I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Deep Thought Thursday: The Lord of the Work

Today's post relates to what I posted on Monday. I have really been meditating on this subject all week, and feel that God is changing my perspective on things. I want you to ask yourself a question:

Am I doing the work of the Lord but forgetting the Lord of the work?

1Co 10:22-23 "Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."

Expedient
1. Literally, hastening; urging forward. Hence, tending to promote the object proposed; fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances. Many things may be lawful, which are not expedient.
2. Useful; profitable.

All ministry in a general sense is good. It serves the purpose of helping others, and propagates the Gospel. However, it is not beneficial (expedient) to me if it pulls me in so many directions that I no longer consult the Lord as to what He would have me to do.

Verse 22 asks if we provoke the Lord to jealousy. If I have filled my schedule to the point that leaves no time for my personal walk, then I believe I have provoked the Lord to jealousy, just as if I were worshiping idols.

I am doing the "work of the Lord" but I have forgotten the Lord of the work.

Verse 23 also asks if we stronger than He. Even the Lord Jesus limited Himself to 12 men on which to focus His earthly ministry.

He didn't meet Matthew and Thaddeus on Monday at basketball, Philip, John and Peter on Tuesday at men's Bible study, go to temple on Wed night where He worked with Bartholomew and Andrew in AWANA, Thursday out to meet the two James for street preaching, And Thomas, Judas and Simon on Friday to work at the poor folk's home.

No, He spent time with them in real-life situations. He was there for them when they needed Him because He made them His ministry. No doubt Jesus could have effectively ministered to the whole world on a personal level and been successful, (that's what He does now) but I think He was trying to prove a point.

At what point do I consider if the Lord wants me to do a certain ministry? Have I ever asked Him? Just because there is a need, I have a skill, and someone asks me doesn't mean the Lord wants me to do it. If I haven't been truly burdened by Him and I involve myself in a ministry, I eventually find myself tired by it and wish I had never become involved. How beneficial is that to me or to the people I am "ministering" to?

Am I doing the work of the Lord, but forgetting the Lord of the work?

Please don't misunderstand. I know churches need people to be involved in ministries. I get that. But sometimes I think we have made too many ministries, and too many people use those ministries as a way to be near people but not with people.

We hear things like: 'Oh, you don't have to do a thing. Just come, and sit with the kids.' Or 'Don't worry, we just need someone to help set up tables and put out drinks. Surely you have time for that.'

I understand some people's gift is to work behind the scenes. I know that. I am thankful for people like that. However, wouldn't it be more expedient to fill our ministries with people who are burdened to be there, and not just a warm body? How much more effective would our time be if our ministry was filled with people who were excited about it, have prayed for it during the week, and haven't just been guilted into it?

If you find yourself (like I have before) running ragged from place to place, schedule packed to the gills- ask yourself: what am I running from? Have I deluded myself into thinking I can somehow be involved in ministry to fulfill my Christian duty, but avoid any dealings with the Lord? Shouldn't my relationship with Him be my first priority?

And ask yourself: Am I doing the work of the Lord but forgetting the Lord of the work?

It just might change your life.

4 Comments:

  • WendyMom

    YES!! AND AMEN!!

    Too often we forget the Lord of the ministry in our hurried lives. I know that my FIRST ministry is right here in my home, to my husband and children. I love the example of the Proverbs 31 woman- who did work outside her home- but it was approved by her husband, and her first duties were not interfered with. When I realized this, it took some adjusting and prayer, but I truly love what I do now, and am no longer "pulled" to and fro. There are ministries that I have talents for, but NOW is not the right time to use them. My prayer is that if the Lord wants me in a ministry, he will show it to my husband first- then me. Because otherwise, I would volunteer for EVERYTHING, and never be home. I thank God he gave me a husband who is more cautious then I am, because he brings me balance in this area.

    Thank you for exploring this further- I know it will be an encouragement others.

    Love ya--

  • Brenda

    Oh I'm going to have to re-read this one when the TV is not blaringin my right ear.

    I really liked the paragraph about Jesus meeting the disciples at different places. Funny...but it really puts it into perspective!!

    Really, really, good thoughts!!!!

  • Colette

    Hello Juliemom!! Was so good to hear from you....and I LOVE reading your blog! Miss you, Colette

  • Joni

    Ya know, you hit the nail on the head, yet again. I think you're right when you say that we have created too many ministries. Everyone needs to be ministered to, but when you don't have the people to fulfill the ministries you already have established, what's the point in creating new ones so the same people can do all of it and get burned out??? thank you.

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