“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:45)
As you embrace the fullness of your higher call, understand that it can only come forth and be presented through your character and personality. Your personal disposition is the infrastructure that your ministry is built upon. You cannot escape the fact that you and your ministry are one.
Although your calling is a spiritual entity that is separate from your humanistic mortality, it still becomes a part of the human experience because of the earthly vessel that carries it. That is why it is so important for us to optimize our standard of living, presenting the best possible framework for ministry.
I am aware of individuals who believe their ministries are separate from the lives they live. They believe, for example, that they can preach against adultery to a congregation of people on Sunday morning, yet have an adulterous affair and still be in the Will of God. Even though they may believe it’s wrong to commit adultery and desire to stop, they still support the theory that their personal failure has nothing to do with their public ministry. This is a common error in Christian circles.
I believe emphatically that if you preach one thing and do another, you are living a lie! Since ministry must come through people, then in this instance, it must come through a liar. One may be fooled into believing that God honors their lives because they can charismatically get people excited or do business deals exceptionally well. But that is not the gauge of spirituality because worldly people and organizations achieve the same results. However, it is emphatically clear throughout the Bible that God pays as much attention to a person’s character as he does to their gifts and abilities. Our Lord Jesus Christ states in Mark 7:20-23:
“…That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
There are many examples throughout the scriptures concerning God’s view of character and calling. For Daniel, Esther, Peter and Paul, their character actually augmented and amplified their callings. For individuals such as Samson, Eli and Judas, their character essentially hindered their influence and ultimately destroyed their call. So, ministry effectiveness can be, at least in part, attributed to character quality. Some commentaries suggest that character is a barometer for ministry success. In His day, Jesus preached right to the character of ministry leaders of the religious establishment:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27
Your character must reflect what you want your ministry to become. Paul presents to Timothy a rhetorical question in 1 Timothy 3:5:
“For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?”
This question seems to indicate that the manner in which a man handles his personal dealings should be a prerequisite for ministry. In other words, it recommends that the individual’s character be the measure of his or her level of service in the church of God. We understand that ministry is God manifesting himself through our gifts and talents. However, this scripture, along with others, seems to advise us that the possessor of the ministry becomes the driving force of its fruition.
An excerpt from “The Prophecy Over Your Life”
BY LYLE DUKES