Continued from Part 3-2
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15).
e have been looking into the birth and the purpose of the Church. These series of articles are to help many people including some Pastors who are running Churches to understand the full purpose of Church, and the purpose of the members in a Church. Every born again child of God is given to a particular Pastor according to divine appointment. Your present Pastor may or may not be your supposed shepherd/coverage. When you are in a wrong Church (not because the Church is false but because God did not appoint that very Pastor for you), you will not be at home in that Church. Your soul will continue to cry out for more, yearning for more, because you are not getting what you spiritually need in that very Church. Your Church is a nurturing and training ground for your spiritual advancement and maturity until you are prepared to take on your mantle and fulfil your personal calling from God. Your Pastor is your coach to prepare you and help you fulfil your destiny in Christ.
The Body of Christ (the Church) is governed by fivefold ministry of Christ.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: (Ephesians 4: 11-13).
As soon as you are born again the Lord God gives you certain gifts to help you fulfil your divine purpose in Him, or to fulfill your prophetic destiny. Your calling might fall under one of the governmental bodies above or on others that are not listed there. You might have been called as a Prophet, but if your church does not recognize the office of a prophet or the gift of prophecy, you are in a wrong place because, you will not have the chance to fulfil that purpose. There are Churches that shut down a prophetic voice. I visited a great Church one time many years ago in Maryland. They were having some days of Revival. During the afternoon while I laid in a couch, a prophetic message came upon me for the Church. During the service at night, the message was stirred up in my spirit and I began to prophesy, but they totally ignored the message coming at that moment. Prophecy brings edification, direction and comfort. The Lord was speaking to the Church, but they ignored it. The word of God says: Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good (1 Thessalonians 5: 20-21). I joined them again on Sunday, again the spirit of prophecy came upon someone else, a woman sitting around and she began to prophesy, again the Church despised her and while the prophecy was going on they were announcing something else. This is very embarrassing to the prophet, but it's not about us, but about the Lord Himself. A prophet has to be received by the people, so that they can receive the benefit of the prophet.
In such a church, which could still be a good Church, someone with a gift of prophecy cannot operate there. The Pastor is not your coach, but could actually rise against you. The gift is not for nothing. You will need to ask God to direct you to "your pastor", the shepherd after the Lord's heart. Many people are confused even in their local Churches because the very Church they worship is not for them. After ministering in one local Church in Lagos, Nigeria recently (the Church does not recognize the apostolic ministry, but the highest calling for everyone is Pastoral), one of the young men that personally approached me to become part of my ministry began to discuss certain issues with me. As he was talking, I perceived that he has an apostolic calling and so, could not fit into his present Church. He needed a leader with an apostolic calling to help him understand his spiritual need and calling, and coach or train him to operate on that office.
Many pastors in the Body of Christ are called into different offices as in fivefold ministry. Most of those called as prophets, but assumed the role of Pastoring, may not be good teachers, or Pastors/shepherds, and so they find it difficult to truly and richly feed the congregation with the word of God, but always prophesying without balancing it with the word of God. In most cases, such Prophets are false because there must be a balancing of the word of God, and every word of the prophecy must be in accord to the word. The most important for every Child of God is to desire to be truly fed with the knowledge of the word of God, and to learn to worship God in spirit and in truth. The word is your spiritual food. Where the word of God is lacking in a Church, the people suffer spiritual draught. They cannot build their spiritual muscles and faith, and cannot combat the enemy in their lives. Such a church is not healthy for any child of God.
If your pastor is in the habit of entertaining the Church or focusing more on how to get to the top, and live prosperously always, you might be in danger of spiritual malnourishment. The word of God, when it comes with power and authority, sanctifies, purifies and delivers you. It also discerns and judges the intent of your heart to help you make amendments where necessary. The word of God heals, restores and builds your faith to receive your needed blessing or miracle.
Also, in a Church where there is only spiritual warfare, and not enough teachings of the word of God, you are still spiritually malnourished, and will not have enough word of God in you to resist the devil. You will not have enough word to shield yourself or your loved ones from satanic attacks, and also to take up the sword of the spirit (the word of God) for the offensive. You need the Word to truly combat the manipulative works of the enemy and his accusations. Knowing how to pray is never enough, you must also know how to live by the word of God.
What you need as a member of a Church is finding out your purpose in your present Church, the dimension in which God wants you to serve Him there. Are you an Evangelist, you love preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, then do it and invite others into the Church. If however, you are just a member of a thirty-thousand-member Church, without understanding your purpose in that Church, then you need to ask God what you are doing there. Apart from the fivefold ministry offices, some people have other ministry callings such as in Romans 12: 4-8,
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness (NKJV).
These are also different dimensions in the body of Christ, which the Lord might be calling you to function in one or two of them in your local Church. Some people are even anointed as administrators to function in administrative capacity. Since it is their calling, they have the grace to do such works better than anyone who does not have such grace.
You are not to be discouraged if your gift is not singing, dancing or doing something you are not called to do for God. Also, you are not supposed to belittle yourself because someone seems to be very outstanding in the church and is known, and probably your gift takes you to work in the Children department of your Church where you are not always seen or heard. All that matters is that you are serving God, and your works shall be rewarded by Him, only. All you need to do is to seek God's face to understand in what capacity you are called to serve Him, and if your local Church does not allow you to serve God in that dimension there, then you ask God to direct you to your true Pastor/shepherd.
Your Pastor as your coach, will notice your gift and help you develop that gift in you. He will allow you to work for God in that capacity, so that the Lord will begin to perfect your calling through His gift in you which you are putting into practice, thereby bearing fruit. You are not to let anyone frustrate the call of God upon your life. When you begin to serve God in your local Church faithfully, when your ministry is done there, He will either release you from there to somewhere else, or He will advance you to another level in that Church. You have to bear in mind that you are saved to serve. You are saved to bear fruit, (Refer to my book: The Heartbeat of God: Salvation of lost souls, Amazon.com). Remember, any tree that does not bear fruit shall be cut down (John 15: 2).
When you discover your purpose, your prophetic destiny and have your Pastor as your mentor/coach to help you fulfil your prophetic destiny, you will surely be fulfilled, and bear fruit for eternal life, and your works shall be rewarded.