About 34 years ago I prayed a very dangerous prayer while responding to a message in our ministry fellowship then,repeating these words from Isaiah 6:8 (MEV): “Here am I. Send me.” Then I cringed, because I knew God would hurt me deeply in order to use me to touch others for Christ.

I wanted God to use me, but I was painfully aware that we don’t just go out and start a ministry on our own terms. God bends and breaks those who speak for Him. He requires full surrender. I had to let go of fears, adjust attitudes and change priorities.

It has become popular today to suggest that God can use anybody. It’s true that He does not show favoritism based on race, age, gender, marital history, past failures or income status. Yet His standards have never been lowered; He only uses humble, obedient, pliable, holy, pure and consecrated followers.

Many Christians will never be useful in the kingdom because of mindsets or behaviors that limit the flow of the Holy Spirit or, as the apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:21 (KJV), “frustrate the grace of God.” I don’t ever want to frustrate His grace! If you want God to use you, make sure you don’t fall into any of these categories:

  1. Driver’s Seat Christians. Jesus is not just our Savior; He is our Lord, and He wants to guide our decisions, direct our steps and overrule our selfish choices. There are many believers who enjoy the benefits of salvation yet they never yield control to God. If you want Him to use you, then you must slide over into the passenger seat and let Jesus drive. If you have a problem with willfulness, learn to pray: “Not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42, MEV).
  1. Armchair Critics. There are some people who roll up their sleeves and serve the Lord; there are others who make it their business to analyze and pick apart everyone who is doing God’s work. The devil is the Accuser, so if you are accusing others you are operating in the spirit of Lucifer. The Holy Spirit does not work through people who are bitter, angry or judgmental.
  1. Glass-half-empty Pessimists. Many Christians today are worried about what sinners are doing, and some spend hours trying to predict when the Antichrist will arise or when the world will end. Meanwhile there are other Christians who focus on winning lost people to Jesus and showing His compassion to a broken world. Who do you think will bear more spiritual fruit—the doomsday pessimist or the hopeful evangelist?
  1. Carnally-Minded Christians. It has become fashionable today for believers to lower the standard of moral behavior to the point that anything goes. Unmarried Christians are living together, some pastors are experimenting with adultery and some denominations have voted to sanction homosexual relationships. Don’t be fooled. Just because more and more people are jumping on this trendy bandwagon does not mean God has rewritten His eternal Word.

People who live in blatant sin cannot be instruments of the Holy Spirit. 2 Timothy 2:21 says clearly: “One who cleanses himself from these things will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, fit for the Master’s use, and prepared for every good work.” Our usefulness to God is based on whether we have submitted to the process of sanctification. Holiness is not an option.

  1. Church dropouts. I won’t win a popularity contest by saying this, but it’s true: God does not use people who have turned away from the church. Today it is fashionable to bash the church; some people have even established “ministries” to lure Christians away from church and into an isolated spiritual wilderness. Most of these church-bashers are bitter because they had a bad experience with a pastor.

I have only compassion for any victim of spiritual abuse. But no one has the right to tear down the work of God just because a spiritual leader hurt him. The church is God’s Plan A, and He does not have an alternative. If we are going to be used by God, we must get connected to the church and learn to flow with its God-ordained leadership.

  1. Timid Cowards. When Paul sent Timothy to Ephesus to pioneer the church there, he exhorted him to break free from fear. He wrote: “Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” (2 Tim. 1:8). Fear has the power to paralyze. All those who surrender to the call of God must bravely open their mouths, defend the faith, risk their reputation and suffer rejection—and possible persecution. If you are afraid to share the gospel, repent of your fear and ask God for holy boldness.
  1. Lazy Spectators. Many Christians today think following God means clocking in for a 90-minute service before driving to the lake. We read quick devotions on our smart phones and breathe short prayers during our morning commutes. But somewhere in all this 21st century stress we lost the meaning of discipleship.

