It was not a matter of counting meals missed or nights spent in prayer, but a question of how to live with the burden, which was not sought nor even desired, but seemed to be laid upon me by the Spirit of God.
It was obvious to me that one could not live in this state indefinitely. Very necessary work had to be completely neglected. The demands placed upon me by a rapidly growing work of God had to be deliberately ignored.
It was apparent that this was yet another crisis in my ministry , and looking back over the years, it is now clearly seen how the Lord was preparing me to receive another key of authority , not only for myself, but also to be shared with others in the revival that is coming.
The eternal truths of the Word of God which were unfolded to me and impressed deeply on my spirit during those hours and days spent alone in my “den” have become a part of my ministry ever since. Space forbids a detailed exposition of all these gems of truth. Neither is it possible to tell of the searching and exacting tests that I was called upon to accept, of the somewhat rash vows I at times made to the Lord if only he would honor the ministry he had given and make it an effective force for his glory.
REVELATION OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY
I would like to take space, if it were possible, to tell of the very real conflict with the powers of darkness and of the glorious victories won through faith in the Word of God and by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But one thing I do wish to share with you at this time, and that is this concept of the divine authority of the ministry – not of a professional ministry nor of a self-appointed ministry, nor of mere skillful preaching, or great oratory, but the authority of the ministry that is appointed by Christ in his church today.
This concept of the divine authority of every God-called ministry was impressed deeply upon me during those hours and days spent alone with the Lord.
I hope I can share with you just a little of this revelation of the authority which God has vested in the gifts of ministry that have been imparted to the true servants of God in the church of Jesus Christ.
This is not authority over people’s lives, nor authority of office in an organization, but the authority of Christ over the devil and all his works, the authority to do the works of Christ and to build his church, perfecting the saints and preparing them for the day they will be presented to the Lord.
It is an authority that makes the ministry effective and productive. It is an authority that makes each different ministry fruitful in its own sphere.
THE MINISTRY – GIFTS OF CHRIST
These Christ-given ministries are listed for us in Ephesians 4:11 as follows . . . “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”