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Exploits In MinistryDAVID O. OYEDEPOCopyright 2006 by:ISBN: 978-2905-40-22nd Print: August 2007Published in Nigeria by:DOMINION PUBLISHING HOUSEAll rights reserved.No portion of this book may be usedwithout the written permission of thepublisher, with the exception of briefexcerpts in magazines, articles, reviews, etc.For further information or permission, contact:DOMINION PUBLISHING HOUSEFaith Tabernacle, Km 10, Idiroko Road,Canaan Land, Ota.Tel: 234-1-7747546, 7747547, 7747548.Website: www.davidoyedepoministries.orgAll Scriptures are from the King James Version of the Bible,except otherwise stated.

Exploits In MinistryDavid O. Oyedepo

IntroductionA successful life style is not measured by the quantity of accumulated possession,neither is it measured by popularity. Rather, it consists of the attainment of God’s goalsand purposes for one’s life. Everyone who is born of God has a divine plan for his life.Jeremiah 29:11 says:For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, andnot of evil, to give you an expected end.The Living Bible renders it in this wonderful way:For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not forevil, to give you a future and a hope.God has plans for you. They have been there before you were born again, waitingfor you to step into the kingdom and step into them. It is your duty to discover theseplans and step into your divine assignment. Discover your God-given assignment,pursue it and you will have a ministry.Ministry is neither a dream nor a trance. It is not a church title or leadership positionheld in a local church. It is not an organization or an association. It is a divine assignmenthanded down to a person by God.Everyone God called, He gave a task to perform. In fact, the entire Bible is full ofcalled people, who carried out one special assignment or the other. For instance, Hecalled Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt. Joshua was called to lead the people toCanaan. Gideon He called, to deliver His people from the Midianites. He called David tobe king and Isaiah to be prophet, etc.Ministry is stewardship — serving as a messenger, to carry out the orders of yoursuperior. Ministry is not an idea, a feeling or a burden. It is carrying out a given task. Also,it is harnessing divine resources to carry out divine assignments committed into a man’shand.It is not limited to the pulpit or to preaching, as it were. Rather, it covers every area ofhuman need— social, moral, spiritual, physical, mental, etc. Thus, wherever divineintervention is needed for the gospel of the kingdom to be enhanced, God alwaysdispatches human agents to stand in for Him and act on His behalf.True, there are ministry gifts — apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers,but their principal function is to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry.And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some,pastors and teachers;And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of thebody of Christ:For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for theedifying of the body of Christ:Ephesians 4:11-12

Do not get trapped in the folly of comparing yourself with others. Rather, discoveryour individuality and accept your responsibility. Every member of the body of a lion ispart of the lion and carries the aroma of royalty around it. No wonder Paul talks of ourcalling as “a high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”All callings are equally high, each person determining the height he attains. This is thepurpose of this book — to help you discover the step up the ladder, “for the prize of thehigh calling” of God upon your life. We cannot all be in one office. If we are all preachers,who will be the congregation? If we are all selling, who will do the buying? Set yourself todiscover your assignment, and be yourself in the pursuit of excellence.However, for the purpose of clarity, in this book, our major emphasis will be on thepulpit ministry. I believe God that as you read, your eyes will be opened to see how bestto handle your own ministry, wherein you have been called to serve in the kingdom.

PART 1

The Minister And His Call

CHAPTER ONEYou are Special!A thought of mediocrity makes mediocres, while a thought of greatness makes greatmen. The Word of God says:For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.Proverbs 23:7You are the way you see yourself. This is why the first step up the ladder ofexcellence is for you to think excellence. As you think in your heart, so are you. What youthink in your heart is what you will voice out.For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.Matthew 12:34The good news is that everyone born again is special to God and must see himselfas such.It is time you begin to see the honour and dignity attached to the new man. You arenot a biological accident. You are a creature of destiny, a creature of great value. Theoutstanding thing about treasures is the value attached to them. This is what makes themspecial. God rates you as a special treasure to Him.Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people.Exodus 19:5You are a peculiar specimen of God's glory, a unique specie! You carry the kingdomof God inside you. Luke 17:21 tells us that the kingdom of God is within us. Your kind hasnever been before. You are not ordinary. You are peculiar. You have access to thedivine nature of God here on earth; the abilities of God are available to you.According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life andgodliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these yemight be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in theworld through lust.2 Peter 1:3-4Also, the Lord told Moses:.I have made thee a god to Pharaoh.Exodus 7:1If God has made you a god to Pharaoh, then you are a god to the whole world.Remember, Moses had told them:For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up untoyou of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall sayunto you.Acts 3:22The “prophet” Moses was talking about in this Scripture is Jesus. Jesus came and itwas said of Him, “What manner of man is this?” He said:

