Acts 17:11 Archives

On Seasons of Ministry

A response to a question about why a ministry that was once used by God is now stale and lifeless; by Dean VanDruff

This appears to be a time of testing. Many of us are "out of season".

2Ti 4:2 (NIV) prepared in season and out of season...

If the Spirit is not blowing (John 3:8) then we need not turn on any fans. <smiles> That is the spiritual advice we are getting, and thus share with you.

2Ti 3:1 (NIV) But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.

It is hard to learn how to be "prepared" out-of-season (that is, when fruit is not being produced). But we take this to mean that we should press-in to the inner relationship and walk with the Lord. There are times to focus on public ministry, fellowship, etc., and times to go up to the mountain to get put-right-with God--the secret place. Our advice is to focus in on the love and ministry of being a husband and wife, to cultivate the peace and joy of God in your hearts afresh, to seek the inner spiritual sanctuary of the Most High. See if the Spirit confirms this in you, for not all are being called thus. Not everyone is in the same "season".

It is like warriors getting called back from the front lines to get hugged by and dine with the King, to get wounds bound, to be with their spouses, to heal and be restored, and to get/learn new weapons. Yes, we will be sent back to battle later, but to stay when we are being called back means we are AWOL and will likely lose every skirmish. It is a time to stop eating rations, go back to the castle and dine with the King on the richest and most lavish of fare... and get built up again. Our macho side feels a twinge of guilt at this while the battle is not complete, but it is His battle and His war, we need to remember, and He is in charge. We need to break out of the bunker-mentality and realize we are fighting princes with a loving Father, not mercenary warriors. This realization comes from spending time with our Father in His courts.

Ps 23:5 (NIV) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies...

In this we find great blessing, much greater than before when God was calling us elsewise. It is no good to set a course for the castle when He has ordered us to the front lines or on a rescue mission--for we will not be welcome at the castle gates. Yet, on the other hand, we can mistakenly assume in our own understanding that "now is not a good time" to leave the front lines, and thus miss the table set before us in the presence of our enemies. Imagine it, the Lord sets a table, and we go on engaging the enemy. Will God not let us lose a few matches till we remember who is in charge of this battle? There is a time for everything under the sun, including a time to disengage the enemy and attend to the Lord and to simply enjoy His bounty.

Try retreating from what once was ministry, and see if the Lord does not bless a time of refreshment and building up.

Just now most all the trees around Dallas are bare. They are not dead--one hopes that the winter did not get so cold as to kill them--but they look as if they were dead, for they are out of season. It would be foolish to cut them down, for this is the way the Lord has made them to be. Soon, flowers will appear and then leaves and then full bloom. Those with the right genetics (seed) will bear fruit. <smiles> Do not despair during this "off" time, but wait upon the Lord with us and the rest of those who love and pine for the fullness of the Lord.

We are just learning this ourselves. It is time to stop externally "ministering", even in the way that the Lord has blessed in the past. It is time to "minister" directly to the Lord and to our families. It is a time to get our own houses in order. It is a time of laying foundations, not dancing on them. It is time to make straight a highway for our God, not yet to drive on it.

Is 43:18-22 (NIV) "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. ...I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel.

Is 35:1-8 (NIV) The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you." Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness.

Acts 17:11 Bible Studies

Acts 17:11 Bible Studies Dialogs and Commentary Home Page
NEXT Dean and Laura VanDruff's Home Page