In John 15:8 the Lord said, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples,” (NKJV). We begin to bear fruit as disciples, but when we go to the next level of relationship with the Lord — being His bondservant — bearing fruit by doing His work becomes our primary focus. Discipleship is mostly about us, us learning, and us growing. But becoming a bondservant requires us to apply all we have learned for His purposes, not our benefit. This is where we start doing the real work of the Lord, walking in a whole new level of obedience.
When I was a young Christian and not married, I could support myself with a part-time job, so I was able to spend about forty hours or more a week in study. I read The Bible over and over. I read every Christian book I could. I studied history in depth. I studied eschatology. I studied the creation in order to better understand the Creator. I went to hear any teacher or preacher I thought I could learn from. I was consumed with fascination about the Lord, and my greatest treasure was finding any bit of knowledge about Him and His ways.
During the last part of this phase of my life, I was leading a small group that was mostly made up of college students. It was when I tried to be a pastor that I learned how painfully inadequate I was as a leader, even though I had so much more knowledge than they. It takes a lot more than knowledge and intelligence to be a good leader. It takes wisdom, experience, and most of all, for spiritual leadership, the fruit of the Spirit.
I made so many mistakes with people and felt so inadequate that I left the pastorate and took a corporate flying job that also allowed me to spend most of my time in study. However, at that point, more study was not what I needed. I needed to learn how to apply the knowledge by being a bondservant and to daily walk as closely as possible with the Lord. It does not matter how much we know about Him, we cannot do His work without Him.
I took a round-about way to get there, and spent some time running from my calling, but by His grace, He gave me a second call. When I finally submitted to the service as a bondservant, I also learned there is no greater freedom than being His slave. There is no greater prosperity we could ever know than when we give up everything to Him. How do we do this? Next week I will interject some personal experiences I think will be helpful.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|