RECOGNISING YOUR MINISTRY
“Yet who knows that you have come to the Kingdom, for such a time as this!” Esther 4:14
We live at a unique time in history, and God has placed each one of us in a unique position. The opportunities for Christian women today are immense, and it’s time for women to arise. Young or old, whatever your race, whatever your upbringing or background, whatever your ability, whatever your present circumstances, the Lord Jesus Christ wants to raise you up, equip you, and release you to advance His Kingdom, in preparation for His return. God does not always choose the most likely, or the most talented to bring blessing to the body of Christ.
Eph 4:7-11&12 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
So where are the Deborah’s and Esther’s? – The women who are prepared to make a difference in our generation? They are here! You are a, potential leader like Deborah, intercessor like Esther, prophet like Huldah, Godly mother like Mary, Godly grandmother like Naomi, evangelist like the Samaritan woman at the well, a person with a servant heart like Phoebe, or a Christian business-woman like Lydia. I could go on and on, yet the truth is that God has designed your ministry just for you, although it will have similar qualities to these women of the Bible. Whatever place you are in now, whether you know the Ministry that God has called you into, or you are still uncertain, whether you are functioning in your ministry, or are wondering how to get started, or even if you are still running in the opposite direction like Jonah, God wants to speak to you and move you forward.
The two words for minister in the Greek is first servant (Diakonos – 2 Corinthians 3:6 “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant.”) and second under-rower (Huperetes – Acts 26:16, speaking of Paul.)
Principles in Recognising Your Ministry
- Your ministry will come out of your relationship with God – God must always take first place.
- Sometimes God will use a natural gifting, but it will always need to be surrendered to Him, because He wants to supernaturally empower you.
- Don’t be limited by your natural abilities, though, very often God uses us in areas where in the natural we are weak, and supernaturally equips us in order that we totally rely on Him.
- Don’t be limited by your circumstances in life, or what has happened in your past. You need to face up to the past, deal with it in an appropriate way and then move on.
- God wants to bring release and breakthrough in whatever area is preventing you from moving into recognising that you should have a ministry. Many women have been put down, or put themselves down – God wants to raise you up – we serve a great God.
- Your character is as important as your ministry – perhaps it is time to allow God to give you a Godly lifestyle – Sin will stop you hearing fully what God is saying, the only way to deal with sin is to repent. 1 John 1:8
- Your ministry will usually not be in isolation, but working in unity with other members of the body of Christ. God builds team. It is important that your relationships with fellow Christians are right, and that you can learn to work together, for the unity to flow.
- Your ministry needs to be submitted to your leadership – they are God’s delegated authority over you, but also God’s gift to you. Usually they will encourage you, but sometimes will have to say no.
- A call to ministry is like a seed, it has all the ministry potential within it, and as you allow God to nurture it, it will grow and develop, You will rarely receive a full blown ministry immediately, God will teach you things along the way, trust Him.
- Ministry carries responsibility, many ministries will need periods of training to be effective.
How To Recognise Your Ministry
- Pray and ask God what ministry He wants to give you – expect Him to speak and listen for His answer.
- Ask others who you trust in the body of Christ to pray with you.
- Expect Him to speak through His Word – your ministry needs to be on a solid Biblical foundation – He may give you a specific Word.
- Expect Him to speak through others – as people are ministering the Word of God etc. something may light up for you.
- Specific prophecies for you – if God speaks directionally through a prophet, it can often be confirmation to what God is already saying to you, or perhaps you need to hold on to it, and allow God to build on it, and open the right doors. All prophecy needs to be weighed, you should never move out on a prophecy alone.
- Recognise the witness of the Holy Spirit in your life and the excitement in your spirit.
- Your leaders can often recognise God’s call on your life when you cannot – talk to them before stepping out, when you feel God is leading you in a specific area, or if you are uncertain where God is leading you.
- Be willing to step out in what God says; don’t limit Him. – If it is His call on your life He will also equip you. – He is not looking for your ability, but your availability.
Looking At Esther – How some of these principles worked in her life
- Esther was a young woman who had a good relationship with God, although His name is nowhere mentioned in the book, His ways and His influence in her life is evident throughout – Esther expected to hear from God, and trusted Him completely.