.As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.John 20:21You are in the class of Jesus. He has sent you. The world should say of you, “Whatmanner of man is this?”You are special! Everyone called by God is sent to the world. He is made a god tothe world and the world is expected to listen to him and obey him. You are a god! This isthe position of anyone who receives the Word of God. Those unto whom the Word ofGod comes, He calls gods (Jn. 10:35).Remember, it was said of Paul and Barnabas, “the gods are come down to us in thelikeness of men” (Acts 14:11). God says all His children are gods (Ps. 82:6). You are madeto be distinguished; you too belong to the upper class, you are not just different.But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into hismarvellous light:1 Peter 2:9You have unusual grace and impeccable abilities. You are a priest and a king, andyour priesthood and kingly dominion is to be manifested on earth. You are special!In the Creator's eye, the entire world is not worth an exchange for your soul. You areof much value in the sight of God; you are a pearl of great price. You are so valuable, thatit cost God the blood of His only begotten Son, to redeem your soul from perdition. Youmean so much to God, you matter a great deal to His eternal purpose. So, stopdespising yourself. The Bible says:For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit,which are God's.1 Corinthians 6:20To further establish your great value, God declares: “He that toucheth you toucheththe apple of his eye ” (Zec. 2:8). You are the apple of God's eyes. You are His beloved.Therefore, discover yourself and recover your birthright; because you are peculiar andhave a peculiar mission here on earth.Every man hath his proper gift of God.1 Corinthians 7:7There is a “proper” placement for you on earth, made possible by the “proper gift”that is in you. You have a special mission on earth. You are sent on a mission by JesusChrist, even as the Father sent Him while He was on earth. Jesus Himself declared:.The works that I do shall he (you) do also; and greater works than these shall he(you) do.John 14:12Jesus Christ has tasks for you to carry out. He is the head and you are the body.There is no useless member in the body; no member of our physical body is without afunction. If all your teeth are removed, your entire body will not only be unable to feedcomfortably, but your facial appearance is also likely to change, particularly when yousmile! Every one member of the body of Christ has a function or ministry. You arepeculiar with a peculiar function.For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the sameoffice:So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Romans 12:4-5God has an office for you to occupy and has endowed you with the gift you need forexcellence in that office.Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.1 Corinthians 12:4-6You have all it takes. You are destined to be glorified in your calling. Locate it andstay in it. Every calling of God is a high calling. Every placement is a high placement, withthe ultimate purpose of glorifying the called.And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to themwho are the called according to his purpose.For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image ofhis Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, themhe also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.Romans 8:28-30Do not despise yourself. Do not despise your calling. Do not cross to someoneelse's lane. Having located your calling, stay put there, till you become a star. Locatingyour calling and pursuing it is the beginning of a great future. Abiding in that calling leadsto stardom. You are destined to be a star!

Chapter TWOThe Power of VisionGod has a grand plan for His church; but much more interesting is the fact that He has aplan for each member of His body. In Jeremiah 29:11(AMP Bible), He says:For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts andplans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.You are not created to roam about in life purposelessly. You are designed for aspecific placement. Before you were born, He knew you and separated you for aspecific goal and assignment. But your placement in the grand master plan of God islocated by vision.Vision is the path finding tool in the hand of the believer. In Joel 2:28, we are told thatvision is for young men “.Your young men shall see visions.” Abraham had a vision atthe age of 75. So, in the sight of God, you are still a young man even at 75! Do not allowyour age to intimidate you. Samuel heard God at a very tender age; God gave him anassignment. Reach out for a vision and lay hold on direction.Where there is no vision, the people perish.Proverbs 29:18Where there is no direction, there cannot be progress. You need to locate directionfor your life by vision.Vision is the unfolding of a divine plan as it relates to an individual. It is having asupernatural insight into one's placement in life. It provides access into a divineprogramme for an individual. It therefore takes vision to find one's correct placement inGod's master plan.Vision is not an invention, but a discovery of a set plan. Many things have beenmistaken for vision. I want to draw a sharp line of demarcation between vision and theseother elements:AmbitionThis is one's expectation or what one looks forward to achieving. Thus, it is a self-madeplan. Nothing is practically wrong with being ambitious. But, “without vision the peopleperish.” Ambition is liable to failure and can even destroy the ambitious one. Onlyambition that falls in line with God's drawn-out plan becomes fruitful. Absalom wasambitious and his ambition killed him!

