“Faith without action is dead” James 2:17 – Yet action without a strong Faith and Deep relationship with an indwelling living Christ is a waste of time! (My realisation 10 years on)
“Beware of any work for God which enables you to evade concentration on Him”
– Oswald Chambers
In 2003 I launched ‘learn-all-ministry journey’ so I could discover which ministry was meant for me. The question was, “What did God wanted me to do, what was his purpose for my life?” I started a process of elimination by attempting every area of church ministry which involved shedding copious amounts of blood, sweat and tears.
Applying all ‘my’ strength and know-how I strategized, planned, schemed, analysed and tested myself against every facet of ministry life within the church. I ran worships services, I preached, I ran youth groups, started and led young adults groups, I started in-depth bible study/cell groups, I learnt sound desk, church audio/visuals, attended prayer meetings, working bees, attended church council meetings, church business meetings, went on missions trips and even become a pastoral overseer… the list goes on! Looking back I really don’t know how I had time for much else.. what a journey of learning and developing it was.
If I look back over the last 10 years I believe I have learnt ALOT. Did all that hard work give me a clear understanding of Gods purpose for my life and ministry; I would say a big fat NO. So where did I go wrong? I really thought that working hard in church and every area of ministry would reveal insight into Gods purpose for my life and I would find the ‘thing’ that God wanted me to do. I presumed it would bring me closer to God and would help me determine the path He laid out before me. I even blindly thought that my intelligence and effort would strategically place me in Gods hands. I was so very wrong..
Living separate from the gospel of Christ only exposed my work for what it was… Work! – not actions that were derived from the wellspring of life or even built on a solid foundation. I learnt some hard lessons trying to build my own foundation and trying to find my identity and purpose in ministry and church. Those hard lessons made me bitter, angry, upset and even prevented me from reading Gods Word. I had good intentions and dreams (don’t we all!) yet forgot to involve the one-person who I thought I was working for – Jesus.
Today I am pleading to all those who are ‘working’ in Gods house not living IN and Through Jesus Christ – STOP WORK! Get on your knees and let go of what you are trying to achieve in your own strength and understanding. I have realised that I was lured into a false sense-of-security by the evil one and this appealed to my own sinful nature. The longer I walked and worked, the further away I was from Jesus. Satan likes keeping us busy and comfortable in life, he will do whatever he can – it keeps us away from the Truth that exists in Christ Jesus.
I’ll put it PLAINLY – if you think you are on Gods path yet your relationship with God is not intimate and not growing, then you’re probably walking away from God! Realise that God wants you close to himself, once you know Christ and allow him to dwell in your life, He will lay your foundation for good and righteous works and not you! When that time comes he will giving you a strength and boldness that is born in heaven and not here on earth.
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him — (10) these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. – 1 Cor 2: 9-10