How to Bounce Back from Losing your Ministry – Chapter 2 – Be Productive

How
to Bounce Back from Losing Your Ministry

Chapter
Two

Be
Productive

 

A
productive person is an
asset to any company. You don’t have to be a CEO to be a leader;
but by your leadership you can become a CEO. Fruitfulness brings a
fragrance to life. It is essential in the life of any would-be
achiever. A fruitful person is an asset anywhere. Where ever they go
they produce good things. Others want to be around them. They have
life and energy. They are blessed! Put them in a bad situation and
they will turn it around; they have the ability to turn failure into
success. They are like bubbles – they make a drink ‘fizzy’ and
always land on top! In the Bible, Isaac was one such person. Despite
being in a famine in the land of Gerar, God blessed him. He wanted to
move to Egypt but God told him to stay where he was and he would be
blessed.

 

Dwell
in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and
your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath
which I swore to you father Abraham; And I will make your descendants
multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all
these lands: and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be
blessed.”
Genesis
26:3;4

 

God’s
goal is for you to be blessed and fruitful. After the initial change
that hits our lives suddenly has worn off, we can find ourselves
trying to ‘escape’ and not face it. We can temporarily retreat
into to what is familiar to try to get back some sense of control.
But if you retreat too much you may never recover. Trials cause you
to withdraw. It’s like trying to find a ‘calm’, a soothing spot
in a crisis and this is alright for a short time. However, if you
withdraw for too long you will wither away. The result is
unfruitfulness. If you are called to serve God, He has put something
in you for the body of Christ and it is there to be used. It is a
gift God has given to you for His body. Life is for living. One of
life’s little secrets is that it is from giving out that you
receive back. When you stop giving out you stop receiving, and it
sets up a vicious circle. We can make the choice to start to give
out. To break the cycle, dig within yourself for the blessing.

 

And
Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of
Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up afier the
death of Abraham.”
Genesis
26:18

 

The
wells themselves are symbolic of blessing and reflect both the
struggle and the triumph to receive it. No matter where Isaac dug the
wells and no matter how often the Philistines stopped them up, he
re-opened them.

 

Stress,
struggles and trials will block the well of blessing in your life and
eventually stop it up until no blessing flows. When God said, ‘dig
again the wells Abraham’, Isaac had a few issues to contend with at
the time. However, at the end of the chapter he proclaimed that God
had made room for him and caused him to be fruitful in the land.

 

I
found myself in a position where I had to again dig the wells in my
own life and find the blessing within. The blessing was there; it
just had to be re-opened.

 

Don’t
change your position

 

When
circumstances ‘crowd’ us in and we feel overwhelmed, the natural
‘fight or flight’ instinct kicks in. But I learnt very early in
my marriage that you can’t escape problems. My husband Peter would
tell me that going to another place would not change things. This was
in response to my howls of, “I need to get away!” No matter what
problem you face, it will follow you or will be waiting for you when
you come back! Better to deal with it then and there! Escapism is not
an option for dealing with issues.

 

God
can bless you where you are! The blessing of God is in you. You take
it where ever you go. The first thing God told Isaac to do was not to
move from the land of famine but to stay in Gerar. “Don’t go down
to Egypt,” was the command. The natural inclination would be to go
to where you perceived the blessing to be; in this case Egypt. But
God said, ‘no’. Don’t expect the blessing to be in something
outside of
yourself. It may matter
to
you
that you are in
a land of famine; you may feel discomforted, and that it will go on
forever; but God speaks words of comfort and says, ‘stay put. I’ll
bless you there.’ We question, ‘how?’ The
land
you are in is not the problem.

 

Circumstances
will change once you change what you are thinking. You could move to
a more “blessed” country, but if you take the same kind of
thinking with you, you will find yourself in the same cycle. God
says, “I can bless you where ever you are, whatever circumstance
you are in, because I have put the blessing in you.”

When
in doubt, don’t”
Sometimes
when things get difficult there is a strong desire to uproot and
change positions. But very often God wants you to stay put and find
the blessing where you are. The blessing of God is in you. It will
come forth despite even the most adverse circumstances, if you
believe it. The Bible proves it over and over again, and throughout
history people prove it over and over again. Smart people look for
creative ways to grow where they are, and usually only ever make
drastic moves as a very last resort. (There are some circumstances
out of which you must move; for example if your life is in danger or
that of your family) However I am not talking about life threatening
circumstances here. Under those circumstances you must seek
professional help. I am talking more on daily living and daily
choices. These people are flexible enough to make changes and adapt.
You can often find the solution where you are; you don’t have to go
somewhere else to find it.

