The first step to excellence in ministry is dedication. True dedication is a decision of quality – a decision where there is no turning back.
True dedication simply makes a decision based on one’s commitment to God, not on feelings or emotions.
The difference between operating on a decision for dedication as opposed to operating by your emotions can be illustrated like this.
Many people pray and beg God to give them a burden for souls, an overwhelming feeling that will make them win the lost. Such praying is foolish in light of the teachings of the New Testament. Nowhere are we told to pray this way. We are, however, commanded by Jesus Christ Himself to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16: 15). The very fact that a person prays for a burden is evidence that he already has a heart to win souls. All he has to do is obey the commandment. If Jesus told us to do it, it should be sufficient motivation whether we feel like it or not.
The Bible says that Jesus was moved by compassion. What is compassion? It is love. Likewise, God is love. Therefore compassion is a Person. If Compassion told us to go, then we should be moved by Compassion and pursue the task. We should be moved by what God has said, not by feelings.
Just as a marriage union is solidified by a commitment of faith instead of emotions, the stability of your ministry does not depend on your feelings. A decision for a ministry of excellence is a deep, firm resolution which men cannot alter and circumstances cannot change.
True commitment can be compared to a pilot in a single engine airplane. If the engine fails in midair, the pilot is committed to landing his aircraft. He has no choice, his feelings of fear, doubt or inadequacy are of absolutely no consequence whatsoever. He will land his plane one way or the other. If he has committed himself to flying, he will take control and land the best he can and spare his life as well as the lives of his passengers.
A time will come in your life when you will face commitment. How you handle it now may well determine whether you succeed or fail and even whether you live or die.
If you are not willing to face commitment, in spite of emergencies and opposition, do not pursue the ministry any longer in that condition. Take the time to get before God and study His Word until the Holy Spirit and you deal with your willingness to be committed. Philippians 2:13 tells you that God is at work in you to both will and do His good pleasure. He is faithful, and He will create in you the power and the desire to make an uncompromising decision.
When you finally make a full, no quit, no turn back, forever commitment to God, fulfilling your calling will be the most exciting thing you’ve ever done. But until the issue is forever settled in your mind and heart, you will have hell on earth. Satan will torment you unmercifully.
Don’t be afraid to accept the responsibility of making a decision. God has provided the power, furnished the weapons and equipped you with everything you need. It is the same as experiencing the new birth. Once you made the decision, God did the rest. His power, His Spirit and His Word performed their functions, and you were born again. A decision was all it took. All you must do is determine in your heart to obey your calling, and God will do His part.
A man once asked what I did for a living. I answered, “I am a preacher.” “Oh,” he replied, “yes, I had an uncle who was in the ministry. My, it’s a difficult life and a high price to pay.” I said, “No, frankly I am having the time of my life.”
Never be deceived by thinking that being in the will of God is expensive. The most costly thing on this planet is being out of the will of God. You cannot afford it.