Those of us in leadership know what we like, but today I want to ask you, what do you dislike? Surprisingly, it may hold the key that would unlock God's purpose for your life.
Every teacher loves to dig out the truth from God's Word like a gardener develops a crop. Every God-ordained pastor's mission is to guard and protect his or her flock. Evangelists love crowds, and they thrive on preaching sermons. Prophets love to give extraordinary direction to the body of Christ. Apostles rejoice when they see the kingdom of God begin to come together and use the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
But these are not the only ways God uses these ministers and their ministry gifts. When God's anointed pursue routine and the comfort of their strengths and preferences instead of the unction of God, they have exalted their gifting over their calling and made their position nothing short of an idol.
I know firsthand how easy it can be to carry our preferences and prejudices into our work as ministers of the gospel. I grew up in a small American town watching TV and thinking all of the world's villains were Russian. When I first sensed God calling me to minister in Russia, I thought for sure I'd heard Him wrong.
Then, I was just flat-out sure I didn't want to go. Thank God, He softened my heart and gave me the power to lay aside my preconceived notions to step out into territory that was unknown to me but beloved of God. Back then, I could never have imagined that the Holy Spirit was not only going to use me in Russia but that I would find some of the greatest fulfillment and friends of my life there.
But you see, God wasn't calling me to a vision I could wrap my head around. He called me to trust Him in faith and follow His voice. He continues to issue me the same invitation 27 years later, and He is beckoning you to join Him today too.
If we trust Him, God will use things we never could have predicted to unlock our future and to release His kingdom purpose in our lives. That requires that we be kingdom thinkers, Jesus thinkers.
Jesus modeled this commitment to choosing calling over comfort in His own ministry with the Pharisees and Sadducees. He saw the unreached and untouched, put aside the opinions and judgement of others, and openly ministered to them. From this action of compassion, they realized who He was and opened their hearts to Him. In Jesus' life and story alone we can see there is great reward and salvation that comes from our willingness to be used in a way we may dislike or did not anticipate.
Proverbs 3:5 states, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." We must put our trust in God, even if—or especially if—He asks something of us that we are hesitant about.
When we fully submit to His plan, wherever He leads, the Holy Spirit is able to open our hearts, unleash His power through us and bring exponential change in our communities and world. He is able to bring revival.
You're beautiful. I see Jesus in you.
Have a great week!
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the Book of Hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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