God's Assignment,

How To Boldly Go Into Your Next Spiritual Assignment

Introduction

It has been said that everything changes except death and taxes. Even that statement is not true since taxes seem to change at every whim of congress.


The same is true in our Christian life. Change is something that is inevitable and in fact should be invited. If we are stagnant then we are dying.

We should be constantly growing and changing in our spiritual life. We should be maturing and becoming more like Christ. In that maturing process there are times when we are given new spiritual assignments.

Daniel gives us a glimpse into the character and nature of God.

Daniel 2:21
He controls the course of world events;
he removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the scholars.

Here we see that God not only controls the course of events in our life but is willing to give wisdom and knowledge to us. Because God does give us wisdom and knowledge about the changes in our lives, you can be sure that you have everything you need to move to your next level.

You have enough to make the shift.

Currently I am personally entering a new spiritual assignment as the pastor of the Mid-Peninsula Vineyard Christian Church.

As I am writing this I am reminding myself of some of the principles I have learned over the last 34 years as a believer.

I believe that these principles will help you as you go into your next spiritual assignment from the Lord as well.

So wherever you are at this moment in your life, relax and say: “God, I want to go to my new level now. I am getting ready to move on and move up.”
How To Boldly Go Into Your Next Spiritual Assignment
#1 Be Convinced God Is Calling You
When God begins to move and take you through a transition, it is important that you are thoroughly convinced He is calling you to your next endeavor. You need to be secure in His plans and purposes for your life as best as you understand them.

When you know deep down inside your heart that God has called you to this next adventure in God, then nothing can convince you otherwise. You know that this is God’s destiny for you and that you would be walking outside of the will of God if you did not follow it.

The reason that this is important is because there will be times that this belief will be tested.

If you are not convinced then every time you hit a snag, encounter a trial, run into a roadblock, you will focus on the problem and will give up.

You will not overcome your challenges and pursue your destiny because your lack of conviction will lead you to abandon the mission to which God has called you.

There are many times when only your conviction of your call will be what you can draw on when facing hardships.

If you are going to deal with change effectively and persevere through those hardships, you have to be convinced that you are walking according to the call that you have received. You have to be so convinced that no matter what happens, you will not quit.

This conviction in your heart that God has called you to this transition and change will birth in you the determination to succeed regardless of personal cost.

#2 Don’t Rely On Prophetic Words Alone
When the Lord started dealing with me about the return to pastoral ministry after going through a painful divorce, I was seeking God whether or not it was even allowed.

Many people teach that someone is disqualified to be in leadership or ministry if they have been divorced, regardless of whether or not it was biblical or they were at fault.

It was during that time of seeking God concerning His will that I received 3 prophetic words from 3 different people in 3 different churches. None of these people had met me before.

Prophetic words alone are not meant to give you direction but instead work in conjunction with what the Holy Spirit is already doing in your life.

Do not pack your bags just because you received a prophetic word out of the blue.

In the book of Acts we have an account of the Apostle Paul receiving a prophetic word.

Acts 21:10-12

10 Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. 11 He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” 12 When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.

Here we see that Paul is given a prophetic word from a man named Agabus. Those that heard this word assumed it was a word to warn Paul not to go.

However Paul knew what it meant because the Holy Spirit had already been dealing with him previously.

Acts 22:22-24

22 “And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, 23 except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. 24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

For Paul, the word of prophecy that was given to him by Agabus was not a word of warning but a word of confirmation about what he was sensing would lie ahead.

It was actually a word of encouragement to Him that God knew the trials that were ahead and that God was preparing his heart to face them.

So, do not rely on prophetic words alone, but only if they are in conjunction with what God is already working in your life.

#3 Understand The Path You Have Traveled To See The Path You Are To Follow
When you are moving up into your next spiritual assignment, God builds upon what He has done with you in the past. He builds His temple in you line upon line and precept upon precept.

As you get down your journey in life, you can look back and see patterns of what God is doing.

Over the years, God has used me to bring healing and correction to churches. I did not set out to have this happen but instead I recognize that it is one way that God has used me.

So when an assignment comes along my path that includes this need, I can see the hand of God in it.

Take a moment to look back upon your life. See your past involvement and experiences—whether in ministry, in education, in social settings, or in a professional capacity—as training grounds.

