The Testing Of A Marketplace Minister
Now that we know what a Marketplace Minister is and why Marketplace Ministry is important, today I want to talk about the testing of a Marketplace Minister. We’re going to look at the purpose of a test, why we must go through the test and what is expected from the test.
At the beginning of 2015, the Word of the Lord came forth and said,
“This is going to be a year of breakthrough in business: a time that I have prepared to see My church begin to take dominion in the marketplace, and begin to move in the place of leadership; a time where Joseph will come out of prison to be escorted to the palace. Even as the government goes through great changes in 2015, I have positioned you to be a demonstration of My favor.”
Five years later, many of you can’t see how this word can possibly come to pass when you look at our current situation. This is similar to what Joseph went through when the Word of the Lord came to him.
Isn’t it fascinating that after the Word came forth, it seems like all chaos broke lose to stop Joseph (you) from receiving that Word? Well, I want to take a few minutes to share with you what Joseph went through and what God is actually doing in your life.
Let’s first look at how God made you. The Bible states, in Genesis 1:26-27, that God made us in His image and likeness. The word “image” has some interesting definitions. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “image” means:
· Impress: to apply with pressure so as to imprint;
o Imprint: to fix indelibly or permanently
o Indelibly: that cannot be removed, washed away or erased
- A characteristic or distinctive mark: Stamp;
- An image of something formed by or as if by pressure: Seal;
- A product of pressure or influence.
· Impression: a communicating of a mold, trait or character by an external force or influence.
Because of the Fall, God’s Word must be stamped and sealed in our lives by pressure through the external force of trials, so that His Word becomes imprinted in us. When we truly apply God’s Word in our lives, the reality of Jesus Christ is permanently in us. The intimate relationship we experience with Holy Spirit cannot be removed, washed away or erased by anything or anyone.
As a result, we become His product of pressure; a product of His influence in our lives. We become a reflection of the reality of who He is.
Now, let’s take a look at the life of Joseph, a marketplace minister, as a Biblical example of how this works. Psalm 105:17-19 (Amplified Version) says, “He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold as a servant. His feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in chains of iron and his soul entered into the iron, until his word [to his cruel brothers] came true, until the word of the Lord tried and tested him.”
I find it interesting that it says, “the word of the Lord tried and tested him.” So, does God try and test people? Well, I’m glad you asked. Let’s find out. In order to understand what God is saying here, we must know what the word “tried” means. The word “tried,” in this context, means to test, prove, try, examine someone (Psalm 17:3; 26:2); to purge away, to be purified (Daniel 12:10). It has the notion of proving a thing whether it is worthy or not.
Notice, God gave Joseph a prophetic dream that he would rule in the marketplace; not in a church. Many Christians get a word from God and think that word is for ministry in the Church when, in fact, that word is actually for ministry in the marketplace.
As a result of Joseph accepting his call for ministry in the marketplace, God used him to change a nation and the world around him.
What do you think would happen if you let God use you in ministry on your job, in your business; in the marketplace like Joseph? Can you imagine the serious impact your life would have on people to change the world around you as a marketplace minister?
Just like Joseph had to prove that he was worthy of ruling a nation, you have to prove that you are worthy of the next blessings, assignment, level of leadership God has prepared for you in the marketplace. The Word of God has to purge away the imperfections and place Himself within you so you can be effective in what He has planned for you to accomplish. If you want to be used by God, this is His way of making sure you reflect Who He is in every area of your life. That is your goal, isn’t it?
In verses 2 and 3 of Malachi 3:1-3, the word “refiner” is the same word “tried” found in Psalm 105:19. This word describes the purifying process of a refiner, who heats metal, takes away the dross, and is left with a pure substance (Prov. 25:4). God is the Refiner Who puts you in the fiery furnace of testing. The goal of this testing is to get rid of the dross that would hinder you from operating in excellence to fulfill your purpose and develop the character of Christ within, so you can fulfill His Word that was spoken over you. This is what the word of the Lord did to Joseph.
When applied to people, this word refers to the purifying effects of external trials (Ps. 66:10; 105:19; Isa. 48:10) that God often uses to purify His people from sin (Isa. 1:25; Zech. 13:9). As a Marketplace Minister, you are pure when you are free from mixture or contact with that which weakens your faith, impairs your character and integrity, or pollutes your godly way of thinking. You will be tried by the Word of the Lord until you are free from moral defilement and free from the coarseness of ungodly emotions and attitudes so that you can fulfill your next assignment.
Now, let me make this perfectly clear; going through trials is not always fun. Sometimes being tried causes a lot of heart-ache, pain and anguish, and may last a long time. We experience the same feelings as anyone else does going through the same thing. However, the difference is how you respond to the trial.
A Marketplace Minister will do everything possible to stay in God’s presence, keep their emotions in check, look beyond the negative circumstances and focus on hearing and receiving His peace and direction on how to deal with the trial. How you apply God’s Word and genuinely display the character of Christ in a situation makes all the difference.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (AMP) says, “For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and as such as man can bear].
But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will always provide a way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.”
As a Marketplace Minister, you escape the intent of the devil to destroy you in the fiery trial, that you can bear the trial. You go through it like everyone else does, but while others are burning up; you’re not cracking under the pressure; just walking with God. People will see that and they’ll follow your example of faith. They’ll be strong just like you because you showed them the way by walking the way.
When you live your life from Holy Spirit’s perspective, you realize that something good is expected of every trial. Your proof of genuineness being Christlike and your heart toward others is revealed, and trustworthiness is established. When you are tried, it is to prove or bring forth the good in you or to make you good (Romans 2:18; 12:2; 1 Corinthians 11:28).
The word “tried” could never be used of Satan since he never wants us to experience God’s approval. He always tempts us with the intent to make us fall. With that said, let’s take a look at how the Word of the Lord approves the Marketplace Minister.
II Timothy 2:15 (KJV) says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
That word “approved” means to be proved receivable, tried as metals by fire and thus be purified (Genesis 23:16; 1 Chronicles 29:4; 2 Chronicles 9:17). When you are proven by God, you are now ready to receive His anointing, grace, favor and everything else needed for your new position. You can be trusted to use what He has given you for His glory and not your own. You are to be approved as acceptable men and women in the furnace of adversity (James 1:12 [cf. Romans 16:10]).
Now, look at how the Amplified Version of II Timothy 2:15 reads: “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.”
As a Marketplace Minister, you are to correctly analyze the situation through the eyes of God’s Word and accurately divide or separate between that which is of Holy Spirit, self, sin or Satan.
When you study the Word, your behavior is to reflect the nature of the Word. Then, when you present yourself to God, He sees enough of Himself in you to take you through the trial and give His stamp of approval for how you applied and allowed His Word to live in you.
Now you have personal experience with the reality of the Word. This is the process of imprinting the Word within you. Once the Word is imprinted, you can now skillfully teach the Truth of the Word through a life that is living it. As a result, you become a reflection of the reality of Christ.
The Marketplace Minister is to be tested by trial. To be tested by trial means to undergo a critical examination by the Word of the Lord to test the condition of your heart toward God and investigate the depth of your belief in His Word and the reality of Who He is.
Joseph was tested by trial. What I find very interesting is that, through each step of his trial, God was training him to reign. Even though he did not like the trial, he was being trained to rule in his future position of authority. You may not like your present situation or even see a way out, but know this one important fact; you are being trained to reign!
Joseph did not see a way out of his situation, but in one day he came from the prison to the palace. While in the prison, the reality of God was being implanted in him. While in the palace, the reality of God was being lived through him. This is the purpose for the testing of a Marketplace Minister!