I have been teaching the Bible now for going on forty years. When I began the ministry the Lord called me into, there were quite a number of other ministers in the city and valley. Several of them claimed that the Lord sent them to restore the supernatural power of God. Some of them came before I was called and I liked what they were all about. One by one I watched them fall away from their ministries. They began to say things that didn’t line up with the Word. Most of them left town without so much as a goodbye.
The Lord told me to start a church in the midst of all the chaos and I vehemently protested. I did not want to be a pastor and I didn’t want to start a church. I enjoyed being taught and I enjoyed teaching and that was as far as I wanted to go. The Lord reminded me of my commitment to obey Him so I started a church. About fifteen years later Jerry Savelle came to town, after he preached he asked me a question about my time as a pastor. I gave him the approximate years and then he gave me a word!
Your longevity will preach just as loud as your message.
The longevity of any ministry depends on the Lord being willing to bless it. If a minister won’t hear the Lord or moves away from his vision, he will have a short time of ministry.
Psalm 127:1 Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.
How does a builder labor in vain? They don’t use the building materials provided by the Lord. They use inferior materials that man has created and it looks like the real thing but if you take the time to examine it you will find the word “religion” stamped all over it. A house built out of religion will look good but it does not meet the building code. If the Lord builds the house it will have longevity and it will bless everyone who enters it. A preacher’s longevity will preach just as loud as his message because the Lord maintains his works. No one remembers the men who were here and no one remembers what they preached. They did not last long enough to make a difference.
Hebrews 12:7 If you endure chastening, God will deal with you as sons.
The Word of God can be hard on our flesh and some folks can’t deal with it. So some ministers have watered down the Word of God in order to keep people in their church. They are building their own house but they have excluded God. He cannot supply the building materials they need. They are working hard but will have no fruit to offer to the Lord.
John 15:16 I have ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.
Fruit which are the works of the Spirit can come only out of a house built by the Lord Himself. His fruit will have an eternal affect on people’s lives. Salvation and the Holy Spirit are external gifts that proceed from the house of the Lord. Men’s fruit is corruptible. It does not last and it only has a temporary affect on peoples lives. If you have longed served the Lord it is because you depend on Him for your life.
Pastor Jerry Lamping
Born and raised in Helena, MT, has been a Pastor for over 20 years.