View those experiences as places where God has prepared you. He has been equipping you for the next level. God will expand you in those specific areas or build upon the foundation that is already in you.

Don’t forget to look at your past failures and pain. God even uses those experiences to prepare you for your future.

He turns messes into messages and trials into testimonies.

One of the ways that God uses me today is to minister inner healing to those that have been hurt, betrayed, and cheated upon.

It is because of His hand leading me to places of restoration and forgiveness after having experienced those things that allow me to help others find the same path to restoration.

#4 Evaluate The Changes You Must Make
Many times we think that we just need to pray more, read our Bible more, or worship more, that then we will be prepared for the next assignment that God has given us.

All of these things are good and part of the process but they are not the only part of the process. There are non-spiritual things that we need to do as well.

There are certain specifics that God will start to prepare you with in your next assignment that are not tied to His preparation in the past or how spiritually prepared you are.

As you sense His leading you to the next level and begin to discern specifics about this new assignment, you will enter into a different kind of preparation.

It involves the practical changes you need to make in your life in order to actually fulfill the new assignment or embrace the new season God has for you.

These things might include eliminating any financial debt you might have so that you can live on a salary that is less than you had before.

It might be tying up loose ends where you are now so that you are free to go to where He is leading you.

It may mean allowing Him to break emotional attachments that you currently have in order that you can establish new attachments at your new assignment.

Evaluate what has to be changed in the natural world and allow God to start changing those things in your life.

#5 Be Prepared To Overcome Opposition
Just because God has called you to do something does not mean it will be easy.

No great man or woman of God was exempt from opposition. Even Jesus was opposed by the devil, religious leaders, and at times even His friends and family. You need to commit to overcoming opposition.

Know that the changes will have their challenges, and make a proactive decision to emerge victorious, by God’s grace, in every way.

One of the biggest barriers I have found to moving forward into God’s next assignment for my life is being too comfortable where I am. One of the greatest barriers to moving forward to the next level is being too comfortable functioning where you are.

You may want something different, but when you move into it, you realize that the new assignment has no respect whatsoever for your comfort zone. It will stretch you, challenge you and be full of experiences that are unfamiliar to you.

The next barrier that I have encountered is well meaning friends and family who think I am nuts for dedicating my life to serving God. The pay is lousy, the earthly benefits suck, and the problems you face seem insurmountable.

They tell me that God wants me to be wise and place my trust in secure things like good paying jobs and staying in one place for a long time. Oh how my flesh has longed for such things.

Yet that is not the path that God has given me. I have chosen to build my treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy.

Some people encounter physical opposition and are thrown in jail and are persecuted for their faith. However most of the opposition we will encounter is less dramatic.

Most of it will come in subtle ways that attempt to sidetrack us with the cares of this world. It is this opposition you must first overcome before you will ever be faced with overcoming the more dramatic kind.

#6 Find A Mentor
The kingdom of God is not built by lone rangers and great men and women of God are not born that way, they become that way through the influence of other great believers in their lives.

Early on in my ministry, I struggled seeing the value of mentors. I figured that if God had called me, then I would succeed. I didn’t need others.

That was in all honesty an immature attitude.

Barnabas mentored Paul and Paul mentored Timothy, Titus, and Epaphroditus. The wisdom and knowledge that a mentor can give to you is invaluable.

I would have avoided many of the mistakes I made early in ministry if I had been open to more mentoring relationships.

Having a mentor to walk with you and help you mature in your ministry will allow you to fail without doubting God’s call.

It will also help you learn from your mistakes as you walk with someone who has the experience, wisdom and ability to help you grow and develop.

Proper alignment with a mentor is not only a great source of guidance and support, it can also be crucial to the fulfillment of your destiny and vital to your getting to the next level.

Today I have 3 men that I consider mentors in my life. They have all been in ministry longer than I have, have been successful in what God has called them to be, and who are seasoned veterans in their walk with God.

They are an invaluable resource in my life.

#7 Understand That Spiritual Attacks Will Come
The more that you walk into the plans and purposes that God has for you the more you will come under enemy fire. You become a threat to the kingdom of darkness and because of that you become a target.

Understand that this is normal and not somehow a sign that you are missing the mark somehow.

Many people think that when spiritual attacks come, it signifies that they are doing something wrong. On the contrary, the exact opposite is true. You are doing something right!

