Ministry is not limited to those preaching from the pulpit on Sunday mornings. As a church body, some have forgotten we all have unique, God-given gifts that are meant for much more than the walls of a church building. I did. I have been in full time ministry for nearly 16 years and it took me 14 to figure out that ministry is my call and the Army my current assignment. Our gifts are meant for where we work, where we shop, where we sleep every night, and anywhere we walk in the world around us.
This morning’s departure was filled with a wave of emotions. The usual sadness associated with leaving loved ones for an extended period of time was paired with a great sense of anticipation as we took a step of faith and obedience to God’s current assignment. After Danielle and I hugged and kissed one last time for the next five months, we prayed together again. There was such an overwhelming sense of peace as I prayed for my family and covered them in prayer, said “see you soon,” and walked to the formation to prepare to board the bus for the airport.
This deployment already feels very different than any of the other five. With a 0230 wake up, you would think fatigue would be the overwhelming feeling. But unexpectedly, peace and joy overcame me as she Chaplain invited the interested Soldiers from the 200+ flight to a brief Chapel service in the next room. I heard the Lord say, “Bring the oil.” So, I did.
I introduced myself to the Chaplain and let him know if he was interested at the end of the service, I would like to come along side of him and anoint those that are interested prior to our departure. As he spoke on Psalms 37:4, I kept hearing the Lord bring the story of King Jehosophat in 2 Chronicles 20 to my spirit-a word given to my wife, Danielle months ago.
“After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. ‘Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!’”In verses 22 through 24 we find the enemy armies turned against and destroyed each other in mass confusion! “Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehosophat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies. They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the Lord…So Jehosophat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”
God sent the worshippers in front of the Army. This was an unconventional approach to combat, but we see God using it here and with Joshua at the battle of Jericho. After an incredible time of communion, the Chaplain and I began to pray for the believers, over 50 in attendance. Many came forward for anointing and the Holy Spirit gave me a different word for each person. It was a powerful time of worship! As Pastor Landon Schott says, “we do not make room for the Holy Spirit, we give Him the room.” He was there.
As I begin this assignment, I have never been more convinced of the importance of being faithful where we are planted with excellence, using our God-given spiritual gifts to further His kingdom in the world around us, and showing the love of Christ through obedience to His calling. In a message from May 19th, Pastor Waylon Sears said, “87% of church-goers have a spiritual gift and don’t know how to use it. When we are not using our spiritual gifts, not only do we miss out, the world misses out. ”
Our spiritual gifts are not just for the walls of the church building-they are for the lost in the world around us. We have a responsibility to develop those gifts through daily surrender and growth in our quiet times, discipleship and being planted locally with fellow believers. As believers in whatever ministry we are currently assigned-vocational ministry, military, business, teaching, barista, home-maker, coach etc.-we are called to point others to the Cross of Jesus Christ by utilizing our spiritual gifts and serving faithfully with excellence, showing the love of Christ in our word and actions.
The views presented above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its components.
© Copyright 2019 M.C.Wingate. All Rights Reserved.
Holy Bible, 2 Chronicles 20:21, NLT, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007, 2015 Tyndle House Foundation.
Holy Bible, 2 Chronicles 20:27-30, NLT, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007, 2015 Tyndle House Foundation.
“Beginner’s Guide to the Apocalypse,” Sermon dated 19 May 2019, Victory Worship Center, Tucson, AZ