Ambition says, “I want it by all means”, but vision says, “I have it because God says it,and I am in His plan.” Ambition is a brother of anxiety, whereas vision is a relative ofpeace.I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, andto his saints.Psalm 85:8ImpressionThis is being carried away in one's thoughts about what one likes in others, for example,their vocation, business or ministry. These thoughts, when compounded, pose as asignal for direction; but they are what can be called an impression.Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.1 Thessalonians 5:21Many have mistaken impression today for vision and have been chasing after thewind.ImaginationThe word imagination is derived from the word image, which also means shadow.Imagination is the act of image formation. It is very powerful, but destructive when notproperly handled. It is true that what one doesn't see, one doesn't possess; but the snagin imagination is that outside the Word of God, it can be misguiding. It can intoxicate untilit destroys.Thus, imagination is not vision. Though it is powerful, but is not a tangible substanceas a vision. It is a dream; it is like a floating idea. It can falter and fail. Indeed, imaginationthat is not in line with the Word of God can only end up frustrating the dreamer; but whenin line with God's Word, it is absolutely powerful. A positive imagination can cause thedreamer to attain the ultimate in his visionary pursuits.SituationThis is direction arrived at as a result of what one is going through at a particular time. Itsounds like direction, but it can be grossly misleading. For instance, someone is notdoing well in his business and suddenly, “he perceives” it is because God is calling himto preach! That is not vision; it is situation. Again, someone else has been looking for ajob for a long time and has found none, so he believes God is asking him out of thecountry for one thing or the other.Many people today love explaining the situation, instead of pursuing a vision. Thepreaching ministry, in particular, has been the biggest victim of these explorers! Many inthe church think misfortune is a stepping-stone into ministry:I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.

Jeremiah 23:21Do not allow your life to be directed by situations and circumstances, because it willlead you nowhere. It is when God is your shepherd that you attain, not when you are ledby situations and circumstances. It is time to move by vision and not as situationsdemand.ReactionMany have found themselves in what they are doing today by reason of things theydetested in some people, places or systems. This is the origin of the breakawaysyndrome in the Church today. “I don't like that man”, “I hate that constitution”, “I will nottake that new policy”, “I am bigger than the kind of discipline being meted out to me.Therefore I will begin my own church; I will start off my own ministry. As a matter of fact, Ican do it better than that man or woman.”Reaction is, in most cases, an act of insubordination and an overestimation of oneself.Moses, in Egypt, is a very good example of reaction. Through reaction, he killed theEgyptian who had manhandled an Israelite, and had to dwell in the wilderness for 40years. I believe he finally located himself through meekness (the Bible refers to him asthe meekest man on the surface of the earth). God eventually gave him a vision in theplace of a reaction, but it cost him a lot!Reaction, if not dealt with, can slow down one's pace in life, and may even destroyone's destiny altogether! So watch out, or you may add 40 years of wildernesswandering to your journey in life.Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thytime?Ecclesiastes 7:17ConfirmationThis is seeking the affirmation of others in deciding what steps to take in life. God isnever moved by multitudes or by popular opinion. If all the prophets in the worldprophesy you into a preaching ministry and God has not called you, He has not calledyou! Even if all the members of the local church you belong to see you as a worldwideevangelist but God does not see you as one, then you are not.Stop being led by men; rather, be led by God. If you let God lead you, then you shallnot want! No amount of confirmation by people can put words into His mouth. What Hehas not said, He has not said; what He has not written, He has not written. Locate Hiswriting about you, not the writings of men. Human confirmation is, more often than not,confusion in disguise.Association

