How do you know if you are fulfilling God’s purpose for your life? How do you stay on track? What if that purpose is something you can’t even imagine in your mind right now? Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. . .” Ephesians 3:20 NKJV The only way to accurately fulfill God’s purpose in your life is to be guided by and submitted to the Holy Spirit!
His yoke is easy and His burden is light because of the Holy Spirit working in us!
Let’s say you feel called to be in ministry. Too often, we make a list of the things we need to do to go into ministry: Go to a Bible college or theological seminary, meet and talk to lots of people. Share your vision for your ministry or church, raise funds to start a church or fund your ministry, get followers, volunteers, etc. But doing it in our own strength and limited knowledge can get you a manmade ministry!
The first thing we should do if we feel called to be in ministry is pray and listen to the Holy Spirit. But when the Father sends the Advocate as My representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26 One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. Acts 13:2-3 Yes, if we will listen, the Holy Spirit will guide us to fulfill God’s purpose! He is truly our Governor—our GPS—to guide us in life.
Another way the Lord God guides us is through His provision. Where God leads, He provides. Inversely, if that ministry is in a constant state of lack, it is time to seek Him for direction. We may have gotten off-track or He may be leading us into a new thing. Read how the Lord led Elijah by provision and lack: And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 1 Kings 17:1-9 NKJV The Lord God would have kept the Brook Cherith flowing and the bread and meat coming, if it were His will for Elijah to stay there. But God’s next assignment for Elijah was to minister to the widow and her son. Elijah’s provision was already planned for in his next assignment.
Your provision is already prepared and placed in your next assignment. If you are struggling and stressing in lack, seek Him for that next assignment! His yoke is easy and His burden is light. It is only through His strength and His guidance that we can do all that He has called us to do.
Without being totally submitted to the Lord and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we end up with a manmade ministry. A manmade ministry may be successful because of entertainment, talent, skills, charisma, and man’s abilities.
Sadly, they don’t need God, but use His name.
Whether a success or a failure in the eyes of man, the fruit of a manmade ministry will ultimately be stress, pride, arrogance, sin, exhaustion, depression, anger, emptiness and ultimately separation for God our Father. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV
We have the wrong mindset when we think of being in ministry as a vocation. For some, it will be. But for most Kingdom citizens, it is an assignment we gladly "volunteer" for. We all have a God given purpose and many assignments to fulfill that purpose; but the vocation the Lord uses to provide our income may be a secular job or career. If we stop looking at ministry as the way to make our living, it will be far easier to be led by the Holy Spirit. Our vision may become clouded by financial burdens and desires. Open your mind to what ministry is! My husband and I are examples of what I am saying here. We have been teaching people about the Kingdom of God through this website for almost a decade now. God has always provided for all our needs, though not through the ministry. Through the ministry, He has always provided for the costs of the ministry. My husband wanted to teach people about the Kingdom of God. One day, the Holy Spirit gave me the idea of building a website.
I had never even thought about building a website before! But God!
You will be amazed at what the Lord God will do through you if you submit to His Will. Don’t focus on money and don’t try to put ministry in a familiar box! The God who created you knows what you are able to do more than you do. He has assignments for you that you cannot even comprehend yet. He created mankind with DNA unique to each individual. Why would there be limitations on His assignments in His Kingdom?
When Jesus sent His disciples out in ministry, He told them who to minister to, where to go, how to behave, what to say and what to take with them. He gave them authority to cast out demons, and heal every disease and sickness. (Not even a mention of an "armor bearer"!) I wonder how many people would dive into ministry if this is what they were told before they went:
Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
“Don’t take any money in your money belts—no gold, silver, or even copper coins. Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed.
“Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy person and stay in his home until you leave town. When you enter the home, give it your blessing. If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing. If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day.
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are My followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about Me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matthew 10:5-20 Wow! What an assignment!
Assignments: Some are positioned in front of the people to lead and teach. Some are placed among the people to nurture, disciple and care for them. Some are placed behind the people to clean up, gather what is left behind and bring order. Whatever the assignment may be, the burden is light when it is His assignment and purpose for you. He has already prepared everything you will need to fulfill it.
All scriptures are NLT unless otherwise noted.
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