Delighting In Kingdom Ministry
Contributed by James Snyder on May 10, 2016 (message contributor)
Summary: Ministry is seeing an issue in the kingdom that needs to be addressed and driving us to our knees.
Nothing is more beautiful to watch than thorough breds galloping around the track. This is the horse capital of the world and most of the thoroughbred champions were bred and raised here in Ocala.
The amazing thing is to see those four legs working in complete harmony with one another in racing around the track.
Those four legs are in “harmony with each other” and not in harmony with the world around them. If they were in harmony with the world around them, they would not be able to run the race and there would be a lot of frustration, confusion and physical exhaustion.
Many Christians today are living in frustration and physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion. The reason is they are not living in “harmony” with other believers.
Yes, they are Christian, but they are dysfunctional Christians in that they are not working in harmony with other believers. You cannot live the Christian life on your own.
This is what Paul meant in, Hebrews 10:25 – “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Examine your own Christian life, are you really in harmony with other brothers and sisters in the Fellowship? Or, are you a rogue Christian trying to do it all on your own?
Nothing is more delightful than finding your place in God’s kingdom in harmony with God’s people. Ministry, however, is not as easy as it looks.
One of America's best known theologians, Eugene Peterson, reflects on 81 years of life and ministry in an interview with the Mennonite Weekly Review.
“What advice would you give to seminary students? If you were asked to describe what is at the heart of pastoring, what would you say?”
“I'd tell them that pastoring is not a very glamorous job. It's a very taking-out-the-laundry and changing-the-diapers kind of job. I would try to disabuse them of any romantic ideas of what it is. As a pastor, you've got to be willing to take people as they are. And live with them where they are. And not impose your will on them. Because God has different ways of being with people, and you don't always know what they are.”
Good advice for all of us.
Ministry is seeing an issue in the kingdom that needs to be addressed and driving us to our knees.
What is “kingdom ministry”?
• Where Jesus is exalted.
• Where the enemy is encountered.
• Where spiritual gifts are employed.
This can only be accomplished in the “assembly.”
The question, of course is, how do we get to that place of really delighting in kingdom ministry?
I. The Call – Judges 6:11-23.
Gideon was trying to be about his own business and God interrupted him in the middle of it. God was calling Gideon to do a work with his people.
God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called.
Every time God calls us to some work for ministry it is something that is beyond our ability and talents to do.
A. W. Tozer was being examined for ordination and almost did not pass. He had no formal education and his grammar was very bad. And there was nothing about him that even suggested he was qualified to do the work of the ministry.
At first, everybody on the committee agreed that he should not be ordained. Then somebody spoke out and said, “I just think that this young man really has a heart for ministry. I think we should give him a chance.”
After some conversation, they finally all agreed to ordain him.
We all know what became of A. W. Tozer. According to man’s evaluation, he was not qualified, but according to God’s evaluation, he was the man for the job that he had for him.
We need to understand that “The Call” always reveals God’s heart. There is something that God is focused on and he wants to do something about it and calls someone to do that job.
If I’m walking in obedience, I will hear his call. This call is beyond family, personal issues and work. It has everything to do with the kingdom of God.
II. The Commitment – Judges 6:36-40.
The keyword in this passage is “if.” We need to understand that God is never intimidated by the word “if.” In fact, it is key in understanding the call in order to make a commitment.
Before I can really make a commitment to the Lord, I really need to understand if it is the Lord calling me and if I really understand his call. Whatever it takes for me to get to that point is okay as far as God’s concern.
“If you are calling me… Then let this happen.”