CHARACTERISTICS OF A MESSAGE BEARER
For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit. I Thess. 2:3
THE MESSAGE says it well. “God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message. Be assured that when we speak to you we’re not after crowd approval—only God approval. Since we’ve been put through that battery of tests, you’re guaranteed that both we and the Message are free of error, mixed motives, or hidden agendas.”
It takes a while for ‘self’ to be conquered. When I was young, God’s will was cobwebbed with what I wanted for myself. I pursued my dreams with a vengeance, believing that God was behind them, but eventually I began to hit one brick wall after another. That didn’t stop me though. I just worked double-time to demolish the mountain of bricks. God’s will was in there somewhere but I couldn’t separate the difference between His plan and mine. I grew depressed and became disillusioned with God; eventually hating my ministry. Post traumatic stress visited me before nearly every event.
Crashing and burning was the best thing that could have happened to me. I finally died to myself, saying “I quit!” and then an amazing thing happened. I was surrounded by deafening silence and in the stillness, my ears heard God’s voice. With frenetic activity halted and my own inner voice silenced, I was able to see how I had been driven by mixed motives and hidden agendas. It took three years. I was pretty appalled when I looked at myself in the mirror of His Word. I’m still amazed by the depth of my sin but am able to rejoice in God’s grace, daily.
My old ministry was buried under the rubble of self-effort. But because of God’s mercy, I was raised up out of same ashes that God had burned in the fires of testing. He was a recycling expert, using my foolishness and sin to invent a new thing. God crafted a new language on my tongue; a message birthed out of the healing of my deepest shame.
Building a ministry God’s way is the only way to do it. People relax under its influence; their spirits bear witness with God’s Spirit that what they are hearing is without pretense, without guile. The spiritually intuitive hearers always know.
May I continue to understand that I never deliver just words. Who I am and what I say are a package. Daily, I am yours to mold. Daily, this ministry is birthed in our relationship with each other. I get it! In Jesus’ name, Amen