By Femi Aribisala
Pull Quote: When we minister to the Lord, we will receive the anointing to minister to men.
God says to Israel: “Why did your fathers desert me? What sin did they find in me that turned them away?’ (Jeremiah 2:4-5).
“Even their priests cared nothing for the Lord, and their judges ignored me; their rulers turned against me, and their prophets worshipped Baal and wasted their time on nonsense. But I will not give you up- I will plead for you to return to me and will keep on pleading; yes, even with your children’s children in the years to come!” (Jeremiah 2:9).
This is a very peculiar Bible passage. Here is God doing something one would not expect of Him. He is very upset that Israel has rejected Him. He then asks: “What did I do? How did I offend you?” “Why did you reject Me, despite all the things I have done for you?”
We have heard this kind of complaint before. We hear it all the time. But we hear it more often from women who have been rejected by their unfaithful lovers. Certainly, we would not expect to hear it from God.
But then it gets to the biggest surprise of all. God, the Almighty, the God of all creation, begs Israel. He pleads with the children of Israel to come back to Him. Furthermore, He says He will keep on pleading and begging even to their children and grandchildren that they should return to Him.
Can you imagine God pleading and begging? We need to put this in context. We need to ask: “What kind of person is God?”
God, our God, is very emotional. He can easily be hurt. We need to understand this and take it to heart. Yes, God is the Almighty. Yes, Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. (Revelation 5:5). Nevertheless, God is also the lily of the valleys. (Song of Solomon 2:1).
Jesus grew up as: “a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground.” (Isaiah 53:2). He is so tender and gentle that: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Isaiah 42:3).
The Holy Spirit of God is very sensitive and delicate. He is so sensitive that He can very easily be grieved. Therefore, Paul says: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30).
Although He is God, the Holy Spirit can be stifled. Paul says: “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Yes, God is God. Nevertheless, He is a very jealous God: “For the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14).
God is love
Significantly, God is not power, He is not might: “God is love.” (1John 1:2). Because God is love, He is vulnerable. Because God is love, it is easy for the unwise and the foolish to think they can take advantage of Him. Because God is love, Satan had the audacity to rebel against Him. He knew that even if his rebellion failed, God would still love him.
Because God is love, He was impelled to share His love. Because God is love, He decided to have children. Because God is love, He created man in His own image and likeness. To create man as anything less than God himself would not conform to His perfect love.
But because of God’s love for man, the devil felt God has an Achilles heel. The Almighty supposedly has a weakness, and the weakness is His beloved man. Through man, the devil felt He could exact eternal vengeance on God. He knew God cannot help himself but love man.
But He also knew that God could not fellowship with sin. Therefore, if He were to tempt men to sin, God would suffer eternal heartbreak. Every time God looked at His beloved creation wallowing in sin, He would go into continual depression.
But the devil is a fool. He did not know that his conspiracy and rebellion against God was merely working according to God’s plan. From the time the devil caused Adam and Eve to sin, God unfolded His plan: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15).
Ministers of God
While that plan is in motion, God has certain desires. He desires people to minister to Him. He desires people to comfort Him as He watches His beloved man going astray. He first created these people in the Levites. Their job would be to act as priests unto God. They were required to minister to God in His distress at the transgressions of men.
But these priests also sinned against God. He said to them: “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. But like Adam, you broke my covenant and betrayed my trust. Gilead is a city of sinners, tracked with footprints of blood. Priests form bands of robbers, waiting in ambush for their victims. They murder travelers along the road to Shechem and practice every kind of sin.” (Hosea 6:6-9).
So, there is a need for a new priesthood of the body of Christ. This royal priesthood would fellowship with God. John says: “truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3). It would be the generation of Jacob: those who seek God’s face and not His hand. It would minister first and foremost to the Lord.
If we do not minister to the Lord, we cannot minister effectively to men. When we minister to the Lord, we will receive the anointing to minister to men.
Look at the example of the disciples: “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” (Acts 13:2-3).
A minister of God is a psalmist. He is always praising God. He keeps: “Singing and making melody in (his) heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20). He wakes up in the morning with a praise song in his heart. He wakes up asking: “Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night.” (Job 35:10).
Many of the songs we sing in church are not praise songs. “Abraham’s blessings are Mine,” is not a praise song. Praise songs magnify the Lord. Praise songs exult the Lord. Praise songs glorify the Lord.
I took a Pentecostal Hymn Book and praised God for hours. I separated the time just for Him. It was not a prelude to prayer. I just wanted to minister to Him.
As I ministered to the Lord, He said to me: “Femi, go and see your brother.” When I got to his house, my sister-in-law shouted: “Praise the Lord, Hallelujah.” “What is going on?” I asked. She said: “I have been praying to God that this quarrel between you and my husband must end today.”