i don’t know about you, but I struggle with keeping God the main thing in my life. One of my great pitfalls is in glorying in the potential of ministry more than the One who is the purpose of ministry. I forget that this work is not an end in itself, and that there is no point in expending myself here if it is not all for relating the Minister to everyone who needs Him to minister to them.
God has been speaking to me on this theme recently, and He’s included a few tips for His needy “ministers” — each of us who functions as a type of the Master we want to communicate to others:
Don’t get discouraged if no one seems to be impressed with the goals God has placed in your heart or the efforts you are expending to bring them to fruition. Believe, instead, that God knows how to make testing work for our good just as well as happy progress.
Don’t make the mistake of setting your hopes upon the ministerial progress you experience in the Lord’s service — when you find little increase to boast in you will be grieved unnecessarily.
Don’t wake up in the morning with no greater thought than what reinforcement you will receive from the community you serve. You will criple God’s ability to bless you and use what you day this day.
Don’t pass over the joys and sorrows of your colleagues and counselies — ministry blossoms in the hearts of hurting that God sees and longs to heal today.
Don’t neglect to reflect on your own brokeness and need for the Holy Spirit to minister to you daily and specifically for any grace to pour forth from your vessel.
Don’t look forward to the praise you will receive with the expectation of making as much out of it as you can — don’t be intent on dragging out your thank-yous with since-you-noticed comments. No one is here simply to notice and congratulate you for being you. Be content with the privilege you have in beholding evidence of people being reconciled to God through His Son — whether He used you to make the introduction or not.
Enjoy what you get to do before God first and foremost for the experiences it gives you in fellowshiping with Him. There is no greater mark to your life than that God intervenes in it and ever expands your relationship with Him.