- She did not allow her background to limit her – an orphan girl, in exile in a foreign country where women were at best thought of as second class citizens, and her race despised. In spite of all this she moved forward into what God had for her. (Esther 2:7)
- God supernaturally worked in her life, and opened doors, to get her into the place where her ministry would become effective, and positioned her so she could help her people, at a time of national disaster. She often had to trust God, at times things were probably quite difficult for her to understand, being brought into the alien environment of the Royal Palace. (Esther 2:8)
- Esther had a Godly character, and found favour with God and men, King Xerxes, and Heggai who was in charge of the Kings harem, it was not merely an external beauty that Esther possessed, she was, more importantly, beautiful on the inside. As a result, and against the odds, Esther became Queen of the Persian Empire, which covered a large area. (Esther 2:9 & 2:17)
- She did not allow the things of the world, nor power and position to corrupt her, but as they were submitted to God, they became tools for effective ministry.
- She submitted to those in authority over her; her guardian – her cousin Mordecai; and Heggai (Esther 2:15) and listened to what they said. She worked in unity with Mordecai, and the other Jews in the Persian Empire, and her ministry was fruitful.
- “Yet who knows that you have come to the Kingdom, for such a time as this!” I am sure that these words spoken by Mordecai must have been the prophecy that was instrumental in her recognising that God had been working in her life all along to bring her to such a place of influence in Persia. After this she moved into a place of true leadership, calling for a time of National prayer and fasting, interceding for the release of God’s people.
- In calling for a time of prayer and fasting she demonstrated her submission and surrender to God she knew that it was only Him who could save her people, the Jews, from the threatened annihilation.
- Esther’s ministry was like a seed, she started really small, as a no-one, but as she was obedient, God brought the increase, and she truly became Queen.
Focusing On Ministries
- It is important in order for the Kingdom of God to advance for each one to be willing to move into our God given ministry. For Jesus and for the early Church, the way to effective ministry was very much through discipleship. Younger Christians would get alongside those who were more mature in the faith, and learn from them, so there was very much a continuous flow in the body of Christ. The emphasis today is very much on getting back to that Biblical foundation. It’s time for you to rise up and take your place! “Yet who knows that you have been brought to the Kingdom, for such a time as this!”
- If you know and are functioning in your ministry, it is important that you keep your ministry submitted to God – there can be a danger that we know how to do it and try to run off on own. We need to keep teachable, and close to God, so that our ministry remains fresh and effective, God often wants to do a new thing in our lives.
- For some it may be that God is saying that now is the time for you to disciple someone else. That in itself can be very challenging and carries with it new responsibilities.
Ministries God May Call You To Function In
Ministry calling – The Ephesians 4:11 Ministries – Gifts from God to His Church.
- A call to leadership – not everyone will become leaders, but some will be called to this special service to the Church.
Body ministry (These lists are not exhaustive)
- Children’s workers – Sunday School teachers, schools workers.
- Youth ministry
- Working with the elderly
- Helping others
- Praise & Worship – Musicians, Singers.
- Prayer and intercession (can be with fasting)
- Computer skills
Ministry in the home and workplace
- Motherhood (Eunice – 2 Timothy 1:5)
- Godly Wives (Proverbs 31:10)
- Grandmothers (Lois - 2 Timothy 1:5)
- Ministry in the secular workplace
Ministry to the wider world
- Missionaries (Long and short term)
- A voice to the Nation.
Ministry gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 to enable you function better in your ministry
- Word of knowledge
- Speaking in tongues
- Interpretation of tongues
Are you prepared to allow God to speak to you and show you the ministry He has prepared for you? The word minister means servant God is preparing us for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be build up.
Your ministry is like a seed, full of growth potential . He wants to call you, enable to recognise that call, and equip you so that you can function well, and grow. Remember Esther was a young woman who recognised the call of God on her life, there has never been a better time for us to arise, as Deborah’s, Esther’s, etc. etc. God wants to speak to you, He is building His Kingdom, and the doors are opening. Arise! Arise! Arise!