“Next Paul and Silas travelled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time.” Act 16:6
On Paul’s second missionary journey to Asia, God stopped him from going! God still stops people from certain things today, it was the gospel that Paul was going to preach, he wasn’t going to a night club, he wasn’t going on a business trip but God stopped him by the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes, not all obstructions are from the devil, some are from God! God can stop you from ministry for your own good. It is okay to desire to do something for God but when he stops you, stop! He may be asking you to slow down, he may be asking you to give up on that mission, he may be asking you to wait or he may be asking you to do something else. Whatever it is, he is wise and perfect in all his ways and he is doing it to his own glory.
I love something about the Israelites of the Old Testament. Whenever they were about to go to war or to advance the borders of their new nation, they would make inquiries from God and would wait till God speaks to them and ask them to go or not to go. In some of the cases, God would ask them to go and in some cases, God would ask them not to go.
When they go ahead of God, they always miss it and always loose out! It was God’s desire that they advance, God has called them to advance after all and it may seem like “enemy of progress” should anyone discourage them from embarking on a mission but God stopped them at many occasions.
So many believers are not sensitive enough, they do not ask the Holy Spirit anything! They just live their lives fully on uncertainties and yet, we have God closer to us than ever! By the Holy Spirit, God dwells inside of us and therefore it shouldn’t be tough to get him to talk to us. The problem is that we aren’t always listening, we have sunk the voice of God into the voice of our zeal or fears that we often do not pay attention.
With all the faith, study, prayers, conquered fears and so on, it’s not a MUST to open and run a Church organisation. There is nothing wrong with being a believer who is committed to the kingdom advancement on earth and yet not being in charge of a congregation. There is nothing wrong with not being a “Senior Pastor”, there is nothing wrong with serving in a Church ministry that you didn’t found for the rest of your life.
Don’t start engaging yourself in a competition God that did not send you. Just because you can pray, study and even and teach deep things out from the Bible doesn’t mean you have been called to be a Pastor. There are Pastors but there are also evangelists. Every believer has been called to do the work of ministry but don’t confuse this as running a ministry organisation! Don’t fall into that temptation when you know strongly in your heart that God isn’t leading you to do this.
We all must not climb a pulpit to address people on the pew, we all must not run a Church assembly, that is not what makes us “serious Christians” or “more Christian”. God will not reward Pastors higher, God does not see Pastors as better Christians. We are all his children and those who have been called into Pastoral ministry are running the responsibility given to them in the kingdom.
Why envy a responsibility that hasn’t been given to you? Yes, you can want it and you may even desire it but don’t venture into certain responsibilities when it has been given you. Don’t journey into this thing on your own. When you are called into it, you’ll know! God doesn’t play hide and seek, he will tell you clearly. Don’t merely guess if he is calling you to do something if you have to guess it, he hasn’t called you to do it yet.
Some people are meant to run a vision, some people are meant to assist that vision. When one misses it and start running an errand that God didn’t send him or her, that person does so at his or her own peril. As anointed as Stephen was, he didn’t embark on an independent mission, he didn’t author a book but he did ministry and died in ministry!
Greatness lies in doing that which God has called us to do. If he has called us to do it, there will be a great impression and push in our hearts to do so, not merely a push of zeal but that which comes with a strong conviction.
Imagine if God didn’t call Abraham to go to a land “that hasn’t been shown him” and he started going, he will be on his own. Imagine if Paul had insisted on going to Asia against God’s will, it would have been terrible for him. If ministry is about God, then we should be willing to let God take the lead.
Some people started “Church” because they can pray, they have seen the result, they have conquered fears and yet they missed it… Greatness is in doing what we have been designed to do.