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Friday, December 10, 2010

God or Ministry?

This blog post needs a disclaimer.  The subject addressed can be changed without notice as the Lord teaches me His truths regarding ministering to people.  I come today asking myself and you a question.  Why do we minister to other people?  What is our motive in ministry?  Why do we drive 3 hours to see someone in the hospital or someone struggling with cancer?  Why do we give food, money, and clothes to the needy?  Why do we call or text someone who is struggling with words of encouragement?  Why do we knock on someone door that we have not seen in a while? Why do we give of ourselves, our time, and money?

I have another question rolling through my brain.  Who or whom do we do these things for?  Is if for ourselves-to make us feel better?  Is it because we have a compassion for others and we want to make their life better?  Is it because we want to be "spiritual" or desire others to see us as "spiritual"?  Have you ever thought through these things?

And yet more questions.  What causes "burn out"?  What causes our anger toward someone "using" us as a clearing house to meet their needs?  When does our help cause someone a great disability in their spiritual struggle?  When do we make someone co-dependent on us instead of dependant upon God?  When does someone come to the end of themselves and look up to Christ Himself, but we are in the way trying to sooth their pain and ease their struggle?

May I suggest (this is where the disclaimer is needed) the reason for burn out is because we are doing "good" and "needed" things in the flesh.  We are seeing a hurt and a need in someones life and we are wanting to make it easier on them.  We are sacrificing our time and money to help them and when they squander that away on sinful or selfish desires or even  being unappreciative that makes us angry.  Can I suggest our way of doing ministry or our way of thinking is wrong.  Many times we do an action and ask or expect God to bless that action. That is the wrong way of doing ministry. 

We need to be walking so very closely with our Lord that we act when we hear His voice not just because we see a need.  If we help a butterfly as it is struggling to free itself from its cocoon, we are hindering its growth and causing it a great disability.  Wonder if we do the same for ourselves and others when we step in too soon?   

Sometimes I am seen as a "cold" hearted person when I say no to certain "good" ministry things.  But (another disclaimer needed) I do not want to do things in the flesh.  I desire to be obedient to the Lord not to others.  It is like this...if I see a need and/or someone "expects" me to help and do something and I just jump right in to do it...I have expectation of either a thank you or a change in the person.  When that does not happen or they squander away the time and money, it would make me angry that I gave of myself.  But if I am walking closing to the Lord and He commands me to give sacrificially and I am obedient to Him..it does not matter what they do with the commodity I have given.  That is between them and Him.  See I am being obedient to my Lord and I am able to let Him deal with the others.  It is not about me or my stuff.  It is about me being obedient!  The other person response is of no interest to me.  That is between them and God.

I not sure if you have noticed this, but there is a theme running through my life.  The theme is God's Spirit flowing through us to others not just us doing good for others.  May God direct us as we ponder these question and seek His face.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his heart will flow rivers of living water
John 7:38

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