In the heat of Covid-19 in 2020, I was led by the Holy Spirit to embark on a seven-day fast with some family members; my wife, my sister, my brother and his wife. When I informed them about this fast, my sister-in-law retorted that she had previously dreamt that I was announcing a revival meeting that we had to attend. Upon hearing her dream, I was convinced that we had to fast. On the sixth day of the fast which was a Saturday, I invited them to my house for prayers. When we began praying, God led me to pray for my brother and his wife to receive the gift of the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. As I began to pray for them, my sister-in-law was slain in the Spirit i.e. she fell under the unction of the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues. My brother also began to speak in tongues instantly. I was astonished at the move of the Holy Spirit in my living room.
At this point, I was a brother who occasionally led prayers in church and was given the chance, at times, to minister prophetically with a presbytery (a group of men of God who prophesy in turns). At this stage of development, I could sense God’s power in my ministry coupled with deep dreams, words of knowledge and the spirit of prophecy. Yet, I was not commissioned to perform any official duty such as starting a church, a home cell, etc. This is similar to the biblical case where Jesus gave power to the apostles and seventy men in Luke chapters 9 and 10 respectively but did not commission them to start ministries, churches, etc.
“Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.” (Luke 9:1)
“After these things, the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.” (Luke 10:1)
Quite interestingly, many young ministers tend to rush into starting prayer meetings, small churches, zoom prayer lines and so on when they sense the giftings of God in their lives. The truth is that you must be commissioned by God or by His servant before you begin any work. It is a good thing when you begin to experience trickles of the manifestation of spiritual giftings in your life and ministry. However, you need to go the extra mile to mature them by spending more time in the prayer closet and undergoing mentorship or training. The disciples spent three and half years understudying Jesus Christ.
In 1 Samuel 10 when Saul received the kingly anointing and began to prophesy, he did not immediately go announcing that he was king. At this stage, he was gifted; he was manifesting the giftings yet did not announce himself; he waited for God to do that. So later in the Scripture, Prophet Samuel had to announce Saul in front of the people and commission him to function in his kingly office.
“When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. And it happened, when all who knew him formerly saw that he indeed prophesied among the prophets, that the people said to one another, ‘What is this that has come upon the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?’ … And Samuel said to all the people, ‘Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?’ So all the people shouted and said, ‘Long live the king!’ ” (1 Samuel 10:10-11,24)
There is a season in which you must serve and sharpen your giftings. Many men of God in the Bible served with their giftings until their commissioning. For example, Joseph was a dreamer and interpreter of dreams yet he used his giftings to serve while in prison. Jacob served Laban although he was very anointed. Service is the ladder that leads you to a divine commissioning. Serve with all your heart! Serve and constantly look up to Jesus! Service is not easy especially when you are privileged to have the giftings operating in you. In spite of your sense of privilege, serve! The service ladder allows you to learn from your mistakes and successes as you progressively serve and grow in your area of gifting before the time of your commissioning.
A divine commission can be done in many ways. Let us look at three of them:
- God can use His servant to announce you and your mandate like in the case of Saul.
“And Samuel said to all the people, ‘Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?’ So all the people shouted and said, ‘Long live the king!’ ” (1 Samuel 10:24)
- God, through the Holy Spirit, can commission you like in the case of Paul and Barnabas.
“Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.” (Acts 13:1-3)
- God can commission you in a divine encounter like in the case of Moses in Exodus 3. Moses encountered God on Mount Horeb where God anointed him for a mandate.
“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed…So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’…Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:1-2,4,10)
Finally, let me share with you a brief story of how I was commissioned into my present role as branch pastor.
I joined and eventually became a full member of my church in the year 2018. I was commissioned to serve in the evangelism department where I functioned for about three (3) years. My role entailed Saturday outreaches, early Sunday morning ‘Anagkazo’ and follow-up of souls. I was very focused in this department and was so passionate about souls. I witnessed to many in the Labadi area and I got the chance to meet all kinds of people during evangelism. I felt very fulfilled ministering to people on the street and telling them about Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed this work. I wrote my own tracts, created a database of the souls we met and organized street missions. I always thought my calling entailed street evangelism but truly, God was preparing me for something which I had no idea of (1 Corinthians 2:9).
My commissioning into my present function came one night through a dream in which a renowned man of God came to my house and told me to go to a particular location to start a branch of a church. He told me many interesting things in the dream which I cannot share here. When I woke up, I was so amazed but then, I did not know how to approach my senior pastor with this information so I began to pray about it. Two days later during a church service, my senior pastor called me and said I should go and start a branch of the church. Amazing! Isn’t it? Once it is God, there will be witnesses.
Jesus did not have to announce His mandate; God did that for Him.
“While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’ ”
Pray for God to announce your commissioning and it will happen in the mighty name of Jesus. I will do a part 2 of this blog and talk about how to wait on the Lord for your commissioning. Be blessed!