Labor, Die and be Diligent
You Can't Just Add Milk!
I will never forget the things I really noticed when the Lord led us to leave South Africa and move to this end of the world. I soon learned that in America, there was always an easier way of doing things!
I discovered that instead of mixing pancake batter from scratch, I could just get the instant product add a bit of milk and...viola! Most of my baking took the same route! Where before I would spend hours putting all the ingredients together in their order, now I just added water and mixed.
Well what exactly does my voyage of discovery in the kitchen have to do with the call to ministry? Well, I believe that because things have become easier for us in time, we expect the spiritual realm to be the same. Salvation was free, the gifts of the spirit were free, so why now should we spend the effort to wear the titles and the leadership positions in the Church?
Why can't it be as easy as 'just add milk, mix and serve?' Why do we have to face this long drawn out process?
It becomes even more difficult when you see others rising up ahead of you. You get this urge within to want to 'catch up'. You get this terrible feeling that you are being left behind and you want to be on the cutting edge. So instead of taking the time you should and putting the effort into putting the ingredients together one by one - you throw the whole lot together and hope it comes out ok!
Well I have news for you today. The call to any of the Fivefold Ministry Offices does not come by 'just adding milk!' It comes through commitment, paying the price and following through to the end. So before we even continue here, I have one simple question for you to ask yourself: What price are you willing to pay for the call?
In a previous article I wrote 'Anointed and Appointed' I stated that it takes more to rising up and standing in a ministry office than receiving a few revelations and being prophesied over. That personal revelation was simply a seed that was planted in your heart. It takes more than just planting a seed for it to grow.
How many have received the word and said to themselves, "Well, there you go, I am an apostle now, the Lord said so. Yep, any day now people will see that I am an apostle and they will feel sorry for all the times they rejected me!" And so you wait. And wait and wait. And nothing happens! So was the seed dead? Was the Word false?
No, you simply forgot one important thing - it takes more to grow a seed than just planting it! You have to water and nurture it as well. The scriptures call this kind of growing and nurturing "labor." Not a very pleasant word is it? Before the Lord can do anything with you, it takes a commitment from you to follow through!
A farmer does not plant his crops and then just hope that one day he will wake up to see them all ready to be harvested! Oh, if only it was that easy! Yet how many desire to wear the titles and even try to function in some of the ministry gifts and then hope that they will be recognized by others as being in that office?
When that does not work, you figure you must get ordination from an organization, so that you can prove your office to men. Anything except paying the price. Anything except yielding that flesh up to the cross. Your first step is to commit to the call, your second is to labor in it. That means allowing the Lord to lead you. It means reading and consuming those things He gives you to feed your soul and your spirit.
Just like a seed cannot grow without sun and water, so can your calling not grow without the Spirit and the Word. You need both the anointing and the instruction of the Word to take you through on this one!
We have seen this all too often in training the fivefold ministry. Many have purchased the materials, signed up for the courses and expect that, that alone will take them into office. Yet they do not go one step further and actually READ what is presented to them! It takes more than stepping out and committing to this thing - it takes laboring in it also!
You can plant a seed near a water source, but until the water is actually poured into its roots - it is going nowhere! You can buy all the books, do the entire course, you can even read some of the materials, but if you do not practically apply to your life those principles the Lord is sharing with you. You are going no where!
Paying the Price for The Promise
The promise from the Lord stands. Have you ever asked God, "Lord why is it that everyone else has a vision and is moving on and I seem to be stuck in the same place? Lord why am I going around in circles?" Your answer lies a little closer to home than you realize! The Lord is waiting for YOU. He has given the promise, He has set the road before you, but until you take the effort to step on to that road, you are going nowhere.
Then come those who have zeal, yet are misdirected. Those who are so much like Saul of Tarsus. They are full of sin, they have many false ideas - but they are zealous! They labor, they strive and they leap ahead as the Lord places them in office ahead of you. Now did that make them favored of the Lord? Did that make them more spiritual than the rest? No! Simply put - they were willing to pay the price for the promise.
The Lord took them even in their sin and failure, simply because they were willing to pay the price, simply because they had the zeal. He will take all those 'Saul of Tarsus's out there and make them into a powerful tool in His hand, while the rest who have been waiting for the Lord to do something, will be left to wait until the end of time!"
You see, Paul was not waiting for something to happen to him. He was going out and making it happen - even if he was misdirected! The Lord can steer a moving ship, but if you are forever stuck in harbor, He can do nothing with you.
Leaping from One Death to the Next
Those who succeed are those who have learned to "die already" and move on with anticipation towards the next death! They know that in death they find the promise! That as the flesh is crucified, the power and authority come from Jesus.
How often have you sat like Elijah of old and got depressed because things are not going as you planned? Because you are going through a hard time? You sit and wallow and complain, when this very situation has been set there by the Lord to be a stepping stone in your spiritual life!
These very deaths are set to promote you! They are set there of the Lord to lift you up in the eyes of man. By humbling yourself as Christ did to die in the sight of man, the Lord can then raise you up.
Diligence is the Key
No matter how much you fail, no matter how much you face, if you are diligent to the end, nothing will withhold the promise from you! The Lord is not asking you to be perfect today. He is asking you to be diligent. Being diligent means following it through to the end. I think that what Strongs had to say concerning this interpretation of diligence is perfect:
Labor, Die and be Diligent!
These three words sum it up in a nutshell. If you want to come to the place of walking in the fullness of the ministry office the Lord has given you, it is going to require that you put some effort into it, yield the flesh up to the cross and to follow through no matter the cost!
Does it burn enough in you? Does the fire that the Lord has placed within you, burn hot enough to take you through this journey? It does not even matter what your intentions are right now, how much need for acceptance and recognition are bundled up in your desire for ministry - all that matters is: Are you willing to pay the price?
I leave you with the following passage:
Hebrews 6:10-13 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
As you give the Lord all you have and follow through, you will be blessed beyond what you imagined and it is then that promotion will come.
Where are you today? Are you willing to commit to the call on your life? What do you have to do? Have you been waiting for the Lord to do something for you, or to you?
Today it all changes! Commit to:
Labor... Die... and be Diligent and...
You will indeed reap the fruits of your labors!
Responses Posted For This Page
Post A Response To This Page