Copyright 2017 Theresa Harvard Johnson
(Before reading this, I strongly encourage you to check out my previous blog post, Ordained Too Soon. Also, take a few minutes to read 2 Peter 1 , which is in part, the backdrop of this blog post.)
Are you walking in an undeveloped and/or Ineffective ministry calling?
Unfortunately, so many people of God are indeed. They may be mature in their understanding of the Word, in managing life…. but stand in need of understanding the things of the apostolic and prophetic. They have taken on Ephesians 4:11 offices completely ill equipped to operate in them effectively. So much so, that basic evidences of living life in the Spirit can be mistaken or seen as a specific calling when it is simply a sign of life in the prophetic, not necessarily a call to an office or mantle.
The bottom line is this: When God seals a person in a mantle; it is because they are capable of walking it out in its developed and effective place.
In a vision, I held a boiled chicken egg in my hand. It was cooling. When the shell was peeled off, the egg held its shape on one end, and the egg whites began to disintegrate on the other… with the slightest of pressure. Within seconds, I had runny egg whites and clumps of egg flowing through my fingers. The yolk, partially cooked, dripped like sludge with it.
The egg itself did not qualify in the hard-boiled or soft-boil category. Rather, it was undeveloped and ineffective in its presentation as a boiled egg. Just as an improperly boiled egg provides health risks to the consumer, particularly salmonella poisoning, undeveloped people pose substantial “health risks” to the witness of the Gospel (Ephesians 4:1-16 ; Colossians 1 ; 1 Corinthians 11:1 ; Romans 14:16 ; 1 Peter 3:15 ; Matthew 5:13-16 ).
I had the following impression during the vision: This is how a number of believers are in the Spirit when attempting to walk out Ephesians 4:11 callings that have been proclaimed over them or that they have claimed prematurely over themselves. It makes for a messy journey.
There are so many things I wish I could “recall or take back” from my life in ministry. Instead, I have had to repent and ask the Lord to uproot those declarations I planted in others prematurely or even while missing the mark altogether. I’ve even spent time asking the Lord to reveal to them His truth concerning who they are and where they are… trusting that just as He made the crooked places straight in my life, He would do so for them. So thankful today that I can continue to grow in wisdom!
We should never walk in the presumption that we have the authority to tell anyone what their specific calling is to ministry. And when we do disclose accurately, it should be done in wisdom. Sometimes, it is best to BE QUIET and allow Holy Spirit to reveal these things organically lest we lead people down wrong or premature paths. Of course there are exceptions to this, but just as we encourage people to use extreme caution when prophesying babies, baby gender, marriage or prophetically advising them to leave a job or career --- we need to incur caution here as well. I have read many books on the prophetic, prophetic guidelines, etc. and I have never seen this specific aspect included in the precautions or levels of discernment.
People of God, to be undeveloped means to not have reached full growth within one’s intrinsic purpose. While a blueberry seed contains all that is needed to produce blueberries from a blueberry bush, it is still a seed until it reaches full growth! Until that time, all you have is potential and the hope for a blueberry bush. It is a seed that must go through planting, watering, cultivating, breaking through the ground, and all the other stages of growth! No one escapes the growth process and skip to maturity. It is an unbendable spiritual and natural law. In the interim, the blueberry bush is INEFFECTIVE in its purpose. To be ineffective is to fail to produce the desired effect for which a thing was created! In other words, an apostle called of God should produce those things that are inherent to that calling – not just look the part!
I fully believe that this is why Christ cursed the fig tree in Mark 11:12-14 NIV. It reads: “On the day following, when they had come away from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree [covered] with leaves, He went to see if He could find any [fruit] on it for in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. But when He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves, for the fig season had not yet come. And He said to it, No one ever again shall eat fruit from you. And His disciples were listening [to what He said].”
I could preach an 8-week sermon on this! THE SIGNS OF A CALLING may not be the evidence of A CALLING. The flourishing of certain prophetic gifts can often be JUST SIGNS that a person is prophetically gifted. But upon closer inspection, the OFFICE or the MANTLE is not actually present! And unfortunately, this is the state of so many professed Ephesians 4:11 ministers in this season… and sadly, many of them exist in unteachable, unaccountable and unrepentant states.
Proverbs 1:7 NIV, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Let’s say this plainly: We must not be fools before the Lord.
False callings and authority produces houses on sinking sand or sandcastles. And when trouble comes the people and everything in those houses are washed away. Properly equipped people stand on firm foundation. Properly equipped people will always walk out clear vision with identifiable authority, influence and power. Properly equipped people will always stand accountable beyond their own understanding. Their roots in Christ’s character and ways will run deep. We should pay close attention to the parable of the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27 .
That fig tree Christ cursed looked the part, but it could offer Christ no nourishment in his time of hunger. Every single undeveloped gift and ineffective ministry calling presents itself this way. How many of God’s precious people are planted like the fig tree in Mark 11 – and standing proud in its illusion, delusions? People of God, it is time for an awakening. It is time to obtain proper equipping!
2 Peter 1:3-12 NIV, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Goodness in this passage refers to virtue or moral goodness – the character, work and ways of Christ. And although we’ve received everything we need “for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us”… there is still this place of making every effort “to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness knowledge and to knowledge self-control…”
Peter provided us with some clear and present stages of development! Goodness ranks first; followed by goodness and knowledge; and then by Knowledge and self-control! Why? Because when we are clothed in Christ’s virture and knowledge is pursued… that knowledge result in the kind of wisdom that aids in self-control. When self-control is evident in your life – you won’t need jump into things before time. You won’t resent God’s appointed timing for you! Rather, you will embrace humility.
You see, all the gifts of the apostle and prophet were present in Christ’s life, but wisdom caused him to wait in the midst of His calling even when His brothers attempted to push Him forward outside of God’s timing – read John 7 for yourself.
John 7:6-8 AMPC, “Whereupon Jesus said to them, My time (opportunity) has not come yet; but any time is suitable for you and your opportunity is ready any time [is always here]. The world cannot [be expected to] hate you, but it does hate Me because I denounce it for its wicked works and reveal that its doings are evil. Go to the Feast yourselves. I am not [yet] going up to the Festival, because My time is not ripe. [My term is not yet completed; it is not time for Me to go.”
If Christ recognized that his time was not RIPE (FULLY COMPLETE) in His own life, how much more should we? Repent, and ask the Lord to keep you in a place of development until your time has fully come.
- Last Updated: 30 January 2017
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