In the last year of my schooling, the boys in our class received what was known as an army call up. At that time, it was compulsory for every male who reached a certain age to serve his country for a few years of national service. It amazed me how young, scrawny, little boys could leave high school, go to the army and come out of it looking totally different!
Where they were small and insignificant before, they came back taller, stronger, and even their characters were different. They may have left school as little boys, but they returned as men. They went through a transformation.
This very transformation is what the apostle will face time and time again during the preparation and training for his calling. The apostle is one who begins as a Private in the army and is made to work his way up the ranks to take his place as a General. He will see his own share of scrubbing and hard work, and he will get to revel in the glory of public appearance.
However, there is one thing that the apostle will carry with him always and that is the knowledge that without the agency of the Holy Spirit, he is nothing. Without the seal of the Father, he is unnamed, and without the love of the Lord Jesus, he is powerless.
If you can see yourself in this picture, then you are well on your way through preparation for the apostolic calling on your life. The road that you have been walking as an apostle in preparation has been a time of letting go and of death. This preparation is for the purpose of bringing you to a point of humility, but also to a place of Holy Spirit power. So, join me now as I begin pointing out the characteristics of the apostle practically for you and then on to how you can identify the apostolic calling on your own life.
1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
The apostle is a spiritual entrepreneur. You can easily identify business entrepreneurship in the world because entrepreneurs are always coming up with these new dazzling ideas. An apostle is the same, but he is a spiritual entrepreneur. He always has new ideas. He is always coming up with a new concept. They may not all work, but it never stops him from trying again. And again. And again. Until he succeeds!
This is probably one lesson we lived the most in the early days of our ministry (Apostolic Movement International). For those who were with us at the very beginning, they will recall the many changes that we went through. We came up with some crazy ideas at times. Some worked, some did not. Each time we tried something new, a pattern began to take shape. Later along the journey, ideas that failed in the past were resurrected with a new element and usually on a grander scale.
There is always something happening on the horizon in the life of an apostle. Just when I finally reached the goal, I would say, "You know what? I was thinking about this new revelation that the Lord has given me. I think we need to go for this idea. I think we need to add something more." Or, even worse..." We are scrapping the whole program, and we're starting again! I've got a new direction."
All Things to All Men
1 Corinthians 9:20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;
22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.