It is an amazing thing to serve the Lord and enjoy the blessings of God in your life. Nothing is so fulfilling and rewarding as serving the Lord, being faithful to the task to which He has called you. In most cases, we become so spiritually caught up that we tend to neglect the fanning of our spiritual fervency for the Lord. We do everything except to stir up the gifts that are in us for His glory. As a result, the once fulfilling ministries turn to frustration as a sense of being incompetent creeps into our hearts. We begin to observe that instead of burning on for the Lord, we are burning out.
Over the years, I have come to experience that it’s easy to become spiritual bankrupt and fail to notice it. Is this possible? Yes, it is! Many times, we are so caught up in doing works for God, busy in his service and neglect the simple duty of getting heed and watching over our own selves. Spiritual bankruptcy often occurs when a minister of the Gospel unknowingly neglects his personal walk with God by concentrating more on God’s work. Usually, the devil is so cunning and subtle that he encourages you to do God’s work and give yourself fully and neglect to guard your relationship with God with all diligence.
This often happens many times when a believer’s quiet time and devotion to the Lord is replaced by other things. While I do not believe that a Christian minister should live in isolation and seclusion, a minister of the Gospel should keep his prayer batteries fired up whether at work or outside the sanctuary. Gone are the days when we used to think that God is accessed in the sanctuary and hence, the closet is a place of meeting with God, but, Christian ministers should understand that they carry God’s presence in their daily lives and you cannot separate your personal walk with God with your daily life routines. Always abide in His presence and set your mind on the Lord!
Prayer should be guarded with jealous. Don’t forfeit your prayer time, your quiet time. It is your time for refreshing in the presence of God, a time where your spiritual engine oil is checked, where you are sharpened for better use tomorrow. Christian leaders who do not pray usually don’t last long enough in the ministry. They lose God’s touch, and when you lose God’s touch, you fail to touch the people. Hence, many ministers have improvised all forms of manipulations and religious propaganda to keep the people to themselves instead of God adding and sending the people to them. It boils back to your prayer life. How prayerful are you? How watchful are you? Do you guard your spiritual disciplines with jealous or with a carefree attitude?
Another way to avoid spiritual bankruptcy is by reading, studying and meditating on God’s word. This is difficult to understand especially when most ministers think that, because of their daily preaching activity, they are always meditating God’s word. While there is some truth to that, a minister of the Gospel always need to constantly feed on God’s written word. We preach so often that most times, we lose touch with studying and taking ample time in our sermon preparation. Usually, the tendency is on getting a message out to the people and neglecting to take care of our own spiritual welfare. Bible study is necessary if the minister has to continue to mature spiritual. God’s word is the seed and the agent of spiritual growth. We learn from it and apply what we learn to have God’s intended results, then spiritual growth results. Many Christian ministers have long reached stalemate in their Christian growth because they thought they now know-it-all.
When you are not preaching or teaching, a wise minister uses his time well to study and learn the Bible. Usually having a good study Bible and some commentaries is helpful, although I recommend that you make your own study first without using any helps and aids and then later, consult other helpful resources to bring more clarity to the passage. Today, because of technology, studying the Bible has been made easier for us. However, this does not replace your duty to God of being a diligent and studious person. God requires hard work from us. He wants diligent students of His word to be diligent and competent ministers.
There are many Bible and theology courses that are being offered on the internet today and a Christian minister should utilize such resources. They help you to feed and keep feeding on the word of God so that you don’t become empty with no one to offer you spiritual food. Watch videos, read books, magazines, etc. get informed and get revived so that you can be a blessing to your ministry or church or whatever area of spiritual service that God has called you to.
Have good acquaintances, those ministers that can speak to you, encourage you and prune you. If there is a nearby spiritually enriching minister preaching or teaching, or there is a conference where you can attend to help fan your spirituality, why not take the opportunity? God is looking for prayerful men who are full of His word to use in the harvest of souls. We are in a race against souls in winning the lost at any cost before Jesus returns. Will you be found spiritually bankrupt with nothing to give anymore, or you will be among those wise and faithful servants?