By: Donna J. Kazenske
While meditating about the faith and works of some of God’s pioneers from previous generations, I began to petition the Lord to raise up more true pioneers; men and women of God who are not willing to take “no” for an answer; men and women of God who are willing to go the extra mile without complaining; men and women of God who long to make a way for others where there seems to be no way; men and women of God who care more about others than they do themselves; men and women of God who are willing to lay down their lives for someone whom they don’t even know.
There are still people groups that need to hear the Gospel message for the very first time, there are still souls that need to be saved, churches that need to be built, faith that needs to be released, and miracles that need to happen.
The church in much of the western world has been lulled to sleep with books, tapes and sermons that are relatively self-centered and watered down so badly that the Gospel seems to be of no effect. Why has this happened? What has gone wrong with the body of Christ? What ever happened to true apostles paving the way for others to follow their lead? What ever happened to honesty and integrity in ministry?
There seems to be “apostles” on every street corner and in every church building in every nation today. Billboards in church yards announce “Apostle You Know Who” will be ministering at The Apostolic Church of Apostles with Apostle Samuel leading the worship. It’s easy to claim a title and have it look good when it’s placed in front of our names, but God is not interested in titles. God is interested in those who are interested in Him.
When Jesus walked on the face of this earth, He didn’t go around saying, “I am Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher and Evangelist Jesus Christ.” He never even declared Himself to be God. He just said, “I am the Son of God – Son of Man.” He was satisfied with just being a son. I believe God wants us to think and act in the same manner in which Jesus acted. He wants us to enjoy our status of being sons and daughters in His kingdom. Jesus didn’t say, “I will pour out My Spirit on all My apostles and prophets.” He said, “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh…..My sons and My daughters.”
There’s more to life than names, positions and titles. God is interested in relationship.
Five-fold ministers are definitely gifts to the body of Christ, but when we begin to worship the gifts instead of the gift giver, we are walking on very shaky unstable ground. There’s only One who is worthy to be praised and worshipped on a consistent basis and His name is Jesus. We must never exalt ourselves to any position that Jesus has not placed us.
What is the definition of a pioneer? A pioneer is one who goes before to remove obstructions for the purpose of preparing the way for others.
True pioneers of the Spirit are never satisfied. They are always looking for new ways and avenues to build God’s kingdom. They are hungry and thirsty for spiritual reality. They defy all limitations that man places upon them. They dance to the beat of a different drum. When faced with obstacles, they just climb over them in faith and keep on going. They don’t allow anyone or anything to stop them from doing the will of God. The word “compromise” is not even in their vocabulary.
True pioneers know how to shake heaven and hell with their prayers. They know what it means to “pray through” and “press on”. They don’t have a “give up” mentality. They are not concerned with fame, worldly wealth or riches. They are consumed with the call of God that’s upon their lives.
True pioneers will quickly obey God and go wherever He tells them to go, while others would rather stay home and be “safe” in their Lazy Boy recliners watching TV shows that they shouldn’t be watching.
True pioneers are willing to lay down everything in order to gain Christ. They are willing to travel down roads that are not paved, but are long, hard, full of potholes and very rocky. They are fully aware that the way may not always be easy, but will one day be very rewarding.
The pioneers who traveled across America many years ago were always stopping to look from a high vantage point to see what might be in the path ahead of them. It’s the same for pioneers of the spirit. We must be able to stop and spend some quality time with Jesus so He can show us what lies in the path ahead of us. We must not be ignorant of the enemy’s devices. We must know where we are going and what it’s going to take to get there. We must allow the Lord to give us strategies to overcome the enemy so we can walk in victory.
I believe that Jesus longs for every one of us to be pioneers in the spirit. He wants us to do what He has called us to do without complaining, giving up and messing up. With His help, we can be successful in ministry. We can be successful as baby-sitters, mothers, husbands, wives, office workers, taxi cab drivers, waitresses, etc. The Lord wants the light of His Spirit on the inside of us shining brightly in the midst of deep darkness. He wants us to make a difference in this world.
Are we willing to give up some things that really mean a lot to us in order to get what the Lord desires to give to us? Are we willing to lay down our agendas and lay hold of His agendas?
When was the last time that you told the Lord, “I love you Lord.” When was the last time that you got off your treadmill of doing your own thing to spend a little time with Jesus and the people that He so graciously loves? Why do we allow so many things to clutter our lives until it seems that we really don’t even have a life?
Serving Christ is not for wimps, but for warriors. We have been called to serve in God’s army. Are we dressed for battle and ready to take His marching orders? If so, God will grant us a pioneering spirit to do everything that He has called us to do for the expansion of His kingdom.