When the allied forces invaded Hitler’s stronghold of Europe at Normandy in World War 2, they came under intense attack.

Even though today, we know that Hitler’s days left in power were numbered and that he would be defeated, the men who fought the battle still had to endure the counterattacks of the enemy.

It is the same in the kingdom of God.

Even though we know that the enemy of our souls is defeated, there is still a battle raging and we must expect to be attacked when we are making a beachhead into areas that he is controlling.

The attacks of our opposition seem to intensify when we move from one level to the next.

Whenever we embrace a new season or take on a new assignment, warfare follows because the enemy wants to stop us from doing what we are called to do to advance God’s kingdom.

You are probably accustomed to the level of warfare you have experienced in your current circumstances, but you need to know that when you step up, the battles will heat up.

Even though the battle may heat up and become fiercer as you advance into the next season in your life remember that our basic weaponry remains the same. In Christ, you have spiritual armor to protect against the attacks of the enemy (see Eph. 6:13-18).

You also have the weapon of His Word, the power of His Spirit and the reinforcement of other believers.

Use everything available to you as a Christian, and though attacks will come, you will overcome with God’s help.

#8 Accept That God Chose To Call You To This Assignment 
Many times as we enter into our new assignment from the Lord, we are tempted to feel overwhelmed. It seems so much bigger than what we are capable of or deserve even.

Remember it was not your choice that put you there, it was His choice. God enables those that He calls.

Learn to accept that this decision was ultimately God’s and not yours. With that choice and call comes an anointing and an authority that you haven’t experienced before.

Don’t get fat headed.

It comes to you because of His grace, not your merit.

At the same time don’t walk in false humility. God did call you. Accept that decision.

As you are settling in to your new place, you must resist the temptation to be shy, sheepish or apologetic about what God has done in you. Be gracious, of course, but do not let false humility creep into your thoughts or conversation.

A genuinely humble person accepts and acknowledges what God has done in his or her life. If you want to live in true humility, do not try to explain away God’s work in your life. Instead, be honest about what He is doing, admit your need for His grace and give Him glory without being pious.

God calls all types of people to different tasks and different roles.

One is not greater than the other. Everyone is given the grace and ability to perform those tasks and walk in those roles.

As you simply trust His wisdom and follow His lead, your confidence and anointing will continue to increase.

Do not become proud; but neither should you deny who God has designed you to be.

#9 Change Is A Process Not An Event
Haste makes waste and wounds souls.

I cannot tell you how many times I have helped people recover from a leader that moved to fast and left people strewn along the side of the path.

Be patient in your transition to your next level. God is not in a hurry. He wants to allow people time to process the changes that He is making. He cares about their souls and wants them to come along in the journey.

I want to encourage you now to determine to be patient as you move into your new season. Do not try to change things for yourself too quickly or rush ahead of God’s timing.

God has designed change to be a process, not an event.

He is certainly interested in the end result of the changes He orchestrates in our lives, but the process of growth and maturity that accompanies change is also very important to Him.

For this reason, He typically works diligently, deliberately and more slowly than you might want!

But you need to remember that His timing is perfect; it is part of a grand plan for your life; and it will bring you great joy and fulfillment as you patiently cooperate with it.

The Christian life is a journey. Part of that experience is what you learn as you walk along the path.

Too many times in our society we expect instant results to go along with our instant potatoes. God just doesn’t work that way. He is building our lives piece by piece.

If you rush the process, then there will be weaknesses that you will have to deal with later because you didn’t allow God to place into your life all the pieces you need.

You will be like a house without half of the 2×4’s in the walls holding the walls in place.

#10 Be Bold, Be Strong, For The Lord Your God Is With You
Any time you are going to move forward with God, there comes a time when you finally have to go for it. You have to take that step of faith.

This is the step beyond commitment, the step beyond decision making, it is the step of no return. It is when you finally put action to your calling.

The Apostle James put it this way. He said,
James 2:26
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Step out boldly into your new calling.

You can study, commit, decide, until the cows come home but if you do not step out in faith, it is all for naught.

Jesus is saying to you: “Come on! Take that step of bold faith. I am ready and waiting to walk with you.”

Always remember, God is faithful.

He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. (Phil. 1:6).

Move on and move up. I’ll meet you at your next level!

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