Many have also thought that association is equal to commission, but this is not true. Forinstance, Saul was said to be among the prophets and he actually did prophesy, and aparable came out of it:.Is Saul also among the prophets?1 Samuel 10:11Mockery! This is what is called environmental anointing. That is, getting things doneby virtue of what goes on in the environment to which one belongs. Saul prophesied, buthe was not a prophet. I perceive that he misunderstood that experience, because whenhe ought to have waited for Samuel, the priest, he went ahead to offer the sacrifice,thereby losing his throne.Association has a way of influencing one in any area of ministry. Jesus had twelvepeople in His company. They went out in His name and even devils were subject tothem. Then Peter thought he had it all. He argued blindly with the Master on his ability tostand by Him; but after the master was taken, he could not even stand before a littlemaid! He was swearing profusely, as he vehemently denied his beloved Master! Untilfinally, on the day of Pentecost he was commissioned to stand.Therefore, people who think they can get things done because others are doingthem should watch properly before they step out. Association can inspire and motivatefor action, but has no power to commission.Natural Instinct/ InspirationSome people have mistaken talent for vision. What one has a flair for is not necessarilyan indication of a call. Often, God delights in placing men into areas where they have theleast natural abilities to perform. Think of His commissioning an exiled Moses to deliverHis people from bondage, when there were numerous more qualified citizens that stoodbetter chances. As if that was not enough, although a stammerer, he became an orator.What about God calling the little man, Gideon, a nonentity and weakling by all naturalindications, to deliver His people from the Midianites. Also, Nehemiah was a slave boy,yet he was commissioned to rebuild the broken wall of Jerusalem.When Samuel went to anoint a king for Israel in Jesse's house, he was captivated bythe beautiful countenance of Eliab, until the Lord brought him back to reality by refusinghim. Thus, all the five sons filed past and all he could hear from God was “NO!” Whothen? An insignificant youth attending to sheep in the field David! God's response to thelook of shocked disappointment on Samuel's face at His rejection of Eliab and hisbrothers will help to humble anyone who prides himself/herself on natural talent.Have you ever considered the rationale behind God's choice of ignorant andunlearned disciples to spearhead the cause of the gospel, men who have now becomethe canons of Scriptures? This is because talent is not vision. God said to Samuel:Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refusedhim: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance,but the Lord looketh on the heart.1 Samuel 16:7

A vision is deeper than what people deem it to mean. While natural instinct andinspiration may enhance it, they must never be mistaken for one in isolation.Locating YourselfGod is a God of ways. He has heaven for you on earth and wants to show you how toget there. He has created you for a purpose and wants to show you how to attain it. Heshows His ways to His men. Acts are for the children, while ways are for His men.He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.Psalm 103:7Locating the plan of God for your life, that is, where you are destined for, is vision.Vision is a vital link to success. It is power. Everyone has a duty to locate what he or sheis created for. Discovering your kingdom placement is by vision:Where there is no vision, the people perish.Proverbs 29:18Vision is therefore a tool for finding direction. When you cannot tell where you areheading for, you cannot get there. Vision is a direct discovery of God's plan for you (Jer.29:11).You never become a star in the kingdom until you have become a visionary. Thefuture of every believer depends on the discovery of his placement in the body of Christ.You make it seemingly effortlessly in your calling, because God enables you to performin the area He has assigned you. True vision comes from God and is characterized bypeace. When a vision is from God, it will speak peace, not war, divisions or tension.A Strong Desire“Now, how do I locate the plan of God for my life?” You may ask. Or, “How do I get avision from God?” The answer is found in Habakkuk 2:1:I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what hewill say unto me.You cannot receive your plan from God without having a strong desire for it. Yourstrong desire makes you to set your will towards achieving it.Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with allwisdom.Proverbs 18:1Desire sets your will towards your goal. “To set me.” means to embark on adiscovery. When your will is set on achieving a mission, you have to take necessarysteps for it to materialize.Ask Of God

The Word of God says:If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, andupbraideth not; and it shall be given him.James 1:5One other necessary step is asking. As you ask, be watchful in your spirit-man.Maintain quietness on your inside. Clear your spirit, get rid of all preconceived notionsand let your spirit be empty, to ease reception of signals from the throne of grace. Often,visions are received in moments of quietness. God is always ready to show you the rightpath; all you have to do is to get to the point where He can reach you.The Holy Spirit releases the plans of God for you through your spirit, so programmeyourself to hear His voice. His voice should not be strange to you because you are bornof Him. No child goes to school to learn his mother tongue. Jesus said:My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:John 10:27You can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, so set your spirit at the right channel andreceive instructions.Every Christian, by right, should be able to receive vision from God. Unfortunately, thisis not the case.MeeknessGod will only release vision to the category of believers who are clothed inside andoutside with godly qualities. That is why another major requirement is that same qualitythat was found in Moses after his humbling experience of self-exile meekness.A Christian who wants to know the way of the Lord has to be humble and also havethe spirit of the fear of the Lord. Moses, whom God says was the meekest of all menupon the earth, spoke face- to-face with God, and as such, he had first hand knowledgeof the ways of the Lord.Sustaining VisionIt is one thing to get a vision from God, it is yet another to be able to maintain it. Takeheed to yourself, attend to the following points and your vision will not only bemaintained, it will be kept.ContentmentDo not despise your calling when God reveals it to you. Do not be a follower of whatothers are doing; be a follower of God. Your calling might not be popular now, but stickto it. God does not just call you and leave you to fend for yourself. He would havedeposited in you the inherent abilities that will enable you to stand and triumph.Every calling glorifies God and also lifts the person called. You are destined to be astar in your area of calling; so don't despise it. Know your rank and maintain it. Do notplace yourself beyond where God has placed you. Know those ahead of you andaccord them the honour due to them.

