True ministry, the kind that bears fruit, the kind that is of eternal value, that is born of the Spirit is accredited by God one way : through suffering.
I have recently had to re-submit my application for Re-Accreditation for Chaplaincy. Generally it was filling in paperwork, submitting references and governmental checks.
But this world’s ways are not God’s ways. He doesn’t care about university or seminary qualifications, although He can and does use them.
God’s way is to put His man through the fire. Rather than go through courses and units, programs in churches, Gods course and purpose is to get us to the point of death. This is what He wants.
I’m not necessarily talking about physical death, but to that place where we come to an end of ourselves and see we are so weak, so useless, so nothing , that we just go “Lord, I can’t even breathe without Your help! I submit to You wholeheartedly! Use me in whatever way You want”.
Ah this is the place where God can now use us. The place of death.
“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,” 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
“The sentence of death in ourselves” Paul says here.
“that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,”
That place of death is where we learn we can no longer trust ourselves, only now on God. We, who used to be so strong, so brave, so efficient, can no longer even get to the bathroom without someone helping us.
This was the point I got to last month, so physically unwell.
I re-submitted everything to God in that place. My family, my health, my life, any ministry I may have left… I lay it all on the altar. I gave it all up to Him. Again.
Whilst I was also re-submitting my chaplaincy accreditation..,
This is how He showed me His ministry, true ministry is birthed through death.
Then when everything is laid on the altar, He sends His fire to consume it, and He raises up what HE WANTS, only what He wants, in the power of His resurrection life.
Now all of Him. Nothing of self.
Just like Jesus. Just like Paul.
This is ministry He puts His stamp on. The stamp of death, in order to breathe His life into it.
God’s ministry credentials are born in the fire. Don’t doubt it my friend. If you’re going through suffering God is doing something in you, something of eternal value.
“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” Philippians 3:10 ,11