From: Power For Today Magazine, special 100th issue edition, Vol. 8, No. 10, October 2010. (C) 2010 Apostolic Fellowship International Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.
Q: What does being an apostle mean to you?
A: Being an apostle means the Lord has called me, appointing me from before the foundations of the world, to stand in this day, age, and time for Him. I have been sent to this generation for His specific purpose, as one of many throughout history who is specifically sent in a time to His people.
Being an apostle means I must walk in the footsteps of Christ and of other apostles throughout history. It is not an easy walk. It means being ahead of our time, and the struggle that comes with that reality. It means confronting the idolatries, over-comforts, and laziness of people and stagnation in their faith. Apostles are movers and shakers: we get things done and we shake things up for the Lord, awakening those asleep and bringing spiritual power everywhere we go.
Being an apostle means prayer and study. It requires depth of faith, spirituality, and character. We must be exactly who we claim to be. Apostles can’t walk around confused or uncertain of the truths of the faith. As those who are sent, we must be acquainted with our message and empowered by it. We are the first to receive the Word from God, and therefore, we must first believe, accept, and embrace it.
Being an apostle means loving people. We must have a heart of compassion, recognizing judgment is not ours. As disciplinarians of the church, we must keep a level-headed perspective and never fall into the trap of judgment. We will not agree with the decisions everyone makes, but it is not our place to make the decisions of others for them. It is our place to proclaim God’s empowerment so people are able to make Kingdom decisions and live Kingdom lives. While we do not have do condone what others do, we will love them no matter what they do.
Being an apostle is being a Kingdom builder. We are commissioned to proclaim the Gospel and build the Kingdom of God. We remember the church of God is not a building, it’s the people who believe and love God. Our job is to build, empower, and edify people. If we aren’t blessing people, we can put up as many buildings as we like; it does not count as an apostolic work.
Being an apostle is about living without fear. We must overcome our own fears, concerns, and concepts to be of benefit to the Kingdom of God. We cannot fear what people will think about the calling we have or the ministry to which God has called us. Not everyone will understand what we are called to do. Some will come around, and some will never come around. No matter what the response from people, we continue to answer the apostolic call. We don’t answer to people, we answer to God. God is for us and we have nothing to fear for that reason.
Being an apostle means overcoming religion and religious stereotypes. Religion has made it nearly impossible to distinguish between those truly called and those who just act like they have a calling. Anyone can get up in a pulpit and scream into a microphone. Anyone can get up in front of people and start crying, making themselves look intense and dramatic. Not everyone can convey God’s message to people effectively, clearly, and with understanding. Apostles embrace the ability to be effective communicators of the Gospel.
Being an apostle means proclaiming life. We do not re-impose the law or make new laws for people to follow. We do not seek to oppress, control, manipulate, or condemn. We want to see people set free, not bound, even to us. We know firsthand that the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Being an apostle means being different. We shouldn’t look like, talk like, preach like, teach like, or minister quite like anyone else. In embracing the anointing we have, we recognize God has appointed us to be exactly who we are in Him. We aren’t copycats, but rather, originals.
Being an apostle means dying to self. It is not our will, but God’s will, that matters. We develop the discernment to tell the difference between the two. We will choose God’s will, even when it is difficult, rather than choosing the immediacies of the flesh. We say no to ourselves, take our sufferings in stride and perspective, and do not make ourselves victims to circumstances. We are overcomers, not failures.
Being an apostle means being mature. We are not going to play games, live in competition, or foster the nonsense that plagues the church today. We refuse to be threatened by other ministers. We forgive those who wrong us, let go of the past, hold fast for the future. We do not live wasting time, for we recognize there is enough wasted time in this world. We get one chance to live this life for Him and to stand as leaders in our modern age. We do not live childishly or foolishly, but stand strong for God in all things. We have outgrown the tantrums of the flesh and being controlled by materialism and want. We know we have what we need and God provides our needs. If we don’t have it, we don’t need it. We will not manipulate people to get what we want.
Being an apostle means being strong: strong in Christ, strong in faith, strong in purpose. We do the right thing, even if we won’t get caught, and even if no one is looking. When we have a difficult circumstance, we look to God. We seek His counsel. We seek His face. We pray without ceasing. Everything we do in this life is a reflection of the spiritual life, flowing, and power we have in Him. We are not afraid to walk in the gifts He has given to us, because we know they bring glory back to Him. We are strong enough to say this ministry is not about what we can do for ourselves, but what God is doing in all things.
Being an apostle means being a bearer of faith, hope, truth and love…even if we don’t feel hopeful….even if we don’t understand everything…and even when we feel no love from others, except for God’s love in our lives. It is setting an example, being a beacon, and being a resource in His Name until the day He returns.
(Do you have a question you want to ask Apostle Dr. Lee Ann? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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