“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit,” John 15:1-2.
As a rule, I used to spend many hours in prayer before any meeting, seeking to hear the heart of God for the meeting.
One afternoon, some years ago, I drew myself apart to “prepare” for a meeting I was to conduct that evening.
Upon preparing to “prepare”, I clearly heard God speak to my heart.
He said, “You cannot prepare for this evening, because there is nothing to “prepare”!
Don’t you understand and realize that you have been prepared for this meeting, 25 years ago, when you first began this journey with Me, and ever since then?
You cannot prepare anything that I have not already birthed and formed in you, to be given life through you.
So go and rest, you are already prepared for tonight’s service!”
I suddenly realized the beauty of true and authentic ministry and how it always flows from a personal walk of intimacy and relationship with the LORD!
Know this – there are no substitutes or shortcuts to the treasures of God’s heart.
For the Miracle Power of His Life to be expressed and to flow, as the Miracle wine flowed at Cana, more is required than a mere 3 year diploma from a Bible school.
In truth, all authentic ministry is formed through process and time. God works in us, and to the measure that He is able to do so, He also works through us.
We grow to “become” the living embodiment of our ministries.
We may be used to produce the best Wine in Cana (John 2:1-12) instantly and miraculously, leaving people astonished by what we seem to be able to serve up at a moments notice.
Yet what they may not realize is that we can only do so when the Wine served through us, has firstly been matured in us!
I have come to understand a principle that remains unchangeable — the measure in which God is able to reveal Himself in us, becomes, in direct proportion, the measure that He is able to reveal Himself to others, through us.
There are no shortcuts, except those which lead down the hallways of a mere facade and a “form” of God and what is presented as His “work”, void of the true Authentic Life and Power of His Person.
We live our ministries successfully, before we minister them effectively.
The LORD once told me, “You are the (your) ministry! If you are taken out of the equation there remains no more ministry!”
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven is in South Africa. He has been serving the LORD in ministry since 1991 and has hosted numerous apostolic revival meetings in South Africa and in South America. He also currently pioneers a organic church planting movement across South Africa. For more information about him and his ministry visit Fellowship of Believers or Revival.