Who Authorized This Ministry?

The other day someone called the phone line for Sabbath Pulpit Ministries with an interesting question. It was a Seventh-day Adventist woman who wanted to know who authorized the website. She wanted to know if I had had proper permission to publish to the web from some denominational or ecclesial body. When I told her that my authorization comes solely from Jesus Christ’s command to “go ye therefore,” I could tell that the ministry had lost credibility in her eyes.

Still-Born Ministries – No Authorization

Initially, I saw this as simply one person’s indictment of this ministry. However, as I thought about this, the gravity of the situation hit me. This individual has a mindset that would preclude her from pushing forth her own God-given dreams of ministry because it was not “authorized properly.” And more, she would discourage anyone from pursuing their own ministry, if not “properly authorized.” Could it be that part of the long delay is that all of the God inspired ministries of our members are waiting for “proper authorization?”

Your ministry may not qualify you to be a member of ASI, but your is still a God given ministry. You may not have the right to call your ministry “Adventist,” but it is still a ministry. You may have people call you on your line and question your authorization, but yours is a ministry.

God’s Ministry Plan

The organized structure can’t contain the variety of the work that is to be done. When Joel 2:28 is fulfilled and God’s spirit is poured out on all flesh and our sons and daughters prophesy let us not be a hindreance to the work that God is doing. Whether authorized by the brethren or not…

So I encourage you to find the ministry that God has tailored you to. If that ministry is a department in the church, praise God and work in that. If that ministry is a new work that your church or conference wishes to support and promote, Go on ahead, in God’s grace and do that ministry. If you have been baptized, you are authorized for baptism is your ordination to the ministry God has called you to. If you are experienced in a field, find a way to use it for ministry. And if, yours is a ministry that the church cannot support due to financial or personnel reasons, go on ahead and do it. Just make sure that when someone asks you “who authorized this ministry” you can say with conviction, “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Laughing at God

When Abraham was told that he and Sarah were to have a child, Abraham fell down and laughed. (Gen 17:15-17). He laughed. Sarah, according to Gen 18:11-12, laughed as well. They both laughed at God because both were advanced in years. They were well past the child bearing age. However, the promise that was given to them was not based on their ability. The promise was not in Abraham or Sarah’s child bearing possibilities, but in another reality created by the powerful Word of God. The promise was based in the ability of the One giving the promise to fulfill the promise.

Abraham and Sarah desperately wanted this, but it was beyond reason to think it could be true. Think of laughing at God when God makes a promise. It was ridiculous, but this was God’s Word. It was impossible, but there is still the promise.

We Have Promises on Our Lives

All of us may have a promise on our lives. God has given us the promise, but it is too hard…nay maybe even impossible. You cannot do it. It is beyond your capability to complete. Perhaps your promise from God is not having a child, but maybe it is completing that degree. Maybe it is changing careers into one that God has been pushing you towards for so many years. Perhaps it is victory over that sin that so easily besets you. I don’t know what it is, but I know that you have a promise. This is probably something that you cannot complete, and yet there is still God’s promise.

Like so many stories in the Bible, I understand completely where Abraham and Sarah are coming from. It was impossible. It was their very understanding of their inability that clarified the impossibility. But understand or not, the promise is still there.

Understanding the Impossible

And God comes to us who think that God’s promise is too big for our understanding and simply says, “Is there anything too hard for God?” (Gen 18:14) This week hold on to that idea as you seek to live in God’s promise in your own lives. Then you will see God turn that laugh of disbelief into a laugh of celebration….