OH YOU GUYS. This.
“The degree of your ministry and the effectiveness of your ministry will be determined by the condition of your heart. So, if your heart’s not pure, your ministry won’t be. Because it’s the anointing that breaks the yoke and the chain and the bondage, not the gift.”
“We’ve got a lot of gifted communicators [and musicians] not necessarily anointed ministers. People walk into a room bound, and maybe your gifting will entertain them or will spark their intellect… but they’ll walk out still in bondage and not free. Because there’s a great gifting but there’s not a great anointing.”
“But if you’re willing to be crushed in private… [The olive] went through the crushing to become the oil. So if you want to have the oil so that you can be poured out… like a drink offering for a generation, then you’ve got to be willing to be crushed in anonymity and obscurity so that God can pour you out.”
“There is always a direct correlation between the crushing privately and the promotion publicly.”
I’ve been thinking a whole lot about reach and influence as we’ve been preparing for this trip and raising funds. I’ve been thinking about platform and “presence” when it comes to trying to publish a book some day.
A platform building webinar I attended a few years back said a 10,000 person reach would give you legs to stand on when approaching a publisher. (For reference, this blog reaches roughly 100-200 per post. Not so much impressive.)
I honestly kind of gave up after that.
Don’t get me wrong. I am so honored to have been gifted with several areas of influence, not the least of which is standing on a literal platform on the weekends to lead worship.
But, when it comes to actively “building a platform” or gaining influence, I guess I just figured that if I stewarded what has been given me well, God would increase my territory.
Maybe I’d land a book deal somehow, or maybe I’d become “Christian famous” or influential in Mental Health circles.
You know what, though?
The closer I draw to Jesus, the smaller and smaller I feel.
Not in a self-deprecating, woe is me kind of way. But in a way that says, “I must decrease, and you must increase.”
What if my growth actually means I am shrinking?
I’m an artist at heart. I want to create things and share them with the world. We all want to be seen and known. And, especially in worship-leading circles, the temptation is to crave the spotlight – to be the song leader or the one with the big part on that song we love.
But, if the purpose is really ministry – to be Christ’s hands on earth, to declare freedom to captives and hope to the hopeless – then we must be willing to allow ourselves to be crushed.
That’s not that type of thing most people sign up for when they audition for a worship team or go to Bible school. I know I didn’t.
I see it now as mirage in the desert – not clear yet but forming…
This Called Life is not about me. It never has been. Yes, I’ll pursue the desires and dreams He has placed in my heart with faith. But, by His grace, I will do it with the knowledge that I will be trampled beneath it so that He can be known by it.
Upside down kingdom at its finest.
Maybe someone else wants to ponder this with me. ❤