by Pam Clark
Oh how easy it can be to follow! Especially if you are two generations behind on the leadership. In other words, the one who is following the one who is behind the one who blazed the trail. By then, most of the bugs have been worked out! Decency and order comes easy then.
But if you are the trail blazer, every mistake shows up like heresy. How hard it is to find true friends. Like birds feeding on the ground, a wind, a movement, will set them scurrying. But for the true trail blazers, it matters not.
Jesus said, (and He was perfect), "Will you leave Me too?" He said they had to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Generations later, Holy Communion with these words are not big deal. People do it without even asking why too loud. They even have fancy service containers for the elements. But when He first presented it, almost everyone left.
The Little Guy
Who stuck with Jesus? Wasn't it the "little guy"? Wasn't it the ones who didn't have a lot to lose from the order of their lives? With what little they had, they took big risks. They gave when they didn't really have it to spare with their own needs, but they believed in something.
Who Comforted His Heart?
Most of the comfort and support Jesus received was not recorded in the Scriptures, though it was obvious He could not have run the ministry He did without it. He supported at times more that just the twelve with their families (because you know he did not leave their wives and children and extended family without support!).
So it must have been the "little people" with their gifts, a few big donors were noted, (is that because they were so few or significant?), but they did not support the whole work. Women were a strong support in His mainstay and were treated with dignity and respect.
Obedience and sacrifice is what pleased Jesus. Life was so full that He asked people not to publish abroad the miracles they received. It prevented Him from carrying the power to the next town.
What did He say to do to do His Works?
What did He say to the disciples to do (in so many words)? Stir yourself up! You have it within you, too! The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.
But how many want to pay the price? Ministry is easy when it is all status quo. Everything can be planned and predictable.
Ministry is great with the right "ad campaign." But don't expect too much life changing activity, because that kind of ministry is more difficult. Why? Because you are dealing with the devils in people's lives that hinder them.
Signs and wonders will draw a crowd. But when you ask for a piece of the pie, you may get denied. You really know it when religion and rules and fleshly qualifications (and all your money) is required.
Can You Discern?
It comes down to discerning. If we are comfortable, we aren't really going to look for too much more. To get our attention, something dramatic usually has to occur.
But what is really going on?
Is personal relationship with God really going on? Do you feel alive or dead inside? What is your influence on others? Fighting any devils?
There is a System
There is a system but it's not with a bunch of rules and requirements. It's with an understanding of Spiritual order. Someone went to the Cross. Someone paid a price when it was not popular and everyone told them it ought to be a different way.
But this way knocked off devils and opened the glory of God for the individual (all of them). But do they really want Him? You have to love other people, too. You really have to LOVE those less fortunate than you are.
You can support the system and it not touch your heart. But if you can handle a little pain and risk with trust, you may be surprised at what you get in return.
Is Pain what it is all about?
No, pain is not what it is all about or Satan would be casting out Satan and his kingdom would be divided. But sensitivity - the circumcision of the heart - where you become aware of the feelings and infirmities of others and have good sense about what's right - is what is asked.
Wisdom and common sense are important because you can get mobbed if people think you have the answers. The only way is His way and growing in that strength and plan. It will take a little trail blazing in your own life.
Many are called and few are chosen, because they don't want to pay or pray the price. But for those who do, it will take finding that ~reasonable~ service and allowing God to embrace them and work in them His unfailing plan of redemption for all mankind.
Yes, third and fourth generation ministry looks good! But somehow as time goes by, it's light dims and those who say they "got it" can't reach the "unlovely" with His Loveliness. But they do have a system! The fruit looks good but it's in reality mostly the fruit of the past.
Is Christ in your life today? Can you say you know Him? Does He know you?