So what does ministry mean to you? Preaching across the pulpit?
Seeing your name in “lights” (on a flyer for a speaking engagement at the national convention)?
Having the title of minister or pastor?
Having people know your name?
Being acknowledged by people as a minister?
I’ve heard the word ‘ministry’ being thrown around a lot. People don’t think they’re in ministry unless everybody knows and acknowledges their ministry.
Jesus’ ministry included ministering to the poor … the sick … the blind … the weak … and washing His disciples’ feet. His ministry resulted in dirt on His knees, as He regularly communed with God through prayer.
Jesus brought glory to God through His ministry, rather than to Himself.
His ministry pleased God, changed lives (in a significant, noticeable way), and was not one in name only.
Jesus’s ministry set the standard for all who call themselves ministers to follow. Jesus set the standard for ALL to follow.
Sadly, we have changed the concept of ministry today to something other than what God intended ministry to be. When the priests ministered before God in the temple, they had to be clean, and humble, before they could stand before Him. They ministered to God according to His prescribed standards.
The priests couldn’t bring just anything to God and expect Him to accept it. When Aaron’s sons offered strange fire before God (which He forbade them to do), fire came down from God and consumed them in the presence of all those who were there.
God is a holy God and He will not tolerate rank disobedience to Him, or those who puff themselves up before Him. He expects us to serve Him, and our fellow man (as Jesus did).
When I look at the “ministry” today, I see a place where men can go to get recognition for themselves, titles, and pats on the back for a sermon well-preached.
I see a place where people can sit (in the pulpit, which I call the elevated platform) and cross their legs, looking down and out at the congregation. I see puffed out chests and swelled egos. There is very little humility in this type of ministry.
This type of ministry should be rejected. Although it may look appealing on the outside, it is doomed for certain destruction.
God indeed is a merciful God, but I fear we are nearing the end of His mercy. I fear that those who have puffed themselves up and filled their egos with pride will one day experience God’s wrath. And God’s wrath poured out is brutal.
Just look at Sodom and Gomorrah, and those who perished in the wilderness when God opened up the ground and swallowed them up.
There will come a time when God’s righteous judgment will visit the house of man, starting from the pulpit to the door and make its way out into the streets where the sinner and the ungodly have taken refuge.
God’s judgment will be exacted on the earth, where all manner of wickedness dwells, and He will destroy the earth, and sin, and create a new heaven and a new earth, where His righteousness will reign, and there will be no more sin or ungodly behavior. May God have mercy on us.
We should study Jesus’ ministry and pattern ourselves after Him.
Ask God to anoint you for the ministry, which is service. When God anoints you for the ministry, it comes with humility and a desire to please Him, and to elevate Him rather than ourselves.
This ministry is ordained of God. This type of ministry pleases God. No one can get puffed up with pride when they are on their knees before God.
When our head is bowed to the ground in worship of God, we are acknowledging our nothingness before Him. We know that we are unworthy to even be in His presence.
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:4). Who are we that God would take notice of us? Who are we that He would grace us with His presence? Who are we that God would put us over the works of His hands, and put all things under our feet? Who are we that He would send His son to save us?
Take this attitude, and God will be able to use you to do great things for Him on the earth. Seek a relationship with God first, and the ministry will come. Ministry is birthed out of relationship with God. Serve God with your whole heart.