Summary: We are all called for ministry but we doubt our failures. But does does not see these as failure rather the opposite, he is preparing us.
Title: Fundamentals for Ministry
Let us pray:
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you: Amen.
One thing that has always bothered me and I am sure it bothers all of us: is our calling. We know that we have been called; but to do what exactly? Early in our walk of faith with the Lord, God has made it known that we are his; and it is only logical therefore, that he in turn will want us to do something for him; but what?
Everyone gets confused about their calling; and their ability to carry it out. I will give you an example, if I was to attend an interview I could make a great list of all the achievements I have made in my life. I could also by the way, make up a list of all my failures; and when things are not going well, this list to me far outweighs these achievements. Can you relate to that?
But who is to say what list is correct? The world will certainly tell us that we have failed; in fact they will even list our failures for us.
God on the other hand is so much different. He does not see our failures, he does not even see our sin; he judges us on our belief in Jesus; and if Jesus is our Lord, then he just loves us, just as much as loves him.
This then is so confusing; as we ask, what about all our failures? How can anyone love us? Well again, God is so different; he is the alpha and the omega. What comes first and what comes last to him does not matter; because Jesus allows us to be restored to the father whatever happens. It maybe painful, but we will be restored.
Look at the trouble Jesus got into in his life, like the time they were about to kill him by throwing him of a cliff, or the time he turned his back on Lazarus, and let him die. Jesus miraculously recovered for those situations; in fact Jesus even recovered from death itself.
So it does not matter to God what you fail at, as long as Jesus is your saviour, and that way, we will give us the grace to recover. That is the Gospel, Jesus is our Lord and as his subjects he is shepherding over us; looking after us, restoring us time and time again; and leading us in the direction he wants us to go.
There is one expression I absolutely hate, and I hear time and time again, and that is: “I will never let that happen”; why, because it suggests that we are master of our own destiny, and also the destiny of others. To be that confident that we are in control is pure folly.
For example, I am sure many of us are not in the position we would like to be in; because things do not always go our way. Given the choice, we may have chosen something else. Me, I would like to be thin and have plenty of money, and go abroad for holidays.
I have tried, and I have failed, we have all failed at something. We all feel neglected and ineffectual from to time; and it is very discouraging; and we begin to wonder “where exactly is God in our lives”; and if he is here directing things, he must have a bigger plan than that what we are actually experiencing.
The same thing has happened to Moses, as a young prince in Egypt he knew God had called him to deliver Israel. He did his best to fulfil that calling on his own, but nothing worked, and he found himself a fugitive in the wilderness for 40 years, tending sheep.
Was this the best God had for him? Well yes, because the lord was actually watching over him, and intervened with burning bush experience. God was there all the time, but he was preparing Moses to lead the children out of Egypt. God had a plan for his life and it took his wilderness experience to prepare him for the forty years in the wilderness of deliverance to prepare the Israelites. This is just like us, we feel we have failed, but in reality, God is preparing us now for something better; and that something is most probably for the world to come.
Abraham too got discouraged, he just could not believe for the son God had promised him. But Isaac was born, and Abraham became the father of all nations.
There is Elijah, the great prophet of God; but when Jezebel threatened him, he ran, he was terrified, and he found himself lying beside a river worn out, being fed by ravens. Have you even seen what crows eat; I think it is safe to say Elijah was questioning Gods call on his life; but God met with him, and re-established him in his calling.