It's not Mine
"It's not your ministry."
That's all he needed to say, and I immediately experienced a shift in attitude. It's amazing how Adonai gets right to the heart of an issue.
The ministry entrusted to me is not mine; it's his. Therefore I have no right to expect a particular outcome from my efforts. That would be akin to getting a job as an instructor at my local community college and then complaining to the directors when, after a couple of years, the college isn't competing with state universities. The instructor's job is to teach, not to determine the mission or reach of the institution. Austin Community College was never meant to be the next University of Texas.
I knew this intellectually, but I wasn't grasping it emotionally until YHVH reminded me of my place.
A SMall Audience on a Narrow Path
The raw, unfiltered Word of God offends people. Yes, even Christians.
Many people claim to be Christians, but Y'shua said that the Way is narrow and hard, and few find it (Matt. 7:14). He also said that on the day of judgment many will call him Master and will claim to have done praiseworthy things in his name, but he will reply to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness" (Matt. 7:23, ESV).
A lot of those who profess Christ will never seek intimacy with him and become conformed to him. They do not care to actually submit to the Lord. Their religion is simply an academic exercise because it does not inform every aspect of who they are. Living truly counter-culture is an outlandish concept to mainstream Christians. Like the congregation at Laodicea, they imagine that everything is going well, but actually they are wretched, blind, and naked (Rev. 3:14-22).
I teach that that the Assembly (Church) has been long deceived and needs to undergo an extensive Reformation. I teach that most ecclesiastical leaders are out to collect tithing congregants rather than to deliver the whole Word of God boldly and unapologetically. I teach that modern Christendom has been sucked in by the world and looks nearly indistinguishable from it. I teach a coming judgment, and I call for repentance. None of this wins me many friends. My countrymen would rather listen to teachers who tickle their ears and soothe their minds.
My mission is incompatible with my desire to grow a large audience.
The prophets of old faced the same dilemma. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Elijah, and others all found themselves surrounded by neighbors who wanted nothing to do with them, even though they were providing authentic messages from Israel's Elohiym. The Elohiym whom these men served had them preaching to deaf ears, knowing that their efforts were mostly futile. As YHVH said through Isaiah:
For these are rebellious people, deceitful children,
children unwilling to listen to YHVH’s instruction.
They say to the seers,
“See no more visions!”
and to the prophets,
“Give us no more visions of what is right!
Tell us pleasant things,
Leave this way,
get off this path,
and stop confronting us
with the Holy One of Israel!
Speak Even When No One Wants to Listen
The truth is, there will always be a remnant, and that remnant has need of prophets, apostles, teachers, preachers, and servants of all types. When Elijah had given up on trying to help Israel, feeling alone and useless, YHVH comforted him with the knowledge that he was not alone. "I’ve reserved 7,000 in Israel who have neither bowed their knees to Baal nor kissed him," said Adonai (1 Kings 19:18, ISV).
My service to the King is not pointless just because it is limited in scope. Neither is yours. Let's be like Isaiah, who volunteered to serve YHVH in the midst of a stiff-necked generation without counting the cost.
I heard the Lord's voice, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here I am. Send me!"
(Isaiah 6:8, WEB)