ConsistencyBe consistent in your calling. There is a path for each person, walk in yours. The armyof God is an army of specialists who have received visions with precision. Do not crossto someone else's lane. Having located where you belong, stick to it till you become astar. You are a part of excellence, because you are a part of the body of Christ. Abidewhere you have been placed. Consistency is a divine attribute. Every calling culminatesin glory, but there is a demand to press towards it. In Philippians 3:14, apostle Paul says:I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.There is a pressing required for every prize. No press, no prize! Paul pressed, ranand fought, so he was confident that a prize awaited him. The prophet Habakkuk said,“.That he may run that readeth it” (Hab. 2:2).No vision gets fulfilled automatically, so run; do not go about minding other people'sministries. Even when they go wrong, leave them to God who has called them. Be leastconcerned about how others are running. Referees don't win any prizes, so don't beone. This is a race that calls for physical, mental and spiritual exercises. It might not becomfortable, but press on and you will see God in action. Endure all things; press on tillyou receive your prize.LocationYou need to receive adequate information about your calling before you step out.Stay with God to receive the details of your calling. Are you called to preach? Ask, “Whatdo I preach?” The Bible says in Isaiah 40:6, “The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shallI cry?.”Every messenger must have a message. A messenger without a message is adangerous man. You must know what you are sent to deliver. In addition, you have toknow where to preach the message you have been given. Jonah was going to Tarshishto preach, instead of Nineveh, and he ended up in the belly of a fish for three days andthree nights. Until you go to where God sends you, you remain a struggler. When youare where God has sent you, there is supernatural provision.The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.Psalm 23:1Know Your TimingIn Ecclesiastes 3, we are told that there is a time for everything. You have to ask forGod's “when” for your assignment. God who sent you knows the perfect time for you toset out. Moses struck 40 years earlier than God's time. This sent him on a personal exile;he was downgraded. Jesus, the Son of God, was the natural son of Joseph for 30 years,until He came into the fullness of time.There is what is called “the fullness of time.” It is the right time to step out into yourGod-given assignment. You need to be sensitive to the right time, in order to makehealthy progress.Know The MethodAfter knowing what to do, where to do it and what time to set out, you also need tofind out how you are to go about it. Don't just go about it your own way or the way of

others. Ask God for His way and He will show you how to perform the divine task.Knowing where you are heading for is the first step towards attainment. You can bevery diligent and faithful, but if you are not on the right path, you will keep struggling allyour life. Get on the right path God has purposed for you in His infinite variety, and youwill see your light break out of the gloom darkness like the bright morning star.The Place Of GraceMinistry is by election of grace. Placement has nothing to do with abilities or inabilities; itis purely an act of divine election.For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, notmany mighty, not many noble, are called:But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and Godhath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea,and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:That no flesh should glory in his presence.1 Corinthians 1:26-29Our callings and elections in the faith have nothing to do with our background cultural,educational, social and what have you. God is the sole authority behind every callingand He gives it severally as He wills.The Scriptures show that the “have-nots” and “be nots” secure higher placementsthan the “exposed” and “gifted” candidates. The reason for this is clear “That no fleshshould glory in His presence” (I Cor. 1:29). He wants all the glory! Yes, for He has said:.My glory will I not give to another.Isaiah 42:8This is why the seemingly unqualified and incompetent often wear the ministrycrowns more than the “have it all” and the “know it all.”(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that thepurpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will havecompassion on whom I will have compassion.So the

David O. Oyedepo. Introduction A successful life style is not measured by the quantity of accumulated possession, neither is it measured by popularity. . He called David to be king and Isaiah to be prophet, etc. Ministry is stewardship — serving as a messenger, to carry out the orders of your superior. Ministry is not an idea, a feeling or .