KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE!
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Eccl 12:13).
The goal of this article has been to exhort us all to believe for more in our relationship with God, in our calling, and in our ministry. For this to happen, we must be able to discern God’s voice and have the confidence of knowing that He hears our voice. Only the Holy Spirit can give us that kind of spiritual confidence.
This spiritual confidence is essential to the fulfilling of our purpose, call and ministry. That ministry is to proclaim what God says to us and carry out His instruction and direction. We have a spiritual ministry!
As pastors and leaders, we have accepted the challenge of going beyond the cross of Christ in order to fulfill the call of God on our lives. In other words, we are not content to be saved only; we desire to be tools in the mighty hand of God, to also see others saved, and to be more than conquerors in this life!
FOUNDATION OF LIFE AND MINISTRY
It is important to visit, often, the foundation of our faith and life. In the busyness and pressures of ministry, it is easy to lose our way and forget Whom we serve and to Whom we belong.
When we feel we have lost our way – or lost sight of our first love – we should not just continue to push ahead as many do. No, we must instead back up and return to the right place, starting again from that point in a new direction. That right place is the Cross of Christ, the Cross of Calvary. It is from this point – remembering Jesus Christ, what He has done for us, and what He means to us – that we regain our perspective. At the Cross, we gain a fresh view of God’s purpose and plan for our lives through relationship with Him.
At the core of our relationship with God is the fact that we are His sons and daughters. This is far more important than the fact that we are ministers and leaders. It is the truth of our sonship – that He is our Father – which should keep us in the center of His will and purpose.
Our purpose is to walk with our Father, as children of our God. It is only after we are secure in our relationship with Him as our Father that we then have the basis for the assignment that He has given us as ministers and leaders.
When we understand the heart of the Father to glorify His Son, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, we will then develop a sound foundation of spiritual confidence. It is this confidence that allows us to understand how and why Jesus Christ must be the foundation of our life and ministry.
Because we have trusted in Jesus, that alone qualifies us to be sons of God. Serving, or ministry, is simply what sons do – because they love their Father and have been empowered by the Holy Spirit for that very purpose.
SPIRITUAL COMMUNICATION IS VITAL
Our relationship with God is spiritual; therefore, we must begin to see ourselves as spiritual beings. The essential elements of our ministry – the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and faith that comes from God – are all spiritual in nature and operation. We have clearly seen that the Word of God teaches that we are spiritual in nature.
However, we are also body and soul. We tend to be more familiar and comfortable functioning in these two areas. Because of this, we have a natural tendency to trust and lean upon our own strength and understanding.
Nevertheless, God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). The Bible reveals that we are severely limited if we rely only upon our physical strength and our soul (mind, emotions and will) to perform God’s will or hear from Him. He has made us spiritual beings, so that we might live with Him in Heaven one day; but also that we would have spiritual fellowship with Him now.
Remember, spiritual fellowship simply means that we have a two-way communication between God, who is spirit, and man. This is accomplished as His Holy Spirit communicates with our spirit and as our spirit communicates with the Holy Spirit. This spiritual communication is vital in receiving the work of the Holy Spirit in discipleship, holiness and the enablement for ministry.
We must cultivate the ability to hear and follow the Holy Spirit as He leads, guides and directs us – both in ministry and in everyday life.
How amazing it is that God desires fellowship with us. Assuredly, He is there in the crises of ministry and life; but His great joy is that we walk with Him daily through this life.
As we develop our awareness of God within us, we will be able to commune with Him during the everyday occurrences of life. This brings into focus a clearer understanding of the scripture, “pray without ceasing” (1Thess 5:17), which implies a continuous communication with our Father in Heaven.
The spiritual life is truly an exciting life – filled with the joy and inner peace that can come only when communing daily with God. He has not sent you on a mission by yourself. His promise is that he will never leave you nor forsake you. He has given you everything you need to accomplish His will and purpose for you. Therefore, take full advantage of all that God has provided for you through His Word and by His Spirit. This is the great privilege – and the great requirement – of a truly spiritual life!