Spiritual Esteem: Perspective Problems
So, let's talk about ACCESS!
In the process of developing The Spiritual Esteem Series, I found myself in deep thought about the meaning of the word "access". Simply put, it is the right or privilege to approach, reach, enter or make use of something. Because it is a right or privilege, having access to anything is somewhat exclusive. Think about all of the special events you've attended where people were walking around with badges that read "ALL ACCESS". These passes give the authority to be anywhere on the premises; on stage, back stage, in the dressing rooms, etc. There are places these people can be that the public are not allowed to access. Their security clearance is higher, and they get to brush shoulders with headliners and prominent participants as a result of this access. And while you are all attending the same event, in layman's terms, "its levels to this stuff!"
I think that sometimes we think there are levels of Christianity, and consequently, that those levels of being a Christian translate to levels of access to God. By all means, we go from faith to faith and glory to glory, but a Christian who has been saved for 25 years is no more of a Christian than someone who has been saved for 25 minutes. Are there levels of maturity? Absolutely. But you're either saved or you're not. There are no levels to salvation, even if there are levels of authority and influence.
For years, I looked at bishops, pastors, evangelists, and ministers, and I thought they had a different kind of access to God; an access that only people with some sort of title or ordination had. If Jesus was on the mainline, I believed He picked up their calls on the first ring. He might take His time for the rest of us lol. And because I had this flawed understanding of access, I also had a flawed understanding of God's love. I felt like because these people had more status, they were more important and in turn more valuable to God. And I thought that these levels of status and authority had corresponding levels of anointing; as if a bishop was more anointed than a pastor, a pastor more anointed than an elder, and an elder more anointed than a lay member within the church. And I started associating power with positions. The higher one's position, the more spiritual power they must have. Just imagine how this kind of perspective can affect one's spiritual esteem.
We live in a day and age of the church where everybody wants a platform in order to validate their meaning to the body of Christ. We aren't concerned with who we are, we're concerned with what we do. And we aspire to be dubbed ministers, preachers, prophets, apostles, praise and worship leaders, department heads, and committee chairs more than we aspire to simply have a heart like Christ. And when we don't have a certain position, serve in a certain capacity, or operate in a certain spiritual gift, we start to feel like our presence holds no significance. And when we don't feel like our presence matters, we don't believe that our absence will either. This is exactly what the devil wants us to resolve; that we aren't needed, valued, or appreciated. Nobody wants to frequent a place where they don't feel like they matter, so if Satan can get you to believe that you don't, he can get you to stop coming around altogether.
It's time to get your mind right, because everything you believe about yourself starts there. And in order to do that, there are three things I need you to take away from this component of the series:
1) You have unrestricted access.
2) Ministry can be an idol, too.
3) It's nobody's job to make you feel valuable.
When Jesus was crucified the veil was torn. There were no more barriers between God and man, no more talking to the priest in order to talk to God, and no more levels of access to the throne of grace. The blood gives us clearance. Not our giftings, callings, credentials, or positions. God hears your prayers just as clearly as he hears your pastor's. You don't need a clergy collar, mass following, or dialect of tongues to get His attention. We serve a God who notices the sinner no less than He notices the seminarian. The same Jesus that T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Bishop Charles E. Blake, and Heather Lindsey hear from is the same Jesus that lives in YOU.
MINISTRY CAN BE AN IDOL, TOO. Sometimes we worship status and authority, and this is the very reason that denominations and religious organizations have become so political today. The body is more concerned with being than doing. We want the title and we want the reverence more than we want the oil. And we idolize leadership in ministry without even realizing it. We think our passion comes from our desire to serve but it really comes from our desire to be validated...our desire to be respected, accepted, and affirmed by people. And we care more about how people perceive our walk with Christ than how Christ HIMSELF perceives it. Sis, that's problematic. We can't afford to be more concerned with impressing our brothers and sisters than we are impressing God. Where is your heart?
It's nobody's job to make you feel valuable. Spiritual esteem is an inside job! How you feel about yourself is between you and THE LORD. No matter what people say or don't say, and no matter what they do or don't do--you must get to a place where your confidence rests in Him; not in compliments, confirmations, or co-signs from the people around you. Our esteem must be built on the word of God, because if it's built on anything else the foundation will crumble!
I hope this series of posts spoke to areas of your life you never thought you would open up about. I didn't see this one coming, but I'm so glad that it did. The devil wants you to believe that you are insignificant, but I've come to tell you that that is a LIE. The reality is, every extension of the body plays a role in its overall function. This goes for the human body as well as the body of Christ. We don't vary in importance, we vary in function. Don't compare your function and also don't covet others' gifts. Your purpose is unique and so is your process. You're not behind and you're not inferior, you are where God has you for a time such as this. So what will you be during this time? Will you be anxious? Will you be envious? Will you be discouraged? Or will you be steadfast? Will you be obedient? Will you be diligent? It may seem like a silent place and it may seem like an uneventful place, but it's a necessary place. And if you can't get your mind off of people while you're here, you won't be able to silence their noise when you're "there". Don't despise the process, every season plays a role.
Look up and,