Faithfulness – I guess I have to record a video on this, it’s the next fruit in the series I have been working on. Been very much tested on this over the last week or so, but I didn’t realize what was happening. I wasn’t tested the way I expected to be tested, and it pretty much smacked me out of nowhere. I really should be used to not being able to predict my tests by now.
I was going to do a video on whether or not we should flee to the woods or stay where God wants us to minister, but then Daniel McGirr did a teaching on that yesterday and I did not want to encroach upon his important message. Even though he covered it slightly differently, it just didn’t seem appropriate for me to cover that angle.
Faithfulness, when I looked it up contextually in logos – well, it came down in a great many cases to being trustworthy to do the job you are called to do and I had to take a good hard look at that yesterday. I find that when we are doing our jobs, things flow fairly well because we are equipped, like Bezalel, who was endowed with all the wisdom, understanding and knowledge required to build everything in the Tabernacle. When we are not doing our jobs, we are generally not going to have the right skillset and gifts. Interestingly enough, I find that in doing my own job, I am at peace and generally only get a strong emotional rush from doing something outside my giftings.
I can teach, and I can answer questions about and challenges to what I am teaching – but what I am not equipped to do is host forums where people discuss various issues. Not my job, not my skill set, not at all. I sit here, stressed out, wondering when someone is going to pop in and promote their ministry that I may know nothing about and therefore don’t want to be associated with (especially if I don’t know a person’s character or calling), post a video that I won’t have time to watch, or be a total jerk to the other people. Even when people are being cordial and civil, like yesterday, the whole thing just drains away all my energy.
I am a teacher, and specifically a writer, that is where the wisdom, understanding and knowledge of the Spirit have been granted into my life. I have not noticed those three spiritual gifts to be present in any other area of my life. Certainly not in leadership – I could never be an elder! Nor would I make a good evangelist, shepherd or really anything else. The question is – do I continue to follow the modern church model of ministry or do I specialize and realize that I have no obligation or even the right to try and do more than what I am called to do – which is to teach people new to either the faith or to specific contextual concept blocks.
We are still used to pastors who are required to teach, lead, equip, counsel, manage, and everything – and we still tend to hold people, who can do one thing well, responsible for doing all the other things as well. But I am here to tell you that I don’t have the equipping to do anything but teach. Sometimes that teaching comes in the form of instruction in context, other times in the development of character and sometimes in encouragement and rebuke – but it is always under the auspices of being a teacher. I do what I do within the boundaries of my gift. When I leave those boundaries, I suffer – I get overwhelmed and exhausted. But people want me to host discussions, they want me to provide a forum so that they can be heard because I have a reputation for providing a safe place to do so. People want to redirect a teaching thread sometimes to talk about the government, or to promote their own ministries. People want me to minister to them and solve their problems – and it is draining the life out of me. I have not been given those gifts and I have only helped people out of a sense of obligation – because people who do one thing are, as I mentioned before, expected to do it all. There are forum managers/administrators out there, but who are they? There are good counselors, but where are they? (I actually do know a great administrator and a great counselor – and they stick within their giftings, which is why they are so successful)
You want to know why we see so much abuse from the pulpit? Because those in the pulpit are being used and abused by people who demand that they have an impossible number of skillsets and a system that trained them to accept that as all “part of the calling” – so they do what they do well, and in the areas where they are not gifted, but operating in the flesh, that’s where they resort to worldly tactics.
I can’t host off-topic discussions. I can’t be a ministry billboard. I can’t do personal counseling – not if I am going to faithfully excel at the job that I am called to do. Right now, I am not faithfully doing that job because people are wanting me to do other jobs and I haven’t been saying no. I have fallen into the modern ministry trap of performing functions that I have no business performing. And part of me is scared to stop doing what I have been doing – for fear of losing “my audience” – my audience – more like, NOT my audience.
Perhaps we should all look at what we are demanding of people in the ministry, and back off. Is the person we are going to for help someone we simply admire or someone who we recognize has a definite skill set from God? And more than that, most people who I see preaching and teaching and prophesying and whatever else – well they obviously are not called to it. They are called to something else, something that they probably either aren’t doing, or aren’t focusing on because they are also too focused on trying to do something they wrongly esteem as being more important. We need to get focused, so that ALL of the jobs in the Kingdom start getting done and not just the flashy ones. Especially in the HR movement, we are suffering because a multitude are trying to be preachers, teachers, or at the very least, critics. We have fear-mongers and the pagan police causing confusion. We are a mess because we are not doing our jobs, and every job is important – not just the ones that get you public accolades (and a lot more hassle than you can probably imagine).
I think this is why, when it all comes down to our works passing through the fire – that most of them will burn like wood, hay and stubble – it won’t be the works that were actual transgressions, although some will fall into that category, I think it’s going to be the jobs we did that were not faithful to our own calling. I have a lot of wood, hay and stubble to answer for. It’s time to produce more gold and less tinder. In His mercy, maybe God will consent to lighting that wood, hay and stubble right now, so the impure gold I am producing might undergo some refinement.