LETTERS TO YOUNG MINISTERS’ 2
Dear Minister, this is the First Call of God
Let me begin today by sharing a story with you. It was my second year in ministry, I was a minister in training and a student of bible school. I prayed most nights, and I had been on a particular prayer point for a while, ‘OH LORD ANOINT ME, WITH FRESH OIL FOR IMPACT, OH HOW YOU ANOINTED JESUS OF NAZARETH, WILL YOU NOT DO IT FOR ME…’. I prayed on night after night. If you had lived at our lodge in Basin you would have known that voice — ploughing through the night.
On a certain night, I heard the unmistakably voice of God, ‘Keep quiet, stop praying, stand up’. I was shocked, very shocked, I thought, ‘God, haven’t you called me?’, ‘Will you not use me? ‘ Then as if He didn’t hear all my questions, He asked, ‘If I anoint you, what would you do with it now?’. I knew better than to respond. At the time He spoke, knowledge dawned on me — I knew mine was a case of misplaced priority. I had gotten priority all wrong, I was seeking for the anointing, when I should first seek for the Giver.
Your first call is a call to be with Christ — TO KNOW HIM, TO SERVE HIM, AND TO LOVE HIM. Let me explain this with Mark 1:14–15, ‘THEN HE APPOINTED TWELVE, THAT THEY MIGHT BE WITH HIM AND THAT HE MIGHT SEND THEM OUT TO PREACH, AND TO HAVE POWER TO HEAL SICKNESSES AND TO CAST OUT DEMONS’. The first reason He appointed them was that they might be with Him. And they were with Him on the earth for about 3 ½ years. During this time, they were barely in the ministry fields alone. Only about 2–3 times, were they sent to the harvest fields in this period; the priority of the Master was their being with Him.
Dear young minister, you must first learn to be with God. This is the time to learn, to observe, to grow and to serve. Be satisfied with all of these things. Don’t fall for the trap of the devil — don’t seek activity and relevance to the detriment of relationship with He who called you.
I see many people who are in the mad pursuit of relevance — baby believers who have named their ministry on all sorts of social media platforms, and some in actual life. Men who should be shepherded who are shepherds. Guys, who just want to blow in ministry. No! Ministry is not about the many programs you hold, and the number of fliers that carry your pictures. Hello, take a break! Relax — it is time to learn Christ!
Ministry is not activities; ministry is making God ordained impact. A generation that should be learning wants to be teaching. A generation is losing out on the import of spiritual education because they are competing for space with those who should be their tutors and guide.
Recently, I was in a place to minister, and just before I was called, they introduced a man to speak. He was Apostle So and so. As he spoke I shiver at the ignorance, his skewedness of scriptural truth, I didn’t see the sign of an apostle. No, this is not an apostle (at least not yet, this is a brother — you may want to read 2 Corinthians 12:11–13:4), not in teaching, signs, wonders, or miracles. Undoubtedly, I couldn’t question the zeal of the man, but he would have done well to call himself a brother, because that in fact is what he was.
Yes, Paul had his learning time — he was with the Apostles in Jerusalem, He was in Arabia. Timothy was with Paul, and Luke never left the side of Paul. Peter and the other disciples were discipled by our Lord. In Mark 11, they couldn’t cast out a demon, but when the time was right, they did more than that, they raised the dead, their shadows healed the sick. Our God is a God of process — He will not bequeath His treasure to those He cannot trust with them.
Finally, be sure He will anoint you, He will use you, but your priority right now must be — being with God — TO KNOW HIM, TO SERVE HIM, AND TO LOVE HIM. Your priority is not to preach, heal sicknesses and cast out demons. For sure, you will yet do all of those. But first, in the here and the now, you must be satisfied with being with Christ.
Your Greatness is Assured