I found this post recently and it provided such sensible instructions for every disciple of our Messiah. Chris Mathis was addressing those who believe they are called to leadership, but I feel the principles also apply to those who desire to simply follow the Lord. In this article, when you read the word, “Leader,” substitute, “Disciple,” and you will see what I mean.
It is so important that you understand that Jesus called you to be His disciple — not simply a “believer.” There is a BIG difference between the two. As different as light is from darkness.
If God Is Calling You, Here’s Where to Start
We must always remember that the gifts God has given you were given for His glory. So, if the Lord is calling you as a leader (Disciple), here are some things you should do to prepare:
1. Serve a seasoned and respected voice that carries the same call you do. We need new leaders (Disciples) who start their journey by serving a mentor and that mentor’s anointing, long before going into public ministry (living as a disciple). Seasoning and accountability come to those who are patient to allow God to move on their behalf. It is dangerous to bypass the process the Lord has planned for those representing Him beyond the walls of one congregation. Pushing doors open damages the body of Christ.
This especially applies to those who desire to simply honor and please the Lord in every aspect of their lives! You must be open and humble enough to receive instruction, even if the “instructor” is younger than you. You see, in the Kingdom of God age is irrelevant. It depends solely on spiritual maturity.
Find someone in the Spirit you desire to be like and serve them. This will help you see more than just the spotlight side of ministry. It’s the principle of honor. Before Elisha could ever receive the double portion from Elijah, he had to go through a process called service.
“But Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there a prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?’ Then one of the king of Israel’s servants answered, ‘Elisha the son of Shaphat, who poured water on the hands of Elijah, is here’” (II Kings 3:11)
Imagine—the only credential given to Elisha was that he washed the hands of Elijah. As the old saying goes, “If a person is too good to serve others, he is not fit to lead others.”
2. Let other seasoned leaders confirm your call. A few years ago, well-respected friends told me to consider running for mayor. It didn’t sound like a bad idea and I am still not opposed to it in my future, should it be God’s will. However, when I prayed about it, I could not get a clear answer from the Lord. So I called upon my mentors and spiritual fathers. I received the same answer from all of them. “This is not the season for you to run for office.” Their answer gave me peace.
As I have told many of you — many times, as a matter of fact, “Follow after peace. Let it rule and govern every choice you must make.” I learned this from Colossians 3:15, from the Amplified Bible, and it has stood me well, all these years:
And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always] (Colossians 3:15)
See what I mean? This is choice you must make.
Good ideas are not necessarily God ideas. Good ideas can bring worldly success but have the potential to keep you from God’s intended plan. I do not want to chase illegitimate dreams that were never God’s plan.
3. Pray, pray, pray. Kyle Searcy, a respected leader in the body of Christ, posted a note on his Instagram that said, “My secret is simple; I pray.” [Ooh, I love that!] I loved seeing a great giant in the faith post that foundational truth. Many people give credit for success to their education or great contacts. However, those who know their position in ministry (as a disciple) understand it has been given by God and their burning relationship with Him. They find fuel for success by living in the wilderness of prayer. Build a solid prayer life that is sustained by a radical love for Jesus.
Regarding prayer, Leonard Ravenhill stated,
No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few prayers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere . . . A man may study because his brain is hungry for knowledge, even Bible knowledge. But he prays because his soul is hungry for God
This my friends, is the secret to our Christian life!
I am confident God will raise your gift to the level He desires it to be. After all, the gift was given for His glory.
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