LESSON 05: A Day in the Life of an Apostle
From Shepherd Boy to King
In the first months of coming over from South Africa to to join my father in the ministry, Craig and I came to a stark reality. That reality was that ministry was not all about glory and fame. We had packed just a few months before with dreams in our hearts and minds of what might await us.
We had built up pictures and hopes of what we wanted to do and what burned in us. We were full of zeal, we were full of ambition... we were full of flesh. The ideals we had in mind differed from what the Lord has planned and instead of an outbreak of revival the Lord led us to the basement of apostolic preparation!
Have you ever heard this statement, "The elevator to the penthouse begins in the basement?" Well we learned exactly what that statement meant. The first task that I was given as a team member of this international ministry was to handle all the correspondence and to take care of the cooking!
Craig was given the exalted position of gardener and for a long time if I ever needed him, I could be sure I would find him up to his elbows in grass and weeds. Yet in the midst of carrying out these seemingly menial tasks, the Lord had begun a work in us that we would only see years later.
Right there with dirt under his fingernails Craig was learning to become all things to all men. It reminded me of David who sat taking care of his fathers sheep as his brothers got all of the glory. At times it sure felt that we were taking care of sheep and there were days when I felt more like a overworked mommy than the apostle that God had called me to be.
Craig and I would often look at our circumstances in confusion saying to ourselves, "So this is what it is like to be in ministry? We were better off in South Africa! Yet just as David, who would become the greatest King that ever lived, we learned to watch sheep! We learned to be servants. I learned to answer correspondence after correspondence, spending hours in counseling and taking care of people's problems.
Craig would spend hours taking care of our problems and seeing to it that the rest of the team could function in the ministry without having to worry about the day to day care of the home. After all, someone has to watch the sheep! Often we feel that the best person for that job is the person who is least capable of ministry, but I tell you that until you have learned to watch the sheep and do those menial things, you are not ready to become the apostle that the Lord has called you to be.
You might have the passion, the dreams and the desires, but without the living experience and the ability to relate to anyone on any level, you will not make a very good leader at all. Well as we began putting out teaching, Craig had come to a place in his spiritual life where he felt that if he was ever going to put out a teaching that he had learned in the year since we arrived, that it would be called "The Way of Gardening!"
It was at this very point that the Lord took him out of that and thrust him into becoming an active part of the ministry team. He rose up fully into prophetic office and seemingly overnight was an essential part of the team. Yet again I am reminded of David who within days found himself from being an outlaw in the wilderness to being placed as king over Judah! Imagine the dreams David must have had from the day that Samuel anointed him! He was called to be king, and yet it would seem that everything went against him from that day!
He was made to care for the sheep and when he finally did make it to the courts of Saul, found himself in trouble yet again and was forced to leave and run for his life. Death after death David struggled with the desires of his heart and the many disappointments he faced along the way. Yet it was only when David had learned a few things and had become a leader, that he was ready to be a king. He had to go through a bit of training first.
I can imagine that the last thing David was thinking about, while camping in the land of the Philistines, was being appointed as the king of Israel. It seemed impossible and I wonder to myself how many times he thought that maybe Samuel missed it or was wrong. Yet within just a few short years from the time he ran from Saul, David found himself upon the throne of Judah and then on to being king over all Israel.
In the same way even though you find yourself watching sheep and wondering when your day will come, hold onto the promises God has given you. Some flesh might be crucified and some old visions brought to the altar, but sooner than you realize, the Lord will lift you up and put you in the place you belong.
If your heart burns for the apostolic call, check out the Apostolic Handbook. In this book you will know without a doubt whether you are an apostle, what you are called to do and the price God has called you to pay.