There is a unique challenge to building a ministry that can leave ministers susceptible to fear that other Christians may not have to deal with on a regular basis.
Being fearless is not being strong; it is not putting on a smile no matter what; it is not feeling your fear and pushing through it – a definition of courage I have heard time and time again. Fearlessness is the total absence of fear. You must first be fearless for faith to enter in and manifest. Being fearless is the precursor to living in 100% belief and faith in the Word of God and operating in the works of Jesus upon the earth. We must have faith because it is the substance that activates heaven to come into alignment upon the earth.
The definition of fear that the Holy Spirit gave me is the lack of surrender and submission to God. God allows fear to illuminate the areas in which you don’t believe Him. If He did not allow fear, you would think you were okay and have no internal barometer to clearly identify the areas in which your faith is lacking. Fear is a spiritual issue. It cannot be dealt with in the natural realm alone. It doesn’t matter how many affirmations, memorizing bible verses, or positive self-talk you try to apply to fear, it does not work. You may get relief for a little while, but the fear will still be there.
When you move into fearlessness, you literally become untouchable by anything of the world. This includes Satan, any man, any circumstance – you become unmovable to the things of the natural realm. There is no financial challenge, there is no health challenge, there is nothing that can shake you. When you begin to walk through the gateway of fearlessness into the Kingdom of God, God commands Satan to take his hands off of you. We begin to operate from our Heavenly position and become operate in oneness with Christ Jesus and the Father. This is where you are to live constantly as a minister of His Word.
When ministers are fearless, it does not matter what comes your way – not even death -you fear because you know that you are the power of Jesus and you can lay hands on that person and raise them from the dead. This is the power of being fearless in ministry. As I was praying in preparation for a tele-class I am teaching on fearlessness for ministers, the Holy Spirit said:
“Within these four quadrants lies the process of becoming fearless for My ministers. These are the four areas that they must master in their lives in order to move into fearlessness as a minister.”
He then showed me an image of a diagram that captures His teaching. These four areas of fearlessness are Unresolved Personal Issues; Uncleannesses; Financial Provision; and ‘The Fish Bowl.
Each of these areas stand in the way of the Lord being able to fully use His ministers as vessels. That is the ultimate goal of being a minister of the Lord. Knowing the Word is not enough, we must be true believers whose words are confirmed by signs, wonders and miracles. You become a vessel for the signs, wonders and miracles of Jesus Christ upon the earth.
With fearlessness, ministers will move from a place where we stop praying to God for people to be healed and delivered into a place where we are doing the healing and deliverance as pure vessels. The scripture tells us as ministers to deliver and heal His people. It is out of our fear as ministers that we continue to ask God to do it for us. He has already placed the dominion, power and authority within us and far too many ministers are not using it.
I love the church dearly because it has gotten us where we are as the Body of Christ, but one of the downfalls of traditional church has been that it is has disempowered Christians from doing the works of Jesus. In this lack of empowerment and equipping, we teach congregants to invite people to church instead of knowing how to minister to them the moment they are in need. We have been conditioned to walk up to an altar and ask another person to lay hands on us when we carry the same power of Jesus and the Father as one within us.
I was telling a friend of mine yesterday that I will praise God when we begin to see a true model of the church operating where people are equipped to do the works of Jesus. When this happens, we can be sitting the pew with a person next to us in a wheelchair and we will know how to be a vessel for their healing right then and there. It is our responsibility to equip the people of God to operate in the things of Jesus.
But before we are able to fully equip the people of God, we have to move through these four quadrants. The first quadrant, Unsolved Personal issues, contains our feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, any remaining brokenness and unforgiveness. It also includes partially-healed past emotional wounds left over from broken heartedness, broken marriages, prodigal children, and all of the things the leave our inner self feeling wounded. Anything that whispers inadequacy from our past is what is in this first quadrant.
This quadrant is especially important because as ministers we often come to the Lord and are called out of our brokenness. There would not be anymore “church hurts” if ministers handled this. Ministers would be comfortable with the gifts of those the Lord has entrusted us because ministers would no longer be insecure or threatened by the gifts of those in the congregation. Out of insecurity and inadequacy, we literally squelch the Holy Spirit from manifesting in its fullness through us.
Now praise God for the anointing so it can come and override all of that, but then we move back into ourselves with our insecurities, bad habits, addictions and rough edges. You must take the time to do your self-work as a minister. Because it is blocking you from reaching the very people to which God has called you. We must move through those personal unresolved issues.
Once we handle the unresolved personal issues in the first quadrant, we must then move onto our uncleannesses. Uncleannesses are anything that stand in the way of the Holy Spirit manifesting its fruit in our lives. When we have any space for unclean spirits, we create problems and emotion pain and scars for those we are called to serve. There are fourteen stronghold spirits that create these uncleanness in our hearts and spirits. A minister should not be carrying any unclean spirits that leave the door open for Satan to wreak havoc in our lives to unclean stronghold spirits.
