A successful life style is not measured by the quantity of accumulated possession, neither is it measured by popularity. Rather, it consists in the attainment of God’s goals and purposes for one’s life. Everyone who is born of God has a divine plan for his life, so says the Lord in Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
The Living Bible renders it in this wonderful way:
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
God has plans for you. They have been there before you were born again, waiting for you to step into the kingdom and step into them. It is your duty to discover these plans and step into your divine assignment. Discover your God-given assignment, pursue it and you will have a ministry.
Ministry is neither a dream nor a trance. It is not a church title or leadership position held in a local church. It is not an organization or an association.
It is a divine assignment handed down to a person by God.
Everyone God called, He gave a task to perform. In fact, the entire Bible is full of called-up people, who carried out one special assignment or the other. For instance, He called Moses to deliverIsraelfromEgypt. Joshua was called to lead the people toCanaan. Gideon He called, to deliver His people from the Midianites. He called David to be king and Isaiah to be prophet, etc.
Ministry is stewardship — serving as a messenger, to carry out the orders of your superior. Ministry is not an idea, a feeling or a burden. It is carrying out a given task. Also, it is harnessing divine resources to carry out divine assignments committed into a man’s hand.
It is not limited to the pulpit or to preaching, as it were. Rather, it covers every area of human need— social, moral, spiritual, physical, mental, etc. Thus, wherever divine intervention is needed for the gospel of the kingdom to be enhanced, God always dispatches human agents to stand in for Him and act on His behalf.
True, there are ministry gifts — apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, but their principal function is to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry.
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…”
Do not get trapped in the folly of comparing yourself with others. Rather, discover your individuality and accept your responsibility. Every member of the body of a lion is part of the lion and carries the aroma of royalty around it. No wonder Paul talks of our calling as “a high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
All callings are equally high, each person determining the height he attains. This is the purpose of this teaching — to help you discover the step up the ladder, “for the prize of the high calling” of God upon your life.
We cannot all be in one office. If we are all preachers, who will be the congregation? If we are all selling, who will do the buying? Set yourself to discover your assignment and be yourself in the pursuit of excellence.
However, for the purpose of clarity, in this teaching, our major emphasis will be on the ministry of the pulpit. I believe God that as you read, your eyes will be opened to see how best to handle your own ministry, wherein you have been called to serve in the kingdom.