"Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."
Thus counselled Christ His church at Philadelphia in Asia (Revelation 3:11) I was writing last time about the Nicolaitans, those believers who, rather than building up the faith of the children of God, they tear it down either by their doctrine (Rev 2:15) or by their deeds (2:6).
It is a sad thing indeed to see the man or woman of God, on fire for the Lord, full of the Holy Ghost, and zealous of good works, to be shot down in the faith by another Christian who doesn't recognize that disciple's calling or anointing!
I have seen it too many times, in too many places. Someone receives a vision and calling for a ministry, and is all excited about it; yet when they go to their elders, or peers, they get slapped down with "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!". Believers can get discouraged when their gift is not received or acknowledged by others, and may hide their light under a bucket rather than face the rejection.
And I want to say to anyone who's been there, who's gone through that, who's been shut down by others: don't give up! I've been through it myself, as has pretty much anyone who's ever done anything for the Lord. Hold on tight to what you have! If you have tested the spirits, and know in your heart God has truly spoken to you as to how He would have you serve Him, hold fast the vision, and let no one take your crown!
Joseph's brothers couldn't see God's plan for him, and in their jealousy and resentment, they sold him into slavery. But he remained faithful even when falsely accused and imprisoned. We are told in Psalm 105:19 Joseph was in chains "...until the time that his word came; the word of the Lord tried him". Jesus' own brothers & sisters thought He was whacked and tried to stop Him. (John 7:5) Jesus answered, "My time is not yet come."
So I want to encourage you today, who have been so treated by other believers, maybe even your own Pastor: hold onto the vision. The rejection is part of your preparation! Maybe the time isn't now; continue to build up yourself in faith, study to show yourself approved, forgive those who mistreated you. God is faithful, and the work that He began in you, He will continue until the day of Christ. Remember, the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. He doesn't change His mind!
If you haven't been given the green light by your Pastor to begin your ministry, stay faithful. If the call is genuinely from God, He will move on the Pastor's heart. Be faithful in the little things, and you will be trusted with big things. "That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." wrote Paul to Timothy .
Some who have been slapped down may stop attending church, or backslide even further; don't let that happen to you. Let no one take your crown!