My brothers and sisters in Christ, may the God of all peace grant you steadfastness and endurance in all that you do for His Kingdom. Every time I think of you, I give thanks to our God! I always pray for you and I make my requests on your behalf, with a heart of joy because you are partners together with me in proclaiming the living Word of God to the people of this world. We are proclaimers and defenders of the only Truth this world will ever know. And I am confident that God Himself, Who called and appointed you, will continue His plans for your life! It is righteous that we feel this way about each other for God has brought us together in His family and we share together the blessings of God's love. You have a very special place in my heart and God knows that I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of our Lord Jesus, the Christ. I pray for you, as I'm confident you pray for me. That our love for each other will continue to grow and even overflow and that we each keep on growing in our knowledge of God's love for us, and that our understanding continues to be enlightened toward His plans and purposes in our lives. I pray that each of us may really grasp the truth of and understand what really matters, so that the fruit of our labor is not in vain. May we daily be filled with the fruit of His Spirit, as we remain vitally connected to Jesus, Whose very nature fills our own souls. Jesus Christ produces that all these good things in our lives and ministry. For this reason alone, to bring much praise and glory to the Most High God!
My dear fellow laborers for the gospel; From the heart of God comes an encouragement to you to continue in the things that He has asked of you and to leave behind the works of the flesh. As the time draws near for His return, we must be steady about the Fathers business. As a minister of the gospel of over 30 years I have spent many fruitless hours and invested heavily in trying to reap a harvest that was not assigned to me. From the failures of my past, I pray that you may profit from this reading and avoid similar mistakes. Everything we do must be with eternity in mind. And anything that is not done for the Kingdom of God, is work that is in vain.
How do we distinguish between the work we do for the Kingdom of God and the work we do because it is 'normal', 'acceptable', 'good', etc? I was pondering the scriptures where God is warning us that there will be many ministers who stand before God and plea for their right to be in heaven . "we have given our lives for the gospel, we have cast out devils in Your Name, we have given all we had to the poor, we speak with other tongues, we died for Your Names sake" and God responds. "Go from My presence - I know you not!" This passage should quicken each one of us to search our hearts and look at the motive behind all that we do. Are we truly working for His Kingdom? Or did we somewhere along the way, start building our own kingdom?
Many are called but few are chosen. What does it mean to be chosen? I believe it means to have a reflection of the heart of God in all that we say and do. To be pleasing to Him that we are men and women of like heart to God. There are hundreds and thousands of ministers on the face of the earth today. I dare to say that many if not most of them, are not working for the Kingdom of God. Perhaps that is what they started to do and what they intended to do but most depend on their own strength, their own wisdom and their own abilities to build for the Kingdom, rather than seeking God for His plan. God gives the vision - the assignment - the call. God anoints them and they start out to follow His plan. But here is where most miss God. They think they have everything they need to carry the plan out to completion. Most never stopped to inquire of God again. Most just ran and never realized that they had left the plan of God. They depend on their own strength, their own reasoning, and their own resources to build their work by their methods. They depend on the hand of man rather than the hand of God. Maybe they measure their own success by looking at other ministers and ministries. Perhaps they see how another has done something that seems so great and so they try to duplicate the methods used to obtain this sign of success.
God does not build the way the world builds. All that we do needs to be because God has ordained it, not because God may have told someone else to do, they obeyed and were blessed so we try to follow someone else's plan rather than the specific plan God gave for our life.
Another reason why ministers fail to build for the Kingdom of God is that they fail to look to God for their affirmation, choosing rather to look to the faces of men for approval. They have found the power that comes from money and fame and they use it to defame the Name of Jesus. They set out to do those things that gain them more fame and more gain from men, but have lost the backing of heaven and have limited their harvest to what they can achieve in the natural. They depend on their own reasoning of what God has told them to do, rather than allow Him to guide them step-by-step.
