The following is an excerpt from Dr. John’s book, PUT ON YOUR GLOVES: The 5 Battles Every Christian Must Win. Follow this link to obtain your copy of PUT ON YOUR GLOVES today.
“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:18-20)
Ministry means ‘to serve’. It’s that simple. People try to make it mean a bunch of other things, but it simply means service. With that said, would you say that everyone has a ministry of some kind? That God has a place for everyone to serve? The truth is that God has called all of us to ministry, because He has placed gifts in each one of us. “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)
So when you start asking yourself, “What should I be doing?”, all you need to do is to start looking at your gift. Wherever your gift is, that’s where your ministry is or where you area of service is located. That’s why people should be serving in their church. There is so much to do for the kingdom of God, every hand should be on deck for service.
In 1 Timothy 1:18-20, Paul is talking to Timothy and calls him a ‘true’ son. This is a spiritual father trying to prevent shipwreck in one of his sons. He is sounding the alarm: ”Timothy, the battle for your ministry is on!”
In order to win this battle for your ministry, Timothy, you are going to have to use the prophecies that I have spoken over you as your weapon. This warfare is going to be over your place of service and you can’t forget those prophecies, because your ministry will depend on it.
Paul said, “Wage a good warfare with those prophecies Timothy!” Satan will battle with you over the prophetic words in your life. Don’t be surprised when it happens, be prepared.
He will also war with you over the relationship that you have with your spiritual father by trying to make you doubt the validity of the prophetic word spoken over you by him. Don’t allow him to come between that relationship. Guard it. Protect it, because it’s precious and powerful.
“Keep the faith and a good conscience.” (1 Timothy 1:19)
In other words have a good conscience towards God and those He put in your life. Don’t talk about the man of God behind his back, even if others do. Don’t have a spirit of betrayal or Absalom on you. Don’t say one thing and then do another. Have a good conscience by doing what’s right when no one else is watching. That’s how you sleep soundly at night.
If you don’t, you can’t have a clear conscience towards God and believe me, it will affect every other area of your life and you will shipwreck. He mentions two others who actually ended up shipwrecked and I believe since Paul saw what happened in his relationship with them, he wanted to prevent the same thing from happening with Timothy.
“…which some have rejected.” (v. 19)
He mentions two of his other spiritual sons, Hymenaeus and Alexander. We know that they were spiritual sons because of how Paul handles them in the next verse.
“Whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (v. 20)
Paul starts out telling Timothy how to fight the battle of his ministry and then ends talking about him turning two men over to satan so that they might learn a lesson. How did he make that leap?
Paul was explaining to Timothy that there is a price to pay; a reprimand ahead for those who don’t do things God’s way. To serve is a privilege, and that service/ministry is going to be tested and will become a place of battle at some point. Paul wanted to equip Timothy as any good father would, how to win victory in this area. Unfortunately, there are people who are forced to learn lessons the hard way, and this was one for two of his sons. Paul didn’t want Timothy to become the third. He also knew that in order to really drive this point home about being of a good conscience, a few live examples would help.
So he references two of his fellow brothers under Paul’s charge. Timothy knew these guys because Paul wouldn’t bring up two men that Timothy didn’t know to drive home a point. He tells Timothy very simply that I had to take my hands off of Hymenaeus and Alexander because they didn’t believe in what I was saying. They were not of a good conscience before God or myself. They didn’t respect my position in their lives and didn’t place value on what God has placed in me for their lives and ministry.
So I had to remove them from my covering. When that happens, they will be fair game for satan, and he will kill, steal and destroy to the point that they will be running back to the covering that they didn’t appreciate in the beginning. When you are in a battle for your ministry, your covering is paramount. God places spiritual fathers in the Body of Christ for a reason. He has given the five-fold ministry gifts for a reason. And when you don’t respect those gifts to the body, you blaspheme not against the man, but against God. We must always realize and be assured that it is satan who wants to steal our destiny and destroy our ministry effectiveness. When Peter was being tempted to betray Jesus, as the Lord was being falsely accused and the stage was being set for His crucifixion and death, it was revealed to him that satan was behind his change of mind toward his leader.
“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32 NKJV)
Spiritual warfare against your ministry happens when the enemy suggests to your thinking such things as, “you cannot trust your leadership, they don’t have your best interests at heart.” Another “fiery dart” is “you are just being used and you will never get to do what God has called you to do.” These and many others arrows of destruction are in satan’s arsenal that he uses to separate proteges from their mentors and spiritual fathers. Of course all these weapons only have effectiveness where a person is more concerned about “self” than anything or anyone else. This is why Jesus told Peter to “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) When we are too “self-focused,” we are more subject to be taken out by the enemy of our lives, and of God’s Kingdom.
All successful servants of God came through a process of refinement for the call on their lives by being connected with a spiritual father and mentor in their lives. God has not changed his order for raising up champions of the faith, so instead of seeking our ministry, we should seek out the divine relationships that will propel us into our destiny. Scripture abounds with examples of these kinds of relationships.
- Moses thought he should “jump into ministry” prematurely, and then found out that he needed forty years of training under his father-in-law Jethro before he was finally ready to be a “shepherd of Israel” (Exodus 18).
- Elisha spent years as the servant of Elijah before being granted the Double Portion anointing that enabled him to be twice as productive as his spiritual father (1 Kings 19:19).
- Saul served alongside a more mature man of God named Barnabas before being renamed Paul and thrust into apostleship to the Gentiles (Acts 13:1-4).
- Timothy, the great apostolic leader of the Ephesian church, was the well-proven spiritual son of Paul (Philippians 2:19-23).
- The Disciples became the “apostles of the Lamb” after three and a half years of mentorship under Jesus, who was serving as their apostle and spiritual father while on earth (Luke 22:28-29).
- And so the pattern remains for all of us to follow. When many left Jesus after hearing some of the “hard sayings,” He asked his disciples, “Will you also go away?” They answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:67-68)
There is a powerful relationship principle here in this passage that we cannot overlook and still progress in our calling. We must recognize those whom God is using to speak into our lives. Very often it is our spiritual parents that “have spiritual words” for us that have a profound impact on our lives. Sure, we can take advice and counsel for many mature believers, but they can never replace the persons that God has set in our lives to provide oversight and direction as we journey towards destiny. It is only the words of these God-appointed leaders that will bring activation and release into all that God has for us. This is why satan works night and day to try and separate us from these key people who have been anointed by God to serve our destiny. When Jesus told Peter that is was satan who had desired to have him, and sift him as wheat (meaning to separate like the wheat from the chaff), the Lord proceeded to tell him that the adequate intercession was made to secure victory for Peter and that he would recover himself and be restored to ministry on the Lord’s side.
“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:32)
This ministry of revelation and intercession is the responsibility of our spiritual parents as they watch for our souls.
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
You can win the battle for your ministry by staying connected to those God-ordained relationships. You will always know for sure who they are – satan will help with that by making the pressure to break away almost unbearable, so that we are tempted to bail out just for relief.
Remember the prophetic words spoken over your life, and who has spoken them; wage a good warfare and come out victorious as you are promoted into your calling.
None of these aforementioned battles can be won without a surrendered life to Jesus or submission to spiritual leadership and authority. Those two things are primary elements when it comes to winning the battles for truth, family, your soul, your faith, and your ministry.
What you just read is an excerpt from Dr. John’s book, PUT ON YOUR GLOVES: The 5 Battles Every Christian Must Win. Follow this link to obtain your copy of PUT ON YOUR GLOVES today.