the Ministry Lie
We should be very careful how we speak about the ministries that the Lord has called us to. How we speak effects how we think (James 3:3-4). Many times those of us who are called to ministry fall prey to our own calling. One of the most persistent distractions to pure devotion of following Jesus in our walk is the very service we do in his name! We believe a little lie that is often nothing more than semantics. We call it “our ministry” instead of “his ministry” and we think of things we are doing “for Jesus” instead of taking the time to understand that he wants to do things through us. It is a most devious and frustrating trap. It turns out that it sounds much easier or appears to be much easier to “serve Jesus” than to pour out our lives completely as a living sacrifice to Him. The difference however is huge. Ever feel tired in your ministry, worn thin, or frustrated? Then perhaps you are using your own strength to do things for Christ or for his purpose? Its seems the modern idea is too often that God will give you a vision and then its up to you make that vision happen. God has told you to do it therefor the power of God will be behind you to help you get it done. That is a sure way to personal failure even if the actual ministry is successful… especially if the ministry is successful.
the true Fruit
We are finite human beings and our strength is limited to how much sleep we get and well we eat. That strength is a mere blessing to our own flesh and was not meant to be the storehouse God needs to accomplish his purposes. God does not need us, he wants us and we need him. He will accomplish what he has purposed to accomplish with or without us. There is freedom in that but what he wants for us is for us to produce fruit and be blessed by that production. We are trees of the field that raise our hands in praise to the sun and allow our roots to soak up the nourishment of the earth and water and that symbolic trinity produces fruit in our surrender to them. When we eat fruit we do not harm the tree do we? No, unlike vegetables which you must destroy the plant to consume and unlike meat in which you must kill the animal to eat with fruit you relieve the tree or bush of its fruit allowing it to produce more. We are not expected to produce meat but fruit. We provide nourishment but not of our strength and not to our loss. When we allow him to work through us to accomplish things then the limitless Holy Spirit empowers and we feel reenergized even as we surrender to more and more work (2Cor12:9). That is the miracle of submission to God and his ministry.
The His Conclusion
I hope all of us view our lives as a ministry of Jesus Christ even if we have a full time job in the secular world. Paul was a tent maker and even Jesus himself was a carpenter. We don’t need to be “full-time” ministers or official clergy or even on staff to be called to ministry. We should view our parenting as a ministry as well as our friendships, our little bible study group, singing in the choir, playing in the praise band and perhaps even our little blogs, should all be understood as ministries in our lives. In doing so then we need to keep in mind that is it is God parenting through us, teaching through us, loving through us and not us really doing anything in and of ourselves.
If the Lord gives you a vision of a ministry it is most definitely a ministry of His. It is what he wants to accomplish through you not a set of marching orders. The moment you take responsibility for the ministry then you have lost it. “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” – 1 Chr 21. Remember it is in him that we have life and our fleshly man is dead. If our life is His then the ministry He calls us to is His as well.
“We are not sent to do battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles. Are we more devoted to service than we are to Jesus Christ Himself?” -Oswald Chambers from ‘My Utmost for His Highest’
Bottom line is that it is not yours, it is His and thats a good thing. -No, its the best thing!by