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Fig Leaves and Other Christian Coverings (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 7 of 8
If you start to think: where I live, where I work, where I go to school - that is where God sent me. I am apostolically commissioned to go there, and to discover those that God called me to minister to; and then to engage them, by initiating the connection, find out where the needs are, and bring something of God to them. Every believer is called to do that. You cannot hide in a prayer meeting, and fulfil the call of God. The prayer meeting, we engage God, we build with Him, we draw from Him, we experience Him. Then we fulfil the great commission, by going and touching people with what we've experienced. We've got to learn how to do that - so that's the apostolic commission. Now the second part, is in here as well, is the area of pastoral care and discipleship. Now here's the thing that's interesting. The guy knew his limits. He knew he could not do it all himself; and one of the great skills you've got to learn, is where your limits are. You can't do it all yourself, and neither does God expect you to. We've got at times learn to draw lines, and say: no more; even if people want more.

There's others can carry it on, so what he did was the next thing you see, the pastoral care and discipleship. He took him to the Inn. The inn, in the Bible here, is a picture of the local church, a community of believers. He took him to a place, and connected him with other people who could help him. You don't have to have all the answers, you've just got to be willing to have a good feeling for people, and when you see them in need, go to them, and do what you can. Then attract them to where someone else can carry on the job. Notice the next thing he did; he provided resources to ensure that the man's recovery took place; and then he checked up, and followed him up, to see how it was. Now Jesus said that's what loving God with all your heart, and loving your neighbour as yourself, is all about. It actually is revealed, not in the Bible school, not in the worship service, not in any of these things. It is revealed in the way you connect with, and touch the lives, of people.

Now it doesn't mean that the others aren't important. They are vitally important. Is it important to pray? Yes. Is it important to worship? Yes. Is it important to engage God? Of course, this is where the source is. But if you access the source, and never fulfil the purpose, you've frustrated the plan of God. He said in Acts 1 verse 8: you shall receive glorious power from on high; visions, dreams, revelations, prophecies, all kinds of wonderful things! And you can just wallow in them, enjoy them like a pig in a hollow. [Laughter] He didn't say that, did He? He said: no, you get them; and He said: then that's what equips you, to go to Jerusalem, the local town where you live, Judea, all around us in the Bay and in Samaria and beyond, everywhere. He said: that is the purpose of the Holy Ghost! It's given to you, to get you out there, so you can be a representative of God, and minister God to people! That's what it's about.

It's not about meetings. Meetings are about encouragement, engaging God, being built up, but actually our life call is about engaging God, allowing Him to shape us, so we can represent Him in the community; and you know what He is like? He even left heaven, and came to a grubby, dirty, sinful world, and engaged it. Does that cost you something? It sure does. Does that hurt you a bit? Ooh ooh, just look at the nail prints! Do people like you for it? Not always! Is it messy? Incredibly! Do you have times when people let you down? Just believe that! That's why the Holy Ghost is given to you, so you can be healed of your hurts, and carry on with the fire of God, and minister to people.