romans 12:10 talks about “giving preference to one another.” Still I find it annoying when preachers promote their ministries on my web pages without asking first. A few individuals had frequently done this on my Facebook Wall despite my asking them to stop. That prompted me to change my account settings so people could only write comments in response to my articles and praise reports.
Then one pastor started posting announcements (irrelevant to my writings) about various endeavors he was involved in. The first two times I simply removed his posts. After a third time, I asked this pastor to refrain from doing that. He wouldn’t like it if I promoted my ministry on his Facebook pages. The pastor initially responded with defensive emails insisting I repent for “not helping Jesus.” Eventually he calmed down and apologized.
The Lord expects us to do our part in fulfilling the Great Commission and assisting brethren in need. That doesn’t mean we are to be manipulated to join a specific cause. God may not want you teaming up with a particular minister simply because his motives aren’t right. Acts 20:30 warns, “Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.”
Ministers truly lifting up the name of Jesus (and not themselves) shouldn’t get upset if a certain Christian won’t support them. Mike Murdock says, “You are not called to everybody but to somebody.” Ministers should also avoid trying to validate themselves. As Proverbs 27:2 says, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” God will send the right people to bring encouragement when needed.
Are you called to the five-fold ministry? Great! I exhort you to step out and fulfill what God has put on your heart to do for Him. But don’t try pressuring a church or another preacher to facilitate you. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 15:20, “And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation.” I’ve had friends who repeatedly but unsuccessfully sought another ministry to intern under. Surely young Christians need to be discipled. But there comes a time when one must walk on the water and look to God alone for open doors to go through.
Remember when the Lord uses you to advance His kingdom, always give Him the glory and not yourself.
“If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” - 2 Corinthians 10:17 (NLT)