Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient–in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God… Romans 16:17-19a
Have You Been Confirmed?
I am not talking about those confirmation classes your mom made you take when you were back in Sunday school, but God’s direct confirmation of your ministry. Just to be clear, every single Christian has a ministry, so I suppose the question I am really asking is if you are in the right one. How do we find out? The Apostle Paul gives us the first clue when he fearlessly pronounces that the work he does is not his, but God’s. As a result, the signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit follow him.
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. Mark 16:17-18
Are You Being Followed?
If God’s signs and wonders are not following you, it may be an indication that you are pursuing God’s miracles rather than God. The truth be told, those guys who play with rattlesnakes or speak in unknown tongues merely to prove God is with them, eventually get bitten. Ultimately what is proven is that they’re unendorsed [by the Father] in their fleshly ministry. Paul demonstrates that as we move in submissive obedience to God’s plan, His signs and wonders, miraculous or otherwise, will follow us in due season.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me Acts 1:8a
How do we know when we see the true power of the Holy Spirit being displayed? The verse from Acts makes it incredibly easy to determine: is the supposed sign and wonder pointing to the Christian or to Christ? If it’s not pointing to Jesus, then what you’re witnessing is a work of a person’s flesh. That alone does not necessarily signify that person is not a born again believer, but rather he or she is being guided by something else other that the Holy Spirit.
Where’s the Fruit?
Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. Numbers 17:8
Fruit is often a seasonal thing, so lack of it may not be a sign you’re in the wrong ministry—you just might have to wait for it to come into season. The story of Aaron’s rod is a wonderful illustration of the principle. However, if there never was any fruit and the seasons have come and past, the likelihood exists that you’re out of position–you might be on the right farm, but you’re standing beneath the wrong tree.
Have you been ignoring one mission field because you were off in the wrong one? If so don’t be alarmed, depressed or discouraged—it happens to many and it has happened to me. The good news is that floundering in a mistaken ministry is easy to remedy—simply stop what you’re doing. Then ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal His plan. Chances are your ministry is right under your nose; perhaps your family or children. Humble yourself and ask Him where to take up the path again.