Is it Real? by Elisabeth Engskow
What does it mean to live a life of ministry? I know most of us already know ministry is not only found in the pulpit. It is not only found in the office of someone who has degrees and ordination papers hanging in their office. It is found in the hearts of those who know the Lord-their life is ministry. I know we?ve all heard sermons on what we need to do, but how many of us are using our spiritual gifts in the marketplace of the world? We love to use them in the church where there are accolades for getting a ?prophetic word? that is right on track; or where an ?exhortation? to a church congregation garners respect. What in the world are we doing?! We have taken the spiritual gifts God has blessed us with and we have confined them to the four walls of the church. I am not saying these gifts aren?t supposed to be used in this arena, but when we confine them to the church, when there is no hint of these gifts in operation in our everyday life, we have missed what the Gospel and redemption is all about. In the Bible we see several different situations where the tide of the culture was shifted through the believer?s obedience to the voice of God. God always leads us outside of ourselves and when we extend our faith to meet God?s power, amazing events take place. Is the power of God real in your life?
I have a friend who, a few years ago, decided he was going to obey whenever He felt like the Lord was talking to him. Steve was under the impression the Lord wanted to work prophetically through him and was anxious to take this gift outside the four walls of the church (novel idea, eh?). He called me to share what had happened to him during his lunch break. Apparently, as he was sitting, eating lunch in Burger King, his eyes wandered to a young couple in the corner. Although he could not hear their conversation he immediately felt the Lord tell him something he needed to tell them. The inevitable conversation took place between Steve and the Lord, where Steve asked 2, or 3...ok, maybe 4 times-if the Lord was sure he needed him to talk to the couple. The young couple began to get up to leave and his moment of truth arrived. Would he be faithful with the gift the Lord had given him, or would he back down? Thankfully, he approached the young couple and said, ?I know you don?t know me. I?ve never met you in my life, but the Lord just told me to tell you you?re not supposed to abort the baby she?s pregnant with.? They had been speaking in hushed tones, as to not be heard by anyone around them and at this point the young girl broke down into tears. As she was crying the young man stated in bewilderment, ?We were just talking about that...? His voice trailed off as his mind tried to process what had just happened. Steve was faithful with what the Lord had put in his mind and a life was saved as a result. He didn?t say, ?thus saith the Lord,? and he didn?t overwhelm them with Christianese jargon-he gave glory to the Lord, yet spoke to them a relevant message, which pierced their hearts and consciences.
How many people do we pass in a day who desperately need to hear from the Lord? As we walk through the mall, the grocery store, or school, are we preoccupied with our own thoughts and lives when those around us are hungry for a spiritual, alive relationship with God they don?t even realize they need? How much further could the Kingdom of God be advanced if we would just pay attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit? The revolution this world truly needs isn?t going to start in the pulpit; it?s going to start with the passionate believers demonstrating God?s glory in the marketplace of the world.
[This was in the TM Alumni newsletter, I posted it for those who don't get it, or those who do get it but just don't read it, heh heh]