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Residue and Virtue Understanding the Importance of Consecration Church leadership is unlike any other form of leadership there

is. Expectations within the context of ministry can be both overwhelming and unrealistic to say the least. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand the landscape in which we have been called to serve and the level of consecration needed to be successful. Consecration includes, but is not necessarily limited to the following: Commitment to prayer and fasting [prayer is the air your spirit breathes and the only way of communing with God and maintaining fellowship with him; fasting brings your flesh under subjection] Commitment to studying and meditating on the Word of God [studying for revelation, not confirmation; meditation allows the Word to read you] Commitment to holiness and accountability [because of what you have embarked upon, you can not do what others do; the call is too high for compromise in any area. If the expectation is holiness (and it is); if the Holy Spirit makes his abode in us (and He does), how can we subject Him to what is unholy although it may not offend us (which in itself is a red flag; how can what offends him not offend us)?

Having a clear understanding of consecration (the setting apart for a higher call, purpose, or walk), enables us to take the steps needed to fulfill all God has set before us without compromise. We can begin strong and finish strong as well!!! Before dismissing this section as something you are beyond and dont have to concern yourself with, consider the following great men of God. Please explain to me how Noah, the only one God found to be righteous before he destroyed the earth with the flood, finds himself in a drunken stupor (Genesis 9:21)? Abraham, the Father of Faith, in unbelief took matters into his own hands and went along with a plan to accomplish what God obviously could not (Genesis 16:2)? David, the God fearing, giant slaying, conqueror of tens of thousands winds up at home at a time kings were supposed to be out to war (II Samuel 11:1)? John the Baptist, the one Jesus said there was none born of a woman greater, the one who was present when God said this is my beloved Son, the one who also questioned if Jesus was in fact the Messiah (Luke 7:19)? Peter, the one who tried to kill a man who dared to apprehend Jesus, who later finds himself cowardly denying him (Luke 22:60-62)? Paul, the one who only wanted to know God, glorify God, serve God and eventually died for his faithfulness to God, was preoccupied with the opinions of man I Corinthians 9)?

The list is by no means exhaustive. The scriptures are full of men who have faltered. In fact, outside of Jesus (we know very little about Enoch) no one in scripture has been able to escape failure; whether it was a crisis of faith or moral failure, both are sin. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Dont limit failure to that of a moral nature. Failure is failure. Why is all this important? Let us look at the following case study in the Gospel according to Mark, the 5th chapter. (more below)

Mark 5:1-5 Why we have been anointed: We established that the ministry we have been given is the answer to someones cry. Your arrival means someones deliverance, healing, etc. is at hand. We have been called to deal with what others have been unsuccessful doing. Often their attempts at relieving themselves lead to further destruction.

Mark 5:6-13 What we have been anointed to do: Spirits can identify who you are and are subject to you. Jesus didnt address the mans behavior; he addressed the spirits driving the man. Man is set free.

Test: choosing to wrestle against flesh and blood; trying to change behaviors. Mark 5:14-17 Mans response to the anointing: Everyone will not be happy about what you represent and the authority you bring. People may fear the results of the anointing. People want deliverance; just not at the expense of their comfort [however, they define it]. At that point, they just want you to leave.

Test: giving the people what they want, not what they need. Mark 5:18-20 The result of the anointing: The man who was delivered was also made whole One who is whole can be the source of anothers deliverance when its time for you to move on. You will always move on. They need God, not you!

Test: trying to remain where God has moved (place) instead of remaining with God. Mark 5:21-29 Knowing who the anointing is for: In this passage the anointing was for 2 people, not for the masses. The person that bowed down to the anointing (Jairus) and the one who had faith in the anointing (woman w/t issue of blood).

Test: trying to reach the masses as opposed to who God has assigned you to. Mark 5:30-34 Discerning when the anointing (virtue) has departed you: Not everyone thronging you desires to touch you. Most people want a performance, not the person. When they do, you may feel the draw and not know who initially. However, they know who they are and will come at any cost. (she could have been put to death) Its not always the need that you are aware of that requires your attention and draws upon the anointing.

Test: can you be sensitive to the flow of the anointing? Although Jairus need has not been met, the flow was w/t woman w/t issue of blood. Mark 5:35-40 Authority of the anointing: Death and life is in the power of the tongue; Jesus spoke life to combat the negative word. Not everyone on your team can flow w/t and become subject to the authority of the anointing; only Peter, James, and John. Not everyone crying is open to change or respect the authority given you to bring it about. Put them out! Only those with a vested interest remained (mother and father). Dont waist time with those who are interested in what God has placed in you, only those who are committed. Not everyone who sees you, sees Gods authority. Test: dont question your authority when everyone else does. Mark 5:41-43 Anointing never strips the responsibility of the one who received the benefit of the anointing. There is a responsibility of the recipient to feed what God has done through you.

Test: Dont take on responsibility that isnt yours; this will lead to burn-out. (more below)

Residue and Virtue 2 Every interaction we have, whether one on one or while ministering before a number of people, leaves residue. There are times when we can pick up on the residue; quite often we can not. Have u ever entered a setting and instantly felt the presence of God? How many times have you discerned the presence of another spirit- perhaps of oppression or strife? Just because you leave such a setting doesnt mean you are no longer subject to the residue. Every failure you walk someone through will extract virtue and leave residue. Two things are going on simultaneously. The same people who are withdrawing the anointing are depositing residue. There is always an exchange: Jesus took on our sin; we took on his righteousness. Jesus took on death so that we might have life.

When we accept the call to ministry, we take on this dynamic. As 2Corinthians 4:12 states: So then death worketh in us, but life in you. Quite often you will find that after Jesus ministered, he would still away to be alone with His Father to be replenished, restored, and renewed. I believe this served a few of purposes: Jesus understood that the anointing served to not only empower Him, but it also kept Him. We fall prey to temptation in the absence of consecration. [prayer, fasting, study, holy living] What God does through us never is greater than what He does in us. Our time with Him should always be greater than our time before the people. When the crowds are singing your praises, you better quickly still away and get at the Masters feet.

When we minister outside of consecration, we run the risk of ministering out of our hurt, pride, flesh, etc. Remember, the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. We can minister out of our gifts and God not be in it. Why is this important? If the vessel who is supposed to be the life side of the exchange isnt dying to self, we can dump our residue instead to being the instrument of virtue. Nothing is more dangerous than a minister caught up in his/her gift and not in God. Herein lays one of the greatest ironies of ministry: Our gifts are the greatest contributors to complacency. As long as we hear the amens, we think we can reduce our time with God. As time goes on, we fail to realize that we are ministering out of our reserve and not Gods overflow. When our tank is empty, we still see the outward appearance of the anointing because of the response of the people; and we never address our ongoing need for consecration. [I.e. Sampson]