I’ve heard it said that this is “practice” time or “preparation” time, and both of these assertions could very well be true, and often times are, for students, new believers, etc. However, statements like these evolve into a deception when they become excuses for present behavior and lack of obedience to His Word.
The thing is, our ministry begins the day we make Jesus Christ Lord of our lives (this goes far beyond merely acknowledging His existence). Why? Because our ministry is simply the overflow of our relationship with Jesus. The only qualification for being in the ministry is “loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” (Luke 10:27). Because if you truly do this, you will experience His love so deeply that you won’t be able to keep it to yourself. If you truly do this, you’ll WANT to read His Word (and therefore do what it says), love your neighbor (and your enemy), and preach His kingdom. I’ve also heard many say that they’re just trying to “get right” with the Lord. While I completely empathize, I also, from personal experience, have learned that this is just another way of saying “I’m not ready to give up my sin.” While this may seem insignificant, it’s not because you were called for “such a time as THIS,” not such a time as “later on in life.” God gave you a specific identity and specific gifts for this generation, for this hour. The world pays a price when we (including myself) give up our pursuit to further His Kingdom for temporary desires.. even if it’s just for a day.
All of this to say, we cannot hope for bigger things if we aren’t faithful to what He’s given us now. We can’t say, “I’ll get it right someday” and expect it to happen when we aren’t willing to surrender now. What makes tomorrow different from today? We can’t say, “I want to be a worship leader” and expect it to happen if we aren’t even worshipping Him now. We cannot say, “I want to be an evangelist” and expect it to happen if we aren’t reading His Word now. The truth is, most of us are asking for a ministry or career that is far beyond what our spirit can sustain. It’s ok to dream big, but we’ve got to stay faithful to Christ first and foremost if we expect to be satisfied in the end.
I am by no means saying we have to be perfect to be used, but we do have to be surrendered. There’s nothing He can use more than a surrendered heart—obedience in it of itself.
“Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).
What are you waiting for? : )