Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Powering Through

Its the determination to do right in the face of opposition (James 4:17 AMP). It is the commitment a Christian makes when under spiritual attack and temptation rears its ugly head for you to choose to stay or go back out in the world (1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP). Its what ministers call holy boldness because you are more then a conqueror through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37 AMP). Yes, you can do this....YES, WE WIN!!!

It all sounds good, it makes for a dynamic sermon, and we leave feeling more powerful then ever. I have been there. Then I began to study and wondered about somethings...especially going through ministerial school. If you have been following the progression of this blog, you read about my experiences in ministerial school and the horrors that a couple of ministries can bring when you believe everything you hear rather then reading the Word for yourself first (2 Timothy 2:15 AMP). Been there too; it wasn't fun.

To give a synopsis of what I already wrote, suffice to say (write), that one of the first instructions that I received that caused a frown was not to tell anyone what I was about to learn. How was that possible when I am trying to be trained to minister to people (Romans 15:19 AMP). Alright, I thought and then they proceeded with a skit for the students to believe that while we are doing as the Lord told us, (obedience), we will now experience all sorts of turmoil (confusion). The children will act like they lost their mind, your job won't be the peaceful place it once was, your spouse will have issues with everything you are doing, and by and large you will think that you should quit ministerial school. We are telling you to power through. The skit continued in its comical fashion and for the most part we walked away thinking to be on our guard for the stuff they warned us would happen. That's right, we accepted the message and expected trouble (Mark 11:23. Romans 8:31, Isaiah 26:3, Romans 14:17, Matthew 11:30 AMP).

During those short months that I remained in the institution, my health was deteriorating with something I was not familiar with nor could I describe without sounding like I was on some sort of mind altering substance (which I wasn't, though I wasn't believed). One of my fellow class mates was rushed to the hospital and almost lost her life. Because of the faith of her husband, she pulled through and no one could tell that she had ever been through anything when it was over. There was another classmate that lost her job but continued in school without a hitch. She then lost her home and had to move back in with her mother. She called herself powering through as her wedding day approached and she was finishing her first year of ministerial school, when out of no where with all of the volunteer work she was doing in the ministry, transitioned home. No one was more surprised then her fiance. He couldn't explain what happened or why. He, like everyone else that knew her, was stunned.

How do you power through all of that? Where were the comforting words for the students that remained in the ministerial school because of determination? Even though they are hearing that God is doing all of this to His obedient children, they remained? For what? To find the strongest minister? To see who can stand in the face of opposition? So that in the end, you can be trusted to be on staff? Seriously, when do you pack it in because you realize the Word doesn't require this from anyone? When do you see that man has been manipulative with your mind and because your thinking is altered so is your belief system (Ephesians 4:27 AMP) ? Its enough to make a believer very angry...but God.

Anger is a powerful emotion. It can make you do some destructive things if you allow it or it makes you say something that you wouldn't normally say but needed to be heard. Which side of the spectrum would you like to be on? When you decided that life was the answer to a question asked so many years ago, it is the same answer to this question as well. I went on a campaign rage though it was all in letter form and was actually never mentioned or sent until now for the purposes of this blog. I was determined to send a letter to all of the ministries I had been supporting through out the years. I was going to send them the same amount of progressive letters (or lack thereof) as they had sent to me complete with an envelope telling them of the plight I was going through keeping a job, a residence, and finances due to the crap that was spewed on me while I was enduring ministerial school. I was going to send them a scripture as they do in the telethons and tell them that according to the numbered scripture and verse, that's how much money they should be sending to me for the year or two or whatever came to my mind at the time. I planned to keep asking for more and giving them pictures of my progress because even if on a smaller scale, what God has called me to do is a ministry too - right? That's what was ministered to me all of those times I came to church and listened to all of those sermons. Why couldn't I do the same thing that they did to me?

And then I calmed myself because God is still God and He saw all that I had been through because I adhered to what a man said and didn't test it out as God told me to do (1 John 4:1 AMP). Once I understood that, I was delivered. Once delivered, I could get up, shake the dust off, look for the plain path where I left Jesus, and get back with the race. Consequently, the test returns to see if you learned anything (Luke 11:20-26 AMP).

I didn't complete the course work in that particular ministerial school for a myriad of reasons. I did
apply elsewhere and was surprised at the curriculum with the course work being accredited. So excited to begin, I registered as a corresponding student. The first year was a little tough due to it being the first time as a correspondence student. It requires dedication and much more focus then it would be if I were in class. I made it for the first term without a hitch. The second term was a little more challenging and didn't go very well to the point of where I had to drop the courses. Suffice to say (write), every time I registered for another term, something happened. The company where I was employed down sized and the program that carried my position was one of the first to go. I had to seek employment elsewhere (3 times). My residence was broken into twice to the point of me not feeling safe where I was. I sought residence else where (3 times). My cars were vandalized, totaled, and stolen. I asked myself over and over again what was going on. I never realized that these things happened every time I registered for ministerial school....well, the realization didn't happen, until recently.

Common sense would tell me to quit and seek to have a career void of the ministry. Just the sound of that sentence was like listening to the explanation of human reproduction in Greek. What? I walked this challenging road with a co-worker who is also born again and terminated from her position. I listened to her as she was trying to find another job and a place to stay. Her griping because of what we both had to do at this time in our lives, made sense but it didn't progress us any further (Philippians 2:14 AMP). She expected for me to stay on the same road with her but it wasn't what God called me to do. No matter how difficult it appears to be, doing what compromises joy, peace, and righteousness is like giving the enemy the keys all over again. That won't happen in my life and just for that reason, I have to power through.

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