"Are you crucified?" The Bible says in Galatians 2:20 that we are called to be crucified with Christ. That means many times the hammer is in His hands and the nail in your flesh.
Let me speak to those whom have chosen the calling of proclaiming the gospel. Surely, you could have chosen a better profession, according to the world's standards, one that the laws I speak of do not apply. But you chose a greater purpose, so please read slowly.
You see, when I first got started, I wanted to touch the world without first touching heaven.
When I first got started, I had more desire to build my kingdom and not His.
When I first got started, I had more hunger to be seen than humility to hide, more passion than purity and more potential than prayer life.
So God, ever so rich in mercy and love, had to slow walk me past relevance into resignation; to then bring forth true resurrection in His likeness and not the image manufactured by the spiritual talent-scouts of today.
This is a Job 13:15 moment: "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him; yet I will argue my ways to His face."
When you begin to grow in your calling, you must first walk through a season of the death of dreams to be exposed to a God vision. A time when He takes you from the Renaissance of ministry into the Restoration of His Majesty. It is in the death of personal agenda that we will soon discover God was your loudest cheerleader. For Zephaniah 3:17 declares, "The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One, who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will renew you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
The longer you are called, the more you'll find yourself to be more introverted and less extroverted. You see, God is jealous with His creation (Deut. 6:15). It's in the cocoon of preparation that your wings are strengthened to fly not on the accolades of dying man, but by the breath of the Almighty. The hibernation of holiness is not produced on the stage exaltation but rather the dark room of spirit confrontation. If we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness then we will have to lose our appetite for our own flesh. We must once again have the starvation of personal infatuation.
We must understand that if you get exposed to praise too early, then you are dangerous to the courts of heaven. Personal praise becomes a license to lord over that which you did not die for.
I learned long ago that self-promotion only leads to a heavenly demotion. God does not share the glory (1 Cor. 1:29). Oh yes, Father has placed me on the stages of five different continents allowing me to preach His Word, but that was the easy part. I'm not talking about Sunday's presentation, but rather the Monday through Friday "Underground Railroad" where God is trying to lead me out of slavery into freedom. This is when I recite Psalm 86:15, which says, "But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in mercy and truth."
So if you are walking the Via Dolorosa (the way of the cross) heed the call of Revelation 22:17, "Come away with Me." Along the way, stop at the hardware store and grab a hammer. God already has the nails.
Now, if you are still in the midst of being crucified, hold on, Sunday is coming! God is not slow in keeping His promises, but the first promise He must procure is the joy set before Him!
Pat and Karen Schatzline are international evangelists and authors who co-lead Remnant Ministries International and the I Am Remnant Movement. They are known for their passion to lead people of all ages into deep encounters with God. They are frequent guests on Christian television and radio shows such as The Jim Bakker Show, Sid Roth's It's Supernatural!, and Ask Dr. Brown, as well as on networks such as Daystar, TBN, JCTV, and GodTV. They have written several books, including Why Is God So Mad at Me?, I Am Remnant, Dehydrated and Unqualified. Married since 1990, they make their home in Birmingham, Alabama. Their joy is their daughter, Abby; son, Nate; daughter-in-love, Adrienne; and grandsons, Jackson and Anderson.
This article originally appeared on Pat's blog. Reprinted with permission.
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