We have been looking at valid apostolic ministry today. Many today who are calling themselves apostles are really not. Many today who are apostles are quietly doing the work of an apostle and are seldom seen or heard as they labor in their part of the vineyard and are not known nationally or internationally. We have seen that:
1> True apostles are actually doing apostolic work
2> The local church is the normal “sending unit” from which apostles and their apostolic teams are released and sent
3> Those considering working overseas must first have proven their call and ministry on the home front and in a local church
As we continue our look into Acts, chapter 13 we quickly see #4 – The call of an apostle should be received and confirmed in a place of prayer as the leadership team of the local church wait on The Lord in prayer with fasting.
Barnabas and Saul received their call in a prayer room, not a board room. They received the apostolic call as they and other leaders in Antioch “ministered to The Lord and fasted” (Acts 13:2a). This pattern – apostolic commissioning birthed in a place of prayer – occurs in a number of Scriptural episodes. Immediately before Jesus gave His disciples the commission in Matthew 28:16-20 to “go and make disciples of all nations,” the disciples were worshippingHim. Genuine worship of Jesus, “The Lord of the harvest” (Matthew 9:38), will propel us to reach out to others with His love.
Isaiah, likewise, was commissioned during a mighty encounter with “The Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6:1). He did not just “volunteer” for the army of salvation, but responded to a direct question from The Lord: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” (Isaiah 6:8b). This is the same question God wants to ask us – but we have to get deep enough into His presence to hear His call. One of the greatest scandals among professing Charismatic, apostolic, prophetic, Pentecostal, intercessory, and other ‘deeper life’ Christian groups is that we claim to be exceptionally spiritual, but somehow we have often missed this cry from the heart of God.