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 Entering the Apostolic Ministry

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Female Number of posts : 147
Location : Ohio
Registration date : 2008-01-27

Character Profile
Name: Sis. Du Wright
Church Attendance: Never Misses a Church Service
Outside Occupation: Researcher

PostSubject: Entering the Apostolic Ministry   Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:29 am

Entering the Apostolic Ministry
By Jonas Clark

Stage One - The Territorial Entrance.

You have received the divine call and have passed through the times of training and mentoring. A strong anointing is obvious on your life and it’s time for you to be sent out into that great harvest field. Oh, happy day! It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. This is what you have been waiting for all these years. So with great joy and fervent zeal you run toward your high calling to fulfill what you know in your heart is God’s plan for your life and ministry.

But Somehow, things don’t seem to go according to plan. You have the first meeting and the multitudes don’t show up. Someone brings you the sickest person in town to pray for and the person leaves sicker. You receive a call from the religious leaders of the community asking, “By what authority do you come to our town?” City zoning laws forbid you to occupy the affordable building on the busy highway, and you are forced to settle for that little storefront in the back of — well you know where. The next week a visitor’s car is stolen during the service and fear paralyzes the remaining few. A lady calls to say how much she loves you and tells you she will attend after you get the ministry built.

After a careful heart-searching with the Lord you are positive that you are being obedient to the Holy Spirit. Months of hard work pass and you find yourself on the edge of financial catastrophe, all the while hearing the echoes of mockers saying, “You preachers have all the money.” Months later, you look at your small group and ask God if it is possible to do anything great with such a ragtag bunch. The next service you realize the spiritual climate is hard as nails and your prayers seem only to reach the ceiling before they fall down, seemingly unanswered.

During these dark times you feel alone and abandoned. Friends and family have done all they can to help. You never thought it was going to be like this. You reflect on how wonderful it was when you were back at your home church and working for your old boss at that secular job where things were a pain but you had good benefits. You are ready to quit. You ask, “What happened?”

The answer is you have just entered the ministry and are on the road to your destiny.

I am not trying to paint a gloomy picture of God’s awesome world of ministry. But many times the reality of fulfilling a divine call has been glossed over by false perceptions of the work of full- time ministry. Mostly what we see and hear on Christian television and radio is the fruit of many years of hard work. We see the products of people who have already passed through where you are today.

The reality is that you have entered the first stage of your apostolic ministry. This is what I refer to as the Territorial Entrance of ministry. You have left the nest and it is time to fly.

Sadly, some don’t make it past this first stage before they give up and return to an unfulfilling, mundane life. “How can the truly called and anointed fail?” They fail because they have not learnt how to live through the first stage of their ministries. The good news is that you can make it. You can do what God has told you to do provided you are dressed right.

One of the most unique things I have observed over the years is that many people don’t know how to live spiritually in the territory that they have been sent to. Let me explain how God showed this to me. This is a natural example that will explain a spiritual truth.

In South Florida where the natural climate is sunny and warm nearly all year round, we rarely need a jacket even during the winter season. One February a pastors and leaders’ conference was held in Sweden. I very much wanted to attend and to my great joy a Sister bought two plane tickets so that my wife Rhonda and I could go. So dressed in the classic American fashion of blue jeans, trendy tennis shoes and a pullover shirt, Rhonda and I boarded a plane from Fort Lauderdale International Airport en route to Sweden. Yes, we knew it would be cold and, of course, we brought along our South Florida winter wind-breakers.

Never having been to Sweden before, I was anxious to get there and listen to great men of God and make friends with people from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I shall never forget leaving the airport that February day; I was greeted by an absolutely frozen climate. Ice and snow were everywhere. In seconds I knew that my South Florida clothes, while stylish looking and sporty, were the wrong choice for a Swedish winter. I thought my ears and nose would completely fall off my head. It was unbelievable.

“Sweden is a beautiful country but how could anyone live here?” I asked myself. It was like living in your freezer. Then the wind picked up and it started to snow so heavily that I could barely see ten feet in front of me. Rhonda and I ducked inside a warm Chinese restaurant and ordered a pot of hot Oolong tea. After the currency conversion, a pot of tea in that town cost us around twenty US dollars. The lesson was clear: dressing wrongly in Sweden can cost you a lot of money. Wow, I got a quick lesson in how to dress in natural climates. Before I left South Florida I was looking and feeling good. I was comfortable and dressed for the South Florida climate. But when I got to Sweden, I quickly discovered that my South Florida clothes would not allow me to survive in Sweden.

With that lesson learned, Rhonda and I bought some clothes that enabled us to handle our short visit in the Swedish climate. We attended the conference and were thoroughly blessed, refreshed, and ready to continue on. This is a natural example that explains a spiritual truth. Just as you must dress for your real-life climate, you must dress for your spiritual climate.

After living in South Florida for many years I have seen ministry gifts come and go. Good people come and start ministries, continue for about a year, and then pack up and go back to wherever. To me, this is a sad thing. We can use all the laborers in this territory we can get. The problem is that ministry gifts often try to make things that they have seen work in other areas work in South Florida. However, ministries should dress according to the spiritual climate to which they are sent. What worked in Tulsa or Irvine may not work in the territory that God is sending you. You might have to dress differently. What worked in Pensacola, Toronto, or Uppsala may not work in the territory that God is sending you. Ask yourself two questions. Are you dressed for the city where you are ministering? Are you dressed for the season you are in? If the answer is yes, you are ready to accomplish your divine call. But if the answer is no, change your garments.

The first stage of a ministry is an exciting time. It is during this stage that your calling is made sure and an apostolic grit is conceived. Be encouraged, you are on the right road toward your destiny.
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