In 2002 in a lengthy season of prayer and fasting I saw a glass ceiling above me and every little thing I preferred in ministry was on the other side—favor, anointing, energy, significance, open doors, influence, and so on. But though I was gazing at that glass ceiling God pointed me to the floor and started speaking to me about my foundations and character. He came to test me on a book I had just written referred to as Soulish Leadership.
On the heels of numerous nicely identified ministers who lately died, amongst them some who have been overcome by sinful lifestyles and vices, this is a sober reminder. God anoints males. Guys qualify themselves with character (1 Tim. three). Guys are enamored with anointing, gifts, charisma, and talents. God areas the premium on character, and He will test you, particularly if you are crying out to be like Him.
My father in the faith, the late Kenneth E. Hagin, ministered to 1000s of pastors and churches in his lifetime. He told us that incredibly couple of of these pastors certified for ministry. He even predicted how their young children would turn out by how the parents have been living. His predictions have been 100% right. Character ought to be the highest priority in life and ministry.
Do not inform me about how good your gifts and anointing are when your marriage and young children are out of order. Do not inform me how you are going to conquer the globe but you can not even conquer your lusts and addictions. Right now it is frequent for ministers to be caught in adultery or incredibly unethical practices and continue on in ministry, and their pitifully poor followers continue to defend and worship them as gods and hold up their thou-shalt-not-judge card. Personally, I assume the false notion of judgment is a single of the deadliest in contemporary day Christendom. It is the purpose for such a dirty and defiled version of Christian ministry. Paul knew judgment was in truth the essential to maintaining the church clean.
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the globe? And if the globe will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How significantly a lot more, points that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments regarding points pertaining to this life, do you appoint these who are least esteemed by the church to judge? (1 Cor. six:two-four)
The least esteemed in the church to judge are these who say, thou shalt not judge.
This lack of righteous judgment ought to break our hearts and send us to our knees to pray for the sad state of significantly of the physique of Christ. Why are we so driven by ungodly accomplishment and reputation? Why are we so mesmerized by celebrity style ministry, a stage, vibrant lights, and a microphone? Is not it for the reason that we do not know Jesus incredibly nicely at all. We have no private life with Him. We do not know Him in the secret spot.
By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the apostle Paul outlined character qualities for these who aspire to leadership in the Church (1 Tim. three:1-7). Ministers of the gospel and neighborhood pastors and elders require to familiarize themselves with these character qualities rather of getting so driven by unscriptural accomplishment. Even deacons need to possess specific character qualities to serve in the church, just after very first getting tested and discovered blameless.
“But let these also very first be tested then let them serve as deacons, getting discovered blameless” (1 Tim. three:10).
Blameless! That implies there is not to be discovered something in his character that could be utilised against him. Why have we lowered this normal in the Church right now?
Individuals say, “Well, no one is fantastic.”
“We’re all flawed and have shortcomings.”
“You can not be legalistic.”
And of course the infamous, “don’t judge…God is the judge.”
Why then are these character qualities listed in the Word? Paul provides us the purpose:
“I create so that you may perhaps know how you ought to conduct your self in the home of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. three:15).
Paul wanted to deeply impress upon young Timothy that the Church is the good defender of the truth in the globe, and that the truth which the Church is to preserve is of utmost significance. A single commentary says this: “This relates to the incarnation of the Son of God, and to the perform which he achieved on earth (v. 16)–a perform which excited the deepest interest in heaven, and the correct doctrine respecting which it was of the utmost significance to retain up amongst individuals.” This good truth is additional elaborated on in the subsequent chapter (1 Tim. four), by displaying that the time would come when, below the influence of Satan, these good doctrines would be denied, and the truth would be corrupted and perverted. We are living in that time.
These character qualities are so standard and foundational to Church leadership that it amazes me how far we’ve drifted from them in the Church right now. I’m concerned about young ministers right now who rise to publicity and reputation so speedily. Lots of of them are like shooting stars, right here a single day and gone the subsequent. It is far better to be a shining star and just retain shining day just after day by way of transformed character, not gifts and talents. Lots of are mistaking gifts and talents for God’s approval and qualifications for ministry. No, gifts and talents are the equipping for the calling. God equips us by way of His gifts and anointing, but we qualify ourselves by way of character. If we do not prioritize character we will be candidates for deception.
Through my aforementioned 2002 season of extended prayer a single rhema word from Jesus changed my life. He stated, “The purpose I’ve not opened the doors that you believed should’ve been opened is for the reason that of My protection. The deception would’ve improved in you had I opened these doors, and you would’ve ceased to be a man just after My personal heart.” I wept like a infant when I heard Him say that, and His appreciate overwhelmed me when I realized He was guarding me from myself.
Then He brought me to a spot when I didn’t want public ministry any a lot more but only to know His heart and methods and to be obedient to His will. It was a miracle of good transformation for the reason that of the mystery of iniquity that is prevalent in man’s heart.
God is usually prepared to use us in good methods according to His calling on our lives, but typically we are not prepared and certified by character. We will shoot ourselves and blow up His fantastic program and objective for us. Listen to the sensible words of Kathryn Kuhlman:
“I looked up and stated audibly “Oh dear Jesus, why didn’t you let all of this to take place to me when I was sixteen years of age? I in no way got tired in physique, I could ride these buses all evening and then preach all day. Why didn’t you let this all take place to me when I didn’t require sleep? Why did you wait so lengthy fantastic Jesus? There wasn’t an audible voice, but He did speak to me and this is what He stated.
“Kathryn, had I offered it to you then, you would have blown the complete factor!!” I knew specifically what He meant.”
The Father knows ideal. Function on your character and let Him bring forth the fullness of His will in His personal timing.
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