To remove uncleannesses, ministers need to go through the process of purifying your hearts and cleansing our spirits. It just breaks my heart when I see people in ministry positions abusing it because they haven’t taken care of their uncleannesses. In order to purify our hearts, it is not as simple as decreeing and declaring that we forgive someone, there is a process that the Lord and His Holy spirit walks us through to have pure hearts. According to the scripture, if we ever carry any of these works of the flesh, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God. If we knew how to take an objective look at our uncleanness and remove them from our lives so we can be free from them and lead others in this process. When we understand the power of Jesus as true believers, we understand that we have the power to cast them out.
The third quadrant represents the necessity of ministers to have no fear in the area of Financial Provision. I have lost count of how many ministers have confessed that they are afraid to begin what the Lord has instructed them to do because they were seeing their secular job as their main source of financial provision. For ministers, it is the plan of the Lord for us to make our living administering the gospel to His lost sheep, but yet so few of us are at a place of belief and faith to fully trust God with this area of our lives.
Fearlessness in this quadrant means trusting God with your bills, income, financial obligations and lifestyle. It means learning how to move in the authority, power and dominion given to us in the name of Jesus over our finances. It means coming to a place in our walk with the Lord that we understand that God gives us the power to get wealth and how to command and steward the resources He entrusts in our hands. This is much easier when you are a minister on a church’s payroll or your mission is being funded by a church organization. It can be more challenging when your ministry is called to the Body of Christ and is responsible for bringing in its own funding. Once ministers become fearless in this quadrant, we are almost where we need to be.
The final quadrant is called ‘The Fish Bowl.’ There is a unique necessity for ministers who have often come to the Lord out of brokenness to be open and transparent about our personal struggles. The more transparent you are, the more transparent and open those you teach and lead will be. This is critical to them breaking through their perceived limitations and manifesting the good fruit of the Word of God in their lives. I call this feeling with your life as a minister is lived under a microscope, ‘The Fish Bowl’ because it often feels like your life is so open to others that you really have to put in some effort to keep parts of your time, schedule and family life private. The reality of ‘The Fish Bowl’ can cause quite a bit of stress and anxiety which are fruits of the spirit of fear. Especially when the Lord tells us to share aspects of your life before you gave your life and heart to the Lord. When we have not moved into fearlessness in the areas of the first two quadrants, Unresolved Personal Issues and Uncleannesses, it impacts our ability and comfort in handling ‘The Fish Bowl’ dynamic that goes hand-in-hand with being a minister.
I praise God for His grace and mercy because He will still uses us in our brokenness. He will bring His anointing over you and He will use you mightily. Whatever degree in which you are operating in the anointing, it is just a fraction of what it will look like when we dissolve the fear in each of the quadrants of our life and are no longer stifling the Lord’s use of you as His open vessel.
Let’s take a look at a few ways to move into ministerial fearlessness:
- Be Objective. Take a good, honest look at your issues, insecurities and inadequacies. How are these issues affecting your ability to be the minister the Lord has called you to be? A great exercise is to make a list of each of the inadequacies you feel you are still carrying. You may need to ask those close to you for feedback on this as we always have blind spots about our own personalities. Once you make your list, take the time to identify a strategy to release each one from your life and ministry.
- Ask Yourself The Tough Questions. Are you able to love and lead the way someone with a pure heart should be able to? Are you carrying fruits of unclean spirits? Are you still carrying any past hurts, emotional wounds or works of the flesh that you would be embarrassed to admit if they became public? How are these affecting your ministry and holding you back? Decree and declare your forgiveness for each and every thing in relation to every person who has ever hurt you. Forgiveness does not actually happen by forgiving the person; you must forgive each wound that they left in your heart. Remember to add yourself in this process because the most difficult person to forgive is yourself.
- Cast Out Any Uncleanness. According to scripture, those who are Christians and still carry works of the flesh do not inherit the Kingdom of God. This means that unless you have cast out unclean fruit from your life, you will not access the full power of God while you are hear upon the earth. Review I Corinthians 6:9 – 10; Ephesians 4:27 – 5:5; and Galatians 5:16 – 21 and take inventory of any of these works of the flesh you are still carrying. Speak directly to each of these unclean fruits in the name of Jesus and command them to leave your mind, body and life this instant. You must speak to the uncleanness directly and not ask God to do it for you. He has already given you everything you need in His name.
- Move Forward In Love. God is love. The more you operate in the love of the Lord, the more we can move into oneness with Him toward those we are called to teach and lead. As you move forward to truly equip your flock (those you are called to lead and guide) to manifest the Word of God, remember that love is the key and people will receive the fullness of Christ when we demonstrate the profound love of Jesus to them. This opens the way for the miracles of the Lord to take place.
Most of all, know that this is the fun part of being a Christian. When you take the time move through each of these quadrants of fearlessness as a minister, you become an open vessel to manifest the signs, wonders and miracles of the Lord in your life and the lives of others. This is when you are able to draw people to the true, unfettered light of Jesus, who promises to draw all men to Him. We must be strengthened in who we are in our inner man in order for Jesus to really use us powerfully for His will. These are things that must be handled so ministers can move into fearlessness and be proper ministers to His most beloved children.