One of the biggest obstacles to following God's plan for His Kingdom is time. Failure to persevere with the passing of time. Producing Ishmaels rather than wait for Issacs. What they produce looks good and it is what God promised them in purpose, but not in His plan. (Ishmael served the purpose of Abraham having a son, but he was not the son planned by God). Desperation when opposition came because men did not approve or support what they were waiting for God to do. Ministers that need to be busy need to be producing results to save face and to look the part of being successful. Men and women whom God had called and anointed, yet they created success to please the eyes of men, not caring about whether God was pleased. For when we know the grace and mercy of a loving God, it is easy to rely on His pardon and even look for His healing power to mend the crooked fences we build. Many have sacrificed God's timing and God's will for their timing and their will. Futility, waste and loss are the crops of their fields. Everything they did appeared to be what God was blessing yet it was created at their own hands, at their own expenses and God was not in it. Yes, God called them. Yes, God beckoned for their attention. God sent many to warn and to expose, but these ministers were so desperate to produce successful results that they disregarded the prophets and even the Spirit of God. Desperate to achieve, desperate to succeed, desperate for man's approval. Depending on their own ability to move the hearts of men rather than dependence on God alone for all things. Yes, God blessed, God's anointing flowed and yes, God moved on their behalf. But it was nothing compared to what God had destined, equipped and planned for them. And the son that they created always came back to fight with them, resulting in division, strife and suffering. Therefore they set out to blame God and to even form excuses for the messes that God had made as they convinced themselves they were doing His will. Thinking themselves too great to admit to error - too haughty to bow the knee in sincere repentance, they stubbornly insisted that this was all a part of God 's ways and God's plans.
Brothers and sisters of God's Kingdom, I urge you to allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart and see if there be any sinful thing there. Let not one of us be as those who would cry "Lord, Lord! We did this, and we did that and we did it all for You!" My heart grieves to consider those that spent a lifetime building their own kingdom, rather than keeping themselves seeking first the Kingdom of God and His way of doing things. The only way that we will not fall into these same traps is to depend on God for all things, at all times and in all ways. This is the only way to stay steady in following the plan of God for your life and ministry. Stand strong in the face of opposition and when you are tempted to back down, to please men, to try a shortcut, to duplicate what someone else has done, to reach out to men for help, remember God's ways. God will not be moved by your efforts. God will not reward you for good works. God rewards one thing and that is obedience. Remember the people that God sent before you that have failed. My fellow laborers, it is with this prayer for you that I beseech you to not fail God. The time is short and God will do everything that He has proclaimed to you. Not one promise, not one word will fail to produce results in your ministry as you yield to Him alone. Fulfill the call that He has placed upon your life, one day, one instruction at a time. Do not move if He has not commanded you to move. Rest until you hear His marching orders. Refuse to budge because man puts pressure on you. Refuse to walk outside God's realm of wisdom and understanding. Depend on God and never on men. It may seem strange and it may not be the way traveled by most, but see God always ahead of you, beckoning you to follow. God has asked that you follow Him. Willingly and with whole hearted obedience. And you shall inhabit the land of promise that He has prepared for you.
Consider the world's view on success . big is better, quantity is more important than quality, achieve quick results or it's a waste of time. Brothers and sisters, this is not the way that God thinks! If Jesus was content to 'go about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil' why do we try to measure our worth and our success by comparing our ministries to anyone else but Jesus? Jesus did not build a huge church building nor is His story giving glory to large Sunday morning congregations. Often Jesus devoted an entire day to walk and minister to one person. Not a rich person or a person of tremendous social stature, but to the common, the unknown, the unclean and the rejected ones. Jesus said He only did what the Father told Him to do. Let this alone be the testimony off our lips when we stand before our Father God. Jesus also said, "I can of My own self do nothing". Why do we put ourselves down and feel so inadequate when our tremendous efforts flop and fail? Let God build our houses . both spiritual and the houses of our ministry to the people that God has assigned to us. Let them be houses of glory, not built by human efforts. Let us dare to be like Noah, who left the popular opinions of the day in which he lived, to obey God. He endured the shame and the ridicule. He devoted his entire life in obedience to God not looking to the left or to the right to see if anyone else was building or not.
Let us live in eager expectation and hope that we will never do anything that causes us shame, but that we will always be bold for the work that God has commissioned us to. That our lives will always honor God and that we will never seek honor for ourselves. Our attitudes should be the same as Jesus had. Though He was of God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made Himself as nothing, taking the humble form of a servant and even dying a criminal's death. Dear friends, as you follow these instructions that God has given you today, and are careful to put into action the power of God that resides on the inside of you, in obeying God with deep reverence and godly fear, you will please Him and never fail to win His approval. For God is working in each of you, giving you the desire to obey Him and also the power to do His purposes and follow His plans. And together we will rejoice and be filled with joy for one another as we refuse to compete with one another, refuse to be jealous and refuse to compare our ministries to another. Content to live the life of Jesus the Christ. Willing and obedient to God alone so that we may eat the good of the land of His promise.