Are We Serving from a Place of Appointment or Disappointment?
This week as you read this, I hope that you allow me to share with you from a place of transparency. Like many of you, the past few years have been filled with an unusually large number of disappointments and difficulties.
In the period of just over 1000 days, I lost 9 congregants to death, including one of my closest friends, Scott Sekulow, and my wife’s best friend Robin, who was our congregational administrator. We had a large number of friends and family who spent extensive time in hospitals critically ill. We dealt with hurricanes that damaged our facilities and, as I write this, we are still fighting in court with our insurance company to cover the repairs.
We not only had the “normal’ congregational people problems and rebellions, but in addition to the normal reasons for Korach to rise up, we had the additional political divisions because of the unique election that took place, the extreme divisions brought about through the media pushing agenda of race and gender, and the battles over “science,” over covid, over closures, over masks, and over vaccines.
On top of the above disappointments, we also dealt with the failures of planned outreaches and events which we hoped would be successful, as well as the closing down of ministries which were very successful, such as our homeless ministry and prison outreaches. On top of those disappointments, we also dealt with the financial difficulties brought on through the closures, supply chain issues, and fear promoted by the media and political leaders.
In all honesty, there were many moments, hours, days, weeks, and even months when I debated within myself if my season of ministry, or calling, was coming to, or maybe even had, come to an end. Every time that I have prayed and asked G-D if He was trying to tell me something, or if these disappointing events were His way of pushing me out of the nest of ministry, I heard within my heart these words from Romans 11:29:
Romans 11:29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
G-D reminded me over and over that His calling on my life wasn’t governed by the disappointing events that take place in my life. In the book of John, Yeshua (Jesus), speaking of His own ministry, said the following:
John 16:32 Look, the hour is coming—indeed has come—when you will be scattered, each to his own, and you will abandon Me. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!”
Yeshua was preparing His disciples for the greatest disappointment of their lives: His execution. Notice that Yeshua knew that His followers, those to whom He was ministering, would be scattered and would abandon Him. Yet, not only did He not give up, but He encouraged them to remember those things He has spoken to them. He told them that they would have troubles or disappointment, but He also told them to take heart, or to be spiritually strong - not just in the disappointments, but through them because He has already overcome the world and all of its problems.
Within Yeshua’s encouraging words in John 16, we find a powerful statement in which Yeshua tells His disciples how He was able to continue in His calling through all of His disappointment and knowing that more disappointments were coming in the days ahead. Notice the phrase Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
In this phrase, we find the power to continue; we find the power of the calling or the appointment of G-D. Yeshua told His followers that He could minister even when He faced disappointments because He had appointment.
Throughout the Bible, we find men and women who were called or appointed by G-D to lead the people of G-D. Every one of them faced disappointments. Some disappointments were the result of the actions or choices of other people, and some disappointments were the result of actions by those who were called by G-D. But, each of these appointed leaders pushed forward in faith through those disappointments because they had appointment.
If you are in ministry, and just for the record, every believer in Yeshua has been called into ministry (read Matthew 28:19), then you have appointment. You have been appointed by G-D and His appointment or calling is irrevocable.
Yes, we will have disappointments, but we cannot allow ourselves to let those disappointments cause us to begin to minister from a place of disappointment instead of from a place of appointment. Our anointing comes from His appointment. The disappointments of this world cannot dis-appoint those who have G-D’s appointment. We must make the choice to fulfill our appointment by serving in appointment, because it is only by our appointment that any of us have the supernatural power to serve.