Meditations by John Dean

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fire in the Belly

(1Corinthians 1:27 KJV) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world
to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to
confound the things which are mighty;

Sometimes it appears that God chooses the least qualified people to represent Him in the kingdom. Man on the other hand seems to choose the most qualified people to represent him and the church.

Man prefers to choose from the bright, the confident, those who are from a good family and those who present themselves well in public. As a result, most prospective ministers feel that it is necessary to spend as much time as possible attending Bible School or seminary...because they feel it is the primary ingredient for preparing them for the ministry.

However, as important as this training is, it is secondary to the fire of God that resonates in one’s belly as a result of being forgiven for one’s sins. When one repents of his sins and experiences forgiveness from God, then there is a driving force that causes him to shout his experience from the housetops. This is the purest form of ministry, and as a result it has caused more souls to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ than all the other training, schooling and preparation put together.

My intention is not to minimize the importance of Bible Schools and seminary, but quite the contrary. I believe we should be perpetual learners, because there is no premium on ignorance. That is why Paul said that we should study to show ourselves approved. My intent is to simply put things in the right perspective. 

Unless one first has the fire of God burning in his belly he really does not have the “presence” that would cause others to come to Christ...regardless of his education and preparation.

When one looks at the qualifications of those listed below it does give hope and encouragement to the rest of us.

For example, God chose Abraham which was a heathen Iraqi—to ultimately be the father of promise. He chose Moses, a man who confessed his inability to talk—to lead several million of His people. He chose Gideon (a man who referred to himself as the least of the least), to take only three hundred men who lapped like a dog—to win a miracle battle. God also chose Elijah (the Tisbite who had no personal confidence), to become a major prophet and who remains an example for us today. God chose John the Baptist who was as rough as they come—to prepare the way for Jesus.

The likelihood of any of these men being qualified enough to speak in most pulpits today is zero, yet they were generals in the past. The point is...I wonder if God chose these men because He knew they would depend on Him entirely. As a result it would cause a fire in their belly that was needed to accomplish His mission.

The older I become the more I realize that God has chosen a lot more people like me who were extremely shy and timid regarding ministry. That does not mean that we should not study to show ourselves approved as Paul said. It only means that God chose someone like us to represent Him and our only contribution  was the fire in our belly and a thankful heart.

I was so shy that when I was asked to stand up and give Sunday school announcements to a few junior boys and girls, I had to sit down and hold my head between my legs because I was passing out. As a matter of fact I was so timid that the only thing I could remember when talking to someone was what God had done for me and about the raging fire that He had put in my belly. As a result of the raging fire in me, people would get under conviction and sometimes start crying while in my presence.

I think maybe this is what Paul meant in our text when he said, “But God hath
chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath
chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are

I do not believe that Paul was excluding anyone when he made this statement. Quite the contrary, I believe the point that Paul was making was that God can use everyone regardless of their human qualifications.

I thank You that You do not exclude the shy, the timid, the insecure, the rejected, the uneducated, the women or the poor from Your ministry. Lord You do not see what we are, You see the dynamo we can be when we have the raging fire of Your Holy Spirit in our bellies. Thank You Father for not leaving any of us out.

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