 

Necessity
is the mother of invention.

Anonymous

 

Some
of the greatest inventions of the world were developed in the midst
of adversity. This saying does not have its beginnings in prosperous
surrounds. It came out of a time of history when things were scarce
and difficult to find. New things were invented out of sheer
necessity. And by accident great inventions were born.

 

Do
something constructive

 

Then
Isaac sowed in that land’, and reaped in the same year a
hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper.”

Genesis
26:12;13

 

Despite
there being a famine in the land Isaac starts to sow. He does
something positive and constructive. He didn’t languish in his
trouble but he began to sow. You may be facing difficulties right now
as you read this book, despite the difficulties, do something!
Anything! Break the paralysis and get moving. Isaac became so blessed
and prosperous that he was the envy of all his neighbours. But to be
blessed you have to do something first.

 

If
you drive, you would know that you can’t move a car in the
direction you want it to go unless you first start the engine! You
must then put it in gear so you can direct its movements. You could
sit in a car all day wishing it to move but it won’t until you do
something first. God cannot direct you until you do something first.
So often people bemoan their circumstances and wish for change. It’s
hard to break the inertia and move forward when you are in your own
famine, but it is the only way God can help you. God wants to
intervene in your circumstances, but He’s waiting for you to move.
Isaac was in the land of famine but he still did something! When he
began to sow, God blessed his effort. No effort, no blessing. God
needs your co-operation to bless you. Don’t sit at home hoping your
circumstances will change. Make the change happen!

 

It’s
a principle in life that
you
must start
to do
something first before you can ask God to bless your work. The Bible
is plain: if a man does not work, neither let him eat! I know
Christians who pray for God to feed them, but don’t want to lift a
finger to help themselves.

 

Integrity
in relationships

 

One
reason why the blessing of God will not flow is a lack of integrity
or truthfulness in relationships with others. Isaac was dwelling in
the land but he had a secret. Isaac did not reveal to King Abimilech
that his wife was indeed his wife. He had let the king believe she
was his sister. He was afraid. It was only after Isaac was honest
with the king that he sowed in the land and became prosperous.

Isaac
was probably sowing in the land before he told the king about his
wife. I don’t believe that it’s by accident that the Bible states
he was blessed one hundred fold in the same year, until
after
he revealed this truth to the king. Honesty is the best policy. Maybe
he was sowing and grumbling. “I’ve done all this sowing, and
nothing, year after year.” He could have sung that song, “what
about me, it isn’t fair”! Although God wanted to bless him, He
couldn’t, and that was in part, because of his dishonesty. He was
afraid of what would happen if they knew about his wife. Just imagine
what would have happened if Isaac talked to himself this way as he
was trying to live through a drought. “Life’s not fair.” I can
just hear him, the great patriarch of the Bible down on his luck. But
he doesn’t. He hears God tell him,”dwell in this land and I will
be with you and bless you.” Fear is the opposite of faith. He had
no faith. We must have faith for the blessing to come.

 

The
placement of certain things in the Bible reveal great truths. It was
not by accident that Isaac started prospering
after
he had revealed the truth to the king. It takes courage to be honest;
but courageous people are blessed people. Being secretive, fearful
and withholding about certain things in your life will affect your
relationships with others. It will “clog” the blessing of God.
Don’t keep secrets. Be open, honest and courageous then the
blessing will come.

 

Success
brings its own challenges

 

When
you start a new plan of action, don’t be surprised if trouble
breaks out. It is part of moving to a new level.

Isaac
moves away from the Philistines and settles near the wells of his
father Abraham. As the story goes, Isaac’s servants dug a well and
found a well of running water, but the herdsmen from Gerar and the
herdsmen of Isaac quarreled about whose water it was. So Isaac moved
and dug another well. However, quarreling broke out over that one
also.

 

 

The
Philistines represents the flesh. The flesh is a New Testament term
Paul used to describe the old sinful nature. The flesh always creates
trouble for us. It is our responsibility to keep the flesh under
subjection to the Spirit of God. Our ‘flesh’ is trouble; we
become impatient, get angry and say things we later regret, are lazy
and on we could go. It doesn’t matter what aspect of the fleshly
nature arises because the results are the same – strife. Just like
the quarreling herdsmen, strife begat more strife. God says, “clean
up your own mess! I’ve done all I’m going to do through My Son’s
death on the Cross. You now have to crucify your flesh. That’s your
job, and you have to do it”. God expects us to sort out strife.
These are sins of the flesh and we deal with sin through repentance
and confession.

