A Word to the Wise Rev. Marty Blackwelder

A Word to the Wise Rev. Marty Blackwelder

Marty Blackwelder is a graduate of Samford University and Rhema Bible Training Center.  He served on the staff of Kenneth Hagin Ministries for eleven years. Marty traveled as a member of  Kenneth E. Hagin’s Crusade Team from 1993 through May of 2004 assisting with the music ministry and teaching God’s Word.  He and his wife, Lola, also served as associate pastors of Rhema Bible Church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma under Pastor Kenneth Hagin Jr.  In addition, Marty served as an instructor in Rhema Bible Training Center. Currently, Marty ministers in various Local Churches and Bible Schools around the world.  He and Lola are the parents of two daughters.  You can learn more about Marty’s ministry at www.blackwelderministries.org.


The Dilemma

First of all, I would like to qualify the content of the following paragraph by saying that my comments are not meant to be a criticism but are merely an observation. As I look around today in our modern Christianity, I am acutely aware of the fact that something is missing in our spiritual leadership and subsequently in the members of a new generation of believers that sit under our influence.

Richard Foster, a well-noted Christian author once said: “Superficiality is the curse of our age. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people – those who will move beyond the surface into the depths.”

What the church needs today is not more educated theologians or more eloquent preachers and teachers, but true spiritual leaders who not only preach the gospel – but exemplify and reflect it’s reality in their own lives; those who live in and operate out of a divine flow of God’s presence and person and have genuinely made Him their continual dwelling place. Those who follow us must observe within us a true depth of spirituality. Not a shell of yesterdays experiences, not a fabrication of the anointing – but a fresh and recognizable reflection of one who has a current and intimate relationship with God – one whose ministry is an outflow and overflow of their own spiritual reality.

I suspect that by and large, there is a lack of personal and daily fellowship with God among those who are called to nurture that desire and hunger in others.  I have found in my own personal experience, that many times it is easier to busy myself with the work of the ministry, than to discipline myself in the spiritual necessities of the ministry. But I have also found that it is not always what is convenient, but what is necessary that I must consider. E.M. Bounds once said: “it is so easy to be seduced by the good to the neglect of the best, until both the good and the best perish.”

If you and I as ministers are to maintain the true substance from which all impacting and lasting ministry flows – then we must make a decision to keep first things first.

It is an unfortunate reality that we as ministers encourage our congregations or those to whom we minister to be faithful in their study of God’s Word, their times of prayer, and their fellowship with God – only to find ourselves neglecting these necessities due to the busyness of our schedules, the demands of home and church, and the endless preparation of sermons and lessons.

If we are not careful, we can find our relationship with God becoming one with the work of the ministry – only approaching God to prepare sermons and thereby losing our personal fellowship with Him on a daily basis. For many, the ministry becomes merely an empty form – simply going through the motions – void of the life and vitality with which it began. Certainly, this is not God’s intention for us.

For Your Consideration

The greatest example of a successful minister that we have is Jesus himself. In John 12:26, Jesus said “if any man serve me, let him follow me…” – this simply means, follow the example that I have set forth.

Jesus set forth an example of a man and a minister whose source of life, whose strength for ministry, whose joy for living sprang forth from a consistent and intimate fellowship with his Father.  In the midst of the constant companionship of his disciples and the daily demands of ministry, Jesus took time to commune with God in times alone.

Prayer in particular was a part of his daily routine. We can see from the following passages of scripture the importance that personal prayer had in Jesus’ life and ministry.

Matthew 14: 22-23 “And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.  (23) And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up in a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.”

Mark 1:32-35 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. (33) And all the city was gathered together at the door. (34) And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.(35) And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Luke 6:12 “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

It’s obvious that Jesus placed high priority on his prayer life because he understood the value and the necessity of it. His time of devotion and prayer was both a place of refuge and comfort as well as a place of preparation and impartation. A demonstration of power has been and will always be a demonstration of fellowship.

The Impact of Prayer on Your Ministry

I have found the following quotes from men who have walked before us in life and ministry to be evident in their truth. I hope you will be inspired and motivated by them as I have been.

Charles Finney: “Truth by itself will never produce the full effect in a person’s life, without the Spirit of God – and the Spirit is given in answer to prayer. Sometimes it happens that those who are the most engaged in employing truth, are not the most engaged in prayer. This is always unhappy. For unless they have the spirit of prayer, the truth by itself, will do nothing but harden men in impenitence. Probably in the Day of Judgment, it will be found that nothing is ever done by the truth, used ever so zealously, unless there is a spirit of prayer somewhere in connection with the presentation of truth.

E.M. Bounds:  The preaching which is most successful is that ministry which has much of prayer in it.  How can a preacher preach effectively, make impressions on hearts and minds, and have fruits to his ministry, who does not get his message first-hand from God?  Not only is the preacher called to preach well, but he is also called to pray well.  Preaching which gives life is born of praying which gives life. Preaching and praying always go together, like Siamese twins, and can never be separated without bringing death to one or the other, or death to both.”

Charles Spurgeon: “Of course the preacher is above all others distinguished as a man of prayer.  He prays as an ordinary Christian, else he were a hypocrite.  He prays more than ordinary Christians else he were disqualified for the office he has undertaken.  If you as ministers are not very prayerful you are to be pitied.  If you become lax in this sacred devotion, not only will you need to be pitied, but your people also…”

Wow – these are quite direct and strong statements, but I’m not overwhelmed by them nor disheartened by their demand or implication – they don’t produce in me a mere sense of obligation or duty – for prayer is not merely a ministerial duty – but serves as a continual importer of God’s presence, person, and grace in my life and yours.

The Conclusion

So, what must we do to maintain our effectiveness, to have our ministry infused with the evident presence of the Holy Spirit and present not merely information to our listeners, but revelation and impartation of divine truth and the Spirit of God? What must we do to preserve our own spiritual lives, maintain both a depth and a true sense of joy along our journey?

The call of Christ to you and me as a sinner was COME!  Now his call to you and me as a believer and particularly as a minister is STAY! Stay close me – abide in me.

John 15:4-5 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Personally, this is my hallmark scripture and one I strive to obey continually. My prayer for all of us is that we will run our race, keep the faith and finish our course with joy. Remember – when running our race – it’s not just the distance, but also the width. Let’s fulfill every dimension of the ministry God has for us – and let’s make a profound impact upon the lives of those we influence. Let’s create by example a true sense of hunger in a new generation to know God intimately and to desire his presence continually. Let’s do so by being men and women of prayer who have a passion for God’s word and presence.

Enjoy The Journey!