If you want God to use you, you must take His call seriously and become a focused student of His Word and a passionate prayer warrior. The apostles of the first century declared: ” But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). Halfhearted people never changed the world. You must be devoted, committed and passionate if you want to make maximum spiritual impact.

J.Grady&FBA.

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BOOKS BY BOLA AKIN-JOHN

  1. Fruitful and Fulfilling Ministry Today
  2. Grow the Pastor Grow the Church
  3. Sexual Purity in Leadership
  4. Money, Ministers and Ministry Today
  5. 22 Dynamic Laws of Church Growth
  6. 25 Pillars of Church Health
  7. Personal Growth Today
  8. The Loyal Associate
  9. Guest Ministers Today
  10. 120 Strategic Ways to Increase Church Attendance
  11. Quality and Quantity Growth in Churches
  12. Strategic Church Planting Today
  13. Spiritual Warfare for Dynamic Church Growth
  14. Supernatural Power, Miracles, Signs and Wonders Today
  15. Church Change
  16. The Place of Anointing and Administration in Church Growth
  17. Pulpit Power for Church Growth
  18. Daily Nourishment for Leaders
  19. Healthy Leaders Healthy Churches
  20. Anointing Alone is Not Enough
  21. 101 Ministry Lessons
  22. Healthy Home
  23. Small Middle-Size and Mega Churches
  24. How to follow well
  25. Strategic Living
  26. True success in ministry
  27. Rise and Fall of Churches / Ministries
  28. Closing the Back Door
  29. 25 Indispensable Qualities of a Competent and Credible Minister
  30. Church Growth Principles of Jesus
  31. Your Church Your Community
  32. Your Growth is Your Future
  33. Frank Talk to Men
  34. The Cell Church
  35. Our Churches and His Church
  36. How to Support & Strengthen your Pastor
  37. 101 ways to progressively kill a church
  38. The Real Man in Every Church
  39. Matured Pastor’s Wife & Female Minister
  40. Pray and Grow
  41. Short Course on Family Growth
  42. Short Course on Church Growth
  43. Short Course on Wholesome Sexuality
  44. Short Course on Financial Growth
  45. Short Course on Personal Growth
  46. Fundamental Teaching & Doctrines of the Bible
  47. With Jesus in the School of Money
  48. Holy Spirit the True Vicar of Life and Ministry
  49. Five Fold Ministry
  50. Prophet & Prophetic Ministry Today
  51. Leading your Church to Lasting Growth
  52. Your Image is Your Growth
  53. Conflict and Crisis in Ministry
  54. Thy Kingdom Come
  55. DiscipleShift Today
  56. Healthy Local Church
  57. Congregational and Cell Church Today
  58. Heart of a Christian
  59. Overseer and Senior Pastor Hand book 1
  60. Abusive Pastor Abusive Churches
  61. Church Turn-Around Strategies
  62. Pastor and People’s Price For Church Growth
  63. Fatherhood and Sonship
  64. Healthy Woman Minister
  65. Women In Church Growth Resource
  66. Kingdom Stewardship
  67. Overcome At The Gate
  68. Healthy Pastor, Dangerous Pastor
  69. Sexually Wholesome Church
  70. Healthy Pastors, Dangerous Pastor
  71. Impact-Driven Church
  72. Clergy Coupes
  73. Apostolic Ministry
  74. Evangelist Ministry
  75. Pastoral Ministry
  76. Prophetic Ministry
  77. Teaching Ministry
  78. Your Church Can Grow in a Healthy Way
  79. Real Men Resource
  80. Strong Christian, Strong Christian
  81. Planting Disciples-Making Church
  82. Front and back Door of Your Church
  83. Discipleship Process Recourse
  84. True Biblical Church Growth is still Possible
  85. Daily Nourishment 2
  86. Reaching and Disciplining Children and Youth in today’s Church
  87. Eschatology and Kingdom Teaching Resource
  88. I Can’t Breathe