 

The
name of each well held meaning. The wells themselves were symbolic of
divine blessing, but the first two wells were marred with disputes,
contentions, hatred and opposition. The name of the third well,
“Rehoboth” means “now the Lord has made room for us and we
shall be fruitful in the land.”

 

Difficulties
arose as soon as Isaac decided to dig the wells again and open them
up. The word dig means “to seek out”. Digging requires effort.
Nothing in God which is worth having ever comes without someone
having to pay a price. Each generation has to seek the blessing for
themselves. Dig your own well. You are responsible for finding room
for yourself so you can be fruitful. If you dig the well, you will
find the water. The blessing is there for you if you seek for it. It
just takes effort and patience.

 

God’s
blessing is on the seed of Abraham. Isaac was an heir to the
blessing. The Bible says you are heirs to the blessing by faith.
Abraham was the father of faith. By the obedience of one man Christ,
the blessing came to His descendants. (Romans 4:13

 

In
the digging of your well, the blessing may be delayed but it will
come eventually. No matter how much opposition may come to thwart the
blessing, it will come, and it will thrive. It can do nothing else.
It is destined to do what it will do. Don’t become disillusioned if
there is a delay; even if things get worse. Sometimes things get
worse before they get better. We can make such quick assumptions
about life and in so doing, bring God down to our level of
experience. If your experience doesn’t match God’s Word, don’t
bring God down to your level. Always bring your experience up to the
Word of God. God is always true, even if our experience doesn’t
bear that out. Hebrew 11 tells us that “some having died in faith.”
They saw the promise afar off, but weren’t partakers of it. They
are in the hall of faith ‘greats’.

 

Through
faith and patience we inherit the promises. (Hebrews 10:23)

 

Have
you ever tried to hold a bubble under water? It’s impossible.
Bubbles rise to the surface whether you want them to or not. You
can’t hold them down. Some people have irrepressible spirits like
that. No matter what you throw at them they bounce back up. The
blessing is in you. It is yours. Whatever the world tries to throw at
you be irrepressible like that bubble.

 

God
is the source of all blessing. In disappointment, don’t walk away
from the Source of your blessing. Seek Him!

 

 

 

Positioned
to received

 

It’s
one thing to say you are blessed, but do you “feel” blessed? You
must learn to position yourself for the blessing to flow to you and
through you.

 

Have
you ever watched a game of football or a game of cricket? When a
footballer gets ready to pass the ball, the other player must be in
position. If he isn’t he will fail to catch the ball when it is
passed to him. It is the same with cricket. When the ball is struck
high in the air, the fielder must position himself
under
the ball to get a catch. When he catches it the batsman is out. The
key here is positioning.

 

God
is passing His blessing onto you. You must get into position to
receive it. One of the things I do to receive the blessing, starts
when I go to prayer. During my morning devotion, I start to pray
Scriptures about the blessing. After I have done that for a time, I
let my imagination get “under” the blessing and I imagine myself
receiving the blessing. I picture myself taking hold of the blessing.
I raise my hands, and see blessings coming down to me from my
heavenly Father. So many blessings! Things I need, that I’ve asked
for in prayer. Then I get so full! I have to ask God to expand me,
because I need more room to receive! It’s like having a full house,
and you’ve got to move the furniture around to make more room! When
I’ve made more room, I receive more blessings, bigger blessings. I
imagine receiving things that are huge! How big can you believe?

 

I
imagine being overtaken with the b1essings from Deuteronomy 28. Just
imagine walking along a path with all these blessings chasing you,
trying to catch up and overtake you. They tap you on the shoulder and
say, “we are here for you!” “we want to bless you!” Oh, wow!
Let your soul absorb that feeling! How does your soul feel when it is
blessed like that?

 

Prayer
is an exciting adventure and when you wait upon Him, and let Him fill
you like this you feel so blessed. You might be saying, “she’s
got a wild imagination!” You’re right! And I love it! It makes
prayer exciting. I am a co-worker with God. He wants to bless me and
I want to receive it! Train your soul to receive the blessing.

 

Have
you ever seen someone try to give a compliment or a gift to another
person? If the person receiving the compliment or gift doesn’t know
how to receive it, they will make excuses, be embarrassed, and worst
of all, fail to receive the compliment or gift at all! You must train
yourself to receive a compliment or gift gracefully. Christians can
be like that with God. Accept the blessing gracefully with a heart
full of thanksgiving to Him. God is happy to give good things to you.

 

Read
Chapter Three “A Lion in a Pit on a Snowy Day” coming in the
next few days.

If
you would like more of Peter and Lindsay Earle’s teaching go to
www.pastoralministrytraining.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do YOU think?

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About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

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