LESSON 13: So You Wanna be an Apostle?
As the Lord has begun to restore the apostolic ministry to the church there has come a flood of interest in this fivefold ministry. But what does being an apostle really mean? There are so many who have their own ideas. If you start a church, does this make you an apostle? If you go into the mission field and do a work, does this make you an apostle?
No, being an apostle is much more than that. Being an apostle is not about the works you have done, but who you are in Christ. It comes as a result of much death to the flesh and often only after being hidden away for many years. Yet when you think on the office of apostle, you see it as a place of glamour and of fame. Nothing could be further from the truth! Paul knew what being an apostle was all about, and what did he say?
1 Corinthians 4:9 For I think that God has displayed us the apostles last, like we were sentenced to death: for we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.
10 We [are] fools for Christ's sake, but you [are] wise in Christ; we [are] weak, but you [are] strong; you [are] honoured, but we [are] despised.
11 Even up to the present time we are hungry, and thirsty, and are naked, and are beaten, and have no secure home;
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13 Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, [and are] the scum of the earth until now. (AMIV)
If there is one principle that I hope you take with you today is that God is indeed calling forth His End Times Apostles. yet they are not being called because of their strengths and accomplishments, but because of their hearts and willingness to stand in the fire. An apostle is born in obscurity, raised in the wilderness and trained in the fire. Yet as the time comes when he finally stands in office, only then does he truly understand the full price of his calling.
You cannot study to become an apostle. You cannot read books that will make you into an apostle. It is a calling that takes the working of the Holy Spirit to shape and to change you. The Lord will bring people across your path to help show you the way. He will lead you to places where you can study and learn, but at the end of the day it is the Holy Spirit that will anoint you for this office.
So, if you feel that you have an apostolic calling on your life, I want you to take it very seriously. If you seek it because you want to be recognized and to wear the title, then you might as well give up now. It is going to take more than that to make it through the fire. It will take a pure heart and a passion for the Lord. May you truly find your path and as the Lord sets His apostles in place, may the church arise as a city set on a hill for all the nations to see!
STUDY NOTE: If you feel that you have an apostolic calling on your life, then I personally recommend The Apostolic Handbook to help you assess and clarify your calling.