I call this mini-lesson “training for the trenches”.
There is a truth that must be embraced from the onset of “training for the trenches”. Your personal life and relationship with the Lord MUST be carefully guarded, maintained and become progressively more consistent in your daily affairs. The transformation of your inner man into the full stature of Christ must be your top priority, not ministry.
Remember two things up front: Jesus’ disciples returned to Him with exuberance because they had experienced first hand that demons were under their authority. Jesus, told them NOT TO REJOICE in that, but rather to rejoice knowing that their names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20) Putting ministry before your personal growth and relationship with God will always prove disastrous.
The second thing pertaining to this issue is to remember that Paul also recognized the potential for “missing it” when he stated “I run to win…I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached (or ministered) to others, I myself will not be DISQUALIFIED”. (1 Cor. 9:27).
Take nothing for granted in your relationship with the Lord.
It is a characteristic of human nature to want to appear bigger, better, more important, more influential, more significant than we are in the natural. (The reality is that in God’s plan we are MUCH more significant than we can imagine.) NOT KNOWING how significant we really are, is one reason that many people unconsciously try to find their identity in what they “do”, the role(s) they play in life, more than discovering who they really are, from God’s point of view.
One thing for sure, though, God has a way of removing or changing our roles in life. Eventually we will have to face the fact that WE ARE NOT what we do, or what we have.
In general, many people are also very prone to hide behind the various roles, or masks, in order to prevent others from seeing personal pain, brokenness, insecurity, and other unresolved issues. Fear of rejection and ridicule are strong motivations for this kind of behavior.
Certainly, not everyone can be trusted with our deepest struggles, but we must be in touch with our own issues and wrestle through with the Word and Spirit to a place of freedom,healing, and wholeness. Honesty, not denial, is what we want for others and it is what God wants in us.
Here is an assignment: Write a paragraph without any use of reference material, no bible, no internet, no book, to describe to yourself and for yourself who you truly believe God created you to be be. You are unique. What does that actually look like.
[If you struggle with this, you can ask yourself questions like:
1.Why did God create me as a unique individual?
2.What seed of purpose and destiny did He plant within me?
3.What am I like when no one is watching me?]
After you have done the assignment, test it against revealed truth in the Bible.
You can always provide a comment to let me know what you learned.