Motivation – Who is Your Source?
On the mount of temptation the devil worked with a combination of illusionary implications, just plain deceit, and raw subtlety. As the enemy sought to trip up Christ and get him to defile himself, so also he seeks with his stratagems to entwine us in his treacheries.
In the Gospel of Luke we read that after John baptized Jesus immediately He was led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. This event as described in the Gospels is astonishing in many aspects, which we will examine more closely in a few minutes.
The question of this hour is: How do men and women come into great ministries? Does ministry come by reading Christian books and listening to tapes? Does ministry come by sidling up to an anointed preacher and mimicking what he or she does? Does it come from going to a seminary or ministerial school and learning the mechanics of ministry?
At the center of this debate is the question does ministry come from men or from God. The conventional wisdom in the Church today is that we can we by artificial means manufacture ministry. That we can by carbo-loading with massive amounts of books and tapes bulk up in God. That by simply sitting under an anointed preacher by mystic osmosis we can receive all we need to be a minister of God. Or by going to a bible school or seminary and being infused with the doctrines, traditions and mechanics of Babylonian priest-craft we too can become spiritual supermen and superwomen.
How is this different from the Gospels where Jesus said:
Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.
John 10:6-8 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
John 10:1-2 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep
From these and other verses we can only come to one conclusion that Jesus is the head of the Church, not Peter or any other earthly being that claims to be God’s representative. This means that gaining true access to the God’s sheep comes only through Jesus the door. This means that becoming a fisher of men comes only through Jesus the door. And that even gaining access to the Father comes only through Jesus the door.
If indeed the ministry has by enlarge appointed and anointed itself by having read books and listening to tapes, or by rubbing shoulders with an anointed ministry, or by going to a seminary or Christian collage what does that mean in light of John 10:1 He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber?
We need to come to grips with is that the Church has long wandered out of the way. And that we have traded being servants or disciples of Jesus Christ for a blind servitude to the doctrines and traditions of men as to what they think about Christ.
True Ministry by definition comes out of our relationship with God. It comes by going through the Christ the door, It comes by following Him The Way, The Truth and The Life. Our entering in through the straight gate and then continuing on and following on after Him in the narrow way.
Can we follow Him by reading books listening to tapes and viewing videotapes from a given church teacher or ministry? There will be those that want to say yes because of current practices in the Church.
If you fall in that camp I want you to consider this: If one in the world reads books about Star Trek, and watches star Trek on a daily basis on television, and collects Star trek tapes and memorabilia – are they not by definition a fan or follower of Star Trek? Realize that likewise those that read books, listen to tapes, or watch video tapes of certain ministries are in fact followers and disciples of those men and ministries rather than being disciples of Jesus Christ Himself.
Disturbingly in the last three decades Christians by droves have become enticed into becoming the fans and followers of various ministries and men. Why? Because of implied promises that if we will follow these ministries and men we will enter into the promised land of their spiritual ministry and calling.
Can we really truly claim to be following after Christ by virtue of the fact that we sit under some man or woman’s anointed ministry? Have we really come into a higher realm and a greater state of spirituality because maybe this minister or ministry has even laid hands on us and imparted something to us one or more times? We need to take a deep breath and stand back and ask ourselves is this ministry the way the truth the life? Is this ministry the door?
Not Many Mighty Not Many Noble
It comes by having the calling of God on your life, and paying the price to enter into that call – by definition according to The Word of God this means our individually and personally entering into confrontations with the wicked one.
If the Son of God was so tested in this manner then those who aspire to walk in his footsteps and truly be His disciples shall indeed partake of His cup also.
In a time when Jesus was weary and hungry after forty days and forty nights of fasting in the wilderness the tempter appeared. There is one thing for sure -- the enemy never plays fair, instead he always watches for an advantage. He comes at the time of greatest possible effectiveness, not when you are prayed up or soaring in the heavenlies but when you are weary hungry and empty.
Many Christians especially young ones strain to hear from God. They look upon those around them with eyes filled with envy and covetousness lusting after many things in others. Their gifts, their walks, and the things which others hear or have been taught from God, and so they strain, they pump up trying to hear something, anything so that they can have something that they can boast of to their brothers and sisters or demonstrate in church.
Brothers and sisters be warned, that when you desire things from corrupt and impure motives even with your seeking to hear from God you are walking in darkness along a dangerous path filled with pitfalls and traps of the enemy, wherein he would seek to snare you.
If you try to hear from God or receive a gift or a ministry any other way than spending time seeking the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and developing your own personal relationship with Him – Be warned my friend, you are a thief and a robber