by Wade E Taylor
“Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10
The Lord carefully prefaces our “being sent” with the beckoning words that first, we are to “come to Him.” This confirms a spiritual principle, “All authentic and anointed ministry must be founded upon, and function out from a right relationship with the Lord.”
“And He goes up into a mountain, and called to Him whom He would; and they came to Him. And He ordained twelve that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.” Mark 3:13-15
To be “called” is to be set apart to the Lord Himself – “that they should be with Him.” If we are faithful in our part, which is “being with Him,” then He will be faithful in His part, which is to “send us forth to preach, and to have power.”
Ministry that is born out of this principle will have lasting results.
When Jesus took Peter, James, and John, up into the Mount of Transfiguration and was manifested before them in visible Glory, His Father spoke and confirmed His relationship with the Son – “…this is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear you Him” (Matthew 17:5). Of primary importance is the relationship between God and Jesus, as His ministry flowed out from this relationship.
Another substantiation of this principle is expressed in the life of Joseph. In this illustration, the expressions are between father and son. In this human relationship is seen the devotion and obedience of the son to his father.
“And Israel said to Joseph, Do not your brethren feed the flock in Schechem? Come, and I will send you to them. And he said to him, Here am I.” Genesis 37:13
This principle is again expressed by the Lord as He walked by the sea of Galilee, and called Simon and Andrew. He said to them,
“…Come you after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” Mark 1:17
In each of these Scriptures, the call is to “come” before there is any sending forth. Our witness, or ministry, is intended to be the result of time spent in intimate fellowship with the Lord. Then, as He works the qualifying “anointing, grace, love, and power” into our lives, He will faithfully send us forth into a place of ministry.
The importance of this principle cannot be over-emphasized among the Lord’s people. It is all too easy to become so busy “doing” for the Lord, that we do not spend “set-apart” time in developing a quality relationship with Jesus. Then, not only is the satisfaction and reward of “ministering with” the Lord lost, but our ministry will be far less effective.
This principle is beautifully pictured in the Song of Solomon, where the Lord expresses His desire to go into the places of ministry with His beloved, while enjoying an intimate relationship with her. Once we have tasted ministering with the Lord (let us go forth – together), we will never be satisfied with less.
“Come, My beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give you My loves.” Song of Solomon 7:11-12
Before the fall, the Lord walked with Adam in “the cool of the evening.” This was a special atmosphere which was conducive to intimacy in their relationship. When Adam transgressed he hid from the presence of the Lord. The first thing that the Lord did was to look for Adam. He called out to Adam and said, “Where are you?”
The Lord knew where Adam was, but He intensely desired the place of fellowship that He once had with him, and was seeking a confession, so this relationship could be restored. We should not be found in the position where the Lord has to “look for us” in our busy schedule. We must fully understand, and respond to His desire for our fellowship.
May this principle that we are to first “come” before there is any outworking of ministry, change our daily pattern of activity. If we will become quiet enough to listen, Jesus will be heard saying to us, “come,” that He might have those whom He can send.
Are you ready to accept this principle?
“If we will build the Lord a house of devotion, He will build us a house of ministry.”