There are many that claim to be in the service of God. Many that claim to be doing mighty works in the Name of Jesus, but thank God that true ministry is not to be judged and assessed by man – but please God that we will all judge and assess our own hearts and motives.
Some ‘base’ men, like Nebuchadnezzar are taken by God and used to His glory. Some adversaries and antagonists are often used by heaven to glorify His Name. Some Christ-haters have proclaimed prophecies… like the great prophetic words of Caiaphas…the High Priest, who identified Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, when he cried:- “It is expedient for us, that one Man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should perish not.” John 11:50. Some are even manipulated to do His will..like those hooks in the jaws of Magog. Ezekiel 38:4
But what of His direct and elect means of working through chosen, consecrated ones? What of those that claim to be of His own household? What of those that are His own servants – His faithful or unfaithful servants? What should be the true spiritual value of those that are called and chosen ones?
Much is heard of ‘Ministry Work’ and ‘Missionary Work’ and ‘Christian Work’.. work that is often couched in the terms of ‘Vocation’; ‘Calling’; ‘Evangelism’… service that is often dependent on senses; intellect; emotions – the external appeal – labor designed to satiates the tickled ear, the straying eye, the emotional high.
But consider real spiritual realities, which require an unmixed, undivided heart.. a heart that has set its face like a flint to serve in His way and in His strength – a heart, not seeking acclaim through hot air, vivid pictures, romantic conceptions. But consider this… some will falsely claim ‘Lord, Lord did we not serve You in many mighty ways?’ Others will slowly shift the focus of Christ to self – batheing in His reflected glory.
Many living ministries become dead mausoleum when Christ’s is not preeminent. Much sacred service becomes profane self-obsession when He is not central. So often the Name; the Reputation, the Position becomes the essential element. As Christ stands outside the door and knocks and pleads, ‘will anyone hear My voice?’ Revelation 3:20
The cost of accountability in each life is very high. The greater the degree of spiritual effectiveness given to an individual or ministry.. the more spiritually accountable that one becomes. For to him that has been given much, much will be required Luke 12:48
The Lord Jesus Himself is the guide-stone of effective spiritual ministry. The Lord Jesus Himself shows the way to examine spiritual accountability: “The Son can do nothing of Himself…” John 5:19 “The Father doeth the works…” John 14:10 “The Father speaketh the words…” John 12:49 “My Father worketh until now…” John 5:17 And when Jesus sent his disciples out to preach the gospel He told them:-. “It is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you…” Matthew 10:20
This important principle was similarly recognized by the apostle to the gentiles.. that it is only and exclusively the indwelling Holy Spirit -that must lead and guide: “Without Me”, Jesus warns and pleads… “Without me ye can no do nothing”. John 15:2
But how often we ignore His warnings and launch out into the deep ourselves – Thinking that our works alone can do the work of the Father: But motive, good intentions, enthusiasm, interest in your fellow-man is not enough – Giving, praying, encouraging, labouring is all insufficient. All is insufficient unless done through the leading, guiding and power of the Spirit
Consider this— even after Moses that great prophet of old had stood on the holy mount of fire… even after he’d been chosen to speak to Pharaoh and lead God’s people out of Egypt… even after he had received revelation and been commissioned of God… even then – God met Him and God sought to kill him…” Exodus 4:24 Why ? — Why did God seek to kill the very man that He had trained for 80 years? Because the circumcising of the flesh had been neglected, And no flesh can serve God – and God has made it very clear.. I will not give my glory to another Isaiah 42:8
In your ministry and in my work for the Lord, let us examine ourselves.. to see if the flesh is still seeking supremacy… If it is, your ministry will die – and my little work will die too. An effective work does not depend on how much we do but how we do it.
Yes –the Lord Jesus is the one way that your ministry can be spiritually effective, and it is the only way that mine can be spiritually effective too. But it requires a daily dying to self – and a moment by moment living to Christ.. Is it worth the pain now for the glory that will follow…?
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