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Proper Preparations! (2 of 13)
Series: Book Of Nehemiah
INTRO: Many Christians over spiritualize ministry ... that is they think that when God speaks you simply jump into action and miraculously things happen! There are certainly times when this can be true, but if you look in the Bible you will discover that most of the mighty works of God through His prophets and servants INCLUDED a significant preparation time before their ministries were really effective.
1. Moses ... needed an extra 40 years worth of preparation in the desert!
2. Elisha ... did a long apprenticeship under Elijah.
3. Jesus spent 30 years preparing for His 3 years of ministry ... the Bible speaks of His learning, submitting, discussing the law in the temple at 12 years of age, etc. Jesus "grew in grace and knowledge."
4. The apostle Paul who had a dramatic revelation of the risen Christ on the road to Damascus spent at least 3 years learning and submitting himself to the other Apostles ... some commentators list an even longer time including a 10 year silent period where Paul had evidently gone back to his home territory after a few years; then called back by Barnabus they went off in ministry, at first Paul under Barnabus.
5. Samuel, the greatest prophet of Israel during the kings spent his entire youth in preparation for his later ministry under the High Priest Eli.
6. To simply jump into ministry without preparation is presumption. The only time we do this is when God is clearly indicating that this should be the case, and those times are rare.
ILLUS: Some people think the prayer of faith is crawling out on a limb and then begging God to keep someone from sawing it off. But that is not real prayer, that is presumption. If God makes it clear that he wants you out on a limb, fine -- you will be perfectly safe there. If not, it is presumptuous to crawl out on that limb, expecting God to keep you there. -- Ray C. Stedman in Man of Faith. ...
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