A few weeks ago I was watching CTN Live with Rev. Glenn Plummer. Those of you from the Detroit area are probably very familiar with this show. Rev. Plummer was interviewing a member of the famous musical family – The Winans. At the latter part of the show, Sister Winans accepted phone calls from viewers. One call was from a man aspiring to become a gospel recording artist. He was seeking advice and Sister Winans gave him the best advice I thought one could give. She told him to serve the Lord with all of his heart and all of his mind. To focus upon the things of Christ and to become a good steward over what he’d already been entrusted with. This young man was not satisfied with her answer so he persisted in asking her about voice lessons, producers and ways in which he might elevate himself.
1 Peter 5:6 – NASB says “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” Self-elevation I believe has lead to the fall of many Evangelists, Bishops, Pastors and the like. Is our character ready for where our spiritual gifts can take us? What is our true motive? God knows our hearts. If one is not spiritually mature, pride and lust (for fame, success, recognition and/or money) may be a tool that the devil uses to destroy you. 1 Peter 5: 8 – NASB warns us to “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
About four years ago a prophetic and teaching gift began to manifest in me and I later began preaching. Oh, I would just be on this high when the Holy Spirit would take over and begin to use me to minister. Even though they were small groups, I began to hear “you are so anointed”, “I just get goosebumps when I hear you preach”, “you just don’t know, God’s going to use you to preach to the masses.” Oh, if I had listened to some I’d be aspiring for the Praise the Lord show on TBN right about now. If I’d gotten on TBN, the enemy would have eaten me alive! I had so many spiritual flaws, the enemy would have had a field day with me. First of all, I had trouble accepting criticism, and you know I was going to be criticized. I was very sensitive and my feelings were easily hurt. I was spiritually naïve and I believed everyone was whom they said they were (I know better now). I closed my eyes to even the possibility of someone being a false prophet, yet the Word clearly says “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” Matthew 7:15. I lacked spiritual training (discipling/mentoring), discernment and I was the ultimate people pleaser.
Paul writes ” but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27. This passage reminds us that even though we minister, let us not forget that we ourselves are running this race. Some seem to me to have forgotten what this race is all about. It is not about having a successful ministry, getting a record deal or having a best seller and it is not about your gift – it’s about the giver of that gift. Lest we forget we must forever keep before us Matthew 7: 22-23; “Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; Depart from Me you who practice lawlessness.”
I am so blessed and honored to have the Lord use me to be a leader in a small, intimate home fellowship. Oh the revelation He has shared with me through this experience. Oh the times of intimacy are of such beauty I cannot begin to explain. I am not even worthy of such a task or responsibility, yet to some my responsibility may seem insignificant in their eyes. Those who think that way measure things according to the world’s standards looking to popularity and numbers as a means of measuring success. God looks at things differently.
Many mega churches have over 50,000 members, but how many of these members are true converts? How many of them have been transformed and changed by Jesus Christ? Brethren, I compel you this day. Be a yielded vessel. Seek to be used by God in any capacity made available to you. Don’t spend your time seeking to have a big name, let the Lord exalt you. Be a Prophet to your neighbors and those on your job. Find a few young people to disciple and be there for them through tough times. Let us not desire the things of this world – gratification of the flesh including fame, fortune and notoriety. May Jesus Christ be the only exalted one! May He alone be lifted up!
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 NASB