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Jun 23

Ministry Tips and Tools: Staying Spiritually Strong

VIDEO:  https://youtu.be/4YGhPtAxRkc

My topic today is Staying Spiritually Strong. There are times when I struggle to keep my spirituality up; when old habits or (dare I say) old sins start clouding my mind.
All of a sudden, thoughts I have not had for years come flooding in and I am taken aback. Something happens, those old hurts come back, the resentment rises up, or maybe a stronghold in my life that’s been under cover; something I have not really dealt with.
The enemy comes in saying mockingly, “How can you say you are a Christian with those thoughts or those actions.” He tries to intimidate you, by asking how a holy God can use you or answer your prayers. The enemy is always trying to get you to break your intimacy with God.

He will try to put doubt in your mind in order to separate you from the love of God. He tries this when you are unusually tried and frankly many times after you had a major event where God used you mightily and you are emotionally and physically drained. An example of this is found in I Kings 18 where Elijah had a great victory when he killed the prophets of Baal and prayed rain back to the land. Immediately in 1 Kings 19 Satan, through Jezebel, threatened Elijah’s life and, because he was physically and emotionally drained, he believed the bad report and ran for his life. In fact, he got so depressed he asked God to take his life. Ministry can be tough, but we must not let Satan’s lies stop us.

He will bring things across your path to discourage you. We must immediately counterattack with the word of God. Remember 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV) and 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)

We must continue to make our personal relationship with Christ fresh daily. Let us seek God with greater passions as Ps 42:1-2 says. As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (NIV) We must always be thirsty for God’s Word and a relationship with Him. Without drinking in His Presence and Word daily, we will become very weak and expose ourselves to Satan’s tricks.

A hunter shared the following information with me. The hunter will many times look for the path the animal is taking to the water hole and try to ambush and kill it along the trail before it gets to the water. Satan is like that hunter; he will try to ambush along the way as we seek God and his Word for our lives and ministries.

Here are some ways he will try to ambush you:
He tries to trivialize your ministry. How many times have you heard people say “Oh they’ll never change. You are wasting your time and energy”? But if God called you to the ministry, He has a purpose for you and you will succeed under His guidance. God calls us to be obedient to speak forth His word. He has given us sheep will hear our voice as we speak His words. Many people do not respond to the gospel message because the wrong shepherd is speaking. God places us where we will be most effective in ministry. So, just because someone else was not successful in an area, does not mean you will be unsuccessful.
Satan will try to tell you that you are not making a difference. What most people in ministry do not realize is that people are watching you and listening to you. So how we react to a situation speaks louder than what we say. People will watch you for a long period of time until they are sure you are real. A lady, who is now joining TMCI, told me, “I have watched you for a year and now I know this is an organization I want to belong to.
Satan tells us our ministry is too small to make a difference. I have discovered that God is not in the number business, but the discipleship business. Many ministries talk about how many members they have, but God did not tell us to make members, but disciples of Jesus Christ. So a small ministry that minister one on one sometimes produces more fruit than larger ministry. I know of one minister who never had more than fifteen or twenty in her church, but she has released over one hundred people for ministry because she took the time to disciple and mentor them. In God’s eyes no ministry is too small. Remember Jesus spent most of His time with twelve and a lot of that time with just three.
If you have been around long enough, you have heard me say, “Satan will get you to do a lot of good things that are not God things.” What do I mean by that? Most of us are mercy motivated and want to help people. So when someone sees our gifting and asks for our help, we run to help them and then we run to help another person and frankly it makes our flesh feel good. But, if what we are doing is outside our vision statement, we must not do it. Stay focused on what God called you to do. Many times we steal ministry from someone else by stepping in too quickly. This is especially true with new converts who are trying to get their courage up to serve and they think, “Well I might try that,” but then you step in and steal the opportunity from them. Give them some time while you pursue your calling.

Another trick that Satan tries in order to steer you away from your calling is to offer you a big ministry that is outside your calling.
You must always be alert that you do not get outside the anointing on your life. Satan does that so you will fail and the ministry you were called to will falter.
One of the biggest way Satan tries to discourage you is to bring a religious spirit across your path. This includes those who would say, “You do not have the education; you do not have the ability, that will cost too much.” Unfortunately these can be close friends or associates who are trying to keep you from moving on in Christ. They are comfortable where they are and they want to keep you there. One of the hardest things you will have to do to move on with God is to leave some friends and associates behind. The question God will ask you is. “Which is more important My relationship with you or your friends and associates. Remember, it’s not what you want, or what your friends, relatives or associates want, it’s what God wants to do in your life. If you obey God’s calling on your life, you will have great success in the Kingdom of God.
Other thing, I found out is that God does not want our ability, but our availability. He, through the Holy Spirit, will equip us to do what he calls us to do. I also discovered that God never gives us all the resources before we start. What He wants you to do is step out by faith and he will supply your need as you go. Once you take the first step the resources start to flow, because you stepped out in faith.

In today’s atmosphere in our society, it is easy to get discouraged and believe that you are not making a difference, but you are. I have an advantage in reading the monthly reports. God is working in many areas, and He is using you to make a difference. Since last September God has used TMCI ministries to lead over 30,000 people to Christ. You are making a difference. So continue to speak to your sphere of influence and walk out your salvation before all people and God will give you many divine appointments.

Let us continue to walk by faith and ignore Satan’s lies.
Bishop Bob Coulter

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