This inner court ministry is hidden, and because it is hidden there is only one motivation, and that is the second reason I think God puts it in priority: only your love for God will bring you in here. In the outer court, acclaim for accomplishments can keep you going. Somebody sitting there says, “I want you to watch that man. I never have seen a guy that can get as many animals slain in one 24-hour period in my life. He can lead more people into repentance and into dedication than any 10 other guys in the court.” And subtly, before you know it, you might slip into outer court performance because it is seen. You might do that because it is seen; you do this because He wants it.

Last, because it is hidden, there is only one way to evaluate ministry to the Lord. In the outer court, skills differentiate. You know, some people just have a way with the knife. They not only get the job done, but when they lead somebody to repentance and offer that sacrifice, they just have such a flourish in the way they do it that you forget for a moment what is being done in the joy of watching the performance.

They just grab the sacrifice and the knife, and they do it with a sweep and grace. You like to watch them perform in the outer court while other people are all thumbs. “I’ll get the sacrifice offered, and you may cringe thinking I’ll cut a thumb off in the process, but I’ll get it done.”

How many people feel they have no place in the Kingdom because they lack skills?

I was preaching at a meeting in a little church in the corner of Houston, a suburb, and went to see a large church service that night.  I watched the center seating area fill with response to the altar call. When I went back to preach that night.  I felt about a foot tall by comparison. I don’t think I’m alone.

Many of us want to work for God, but we don’t feel we have the gifts. I’m not putting gifts down: wonderful are the gifts that are dedicated to God. Some people have a way with the knife; the way they perform makes them a stellar standout in the outer court; others, the majority of us would stumble out there while we’re getting the job done.

In the inner court, you can’t do it any better than I can do it. I can minister to the Lord just as well as you can; skills don’t count in here. You’ll never get so tired that you can’t minister to the Lord with as much grace, and you’ll never get so old that you can’t minister to the Lord with as much grace as anybody else in here. Oh, if God would just drive it home, the wondrous grace of God, and will you hear it: God put the priority on that which each of us can do equally. Doesn’t that make you want to say “Hallelujah” to Him? If He had separated us out here, in the outer court, only those with skills would stand high with Him. But God drives home the truth: that which is most important to Him, each of us can do equally.

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