You woke up this morning for one main reason; God has plans for you. Regardless of where you woke up, or in what condition you met the day, you’re here with a purpose; daily ministry.
Whatever you do with the resources God loans you today defines your ministry. Some speak, others listen. Some build, others demolish. Some work from home, others travel.
Ministries aren’t equal, but that doesn’t mean there’s a hierarchy. Missionaries in foreign lands are no more important than assistant Sunday School teachers – if each is doing the ministry God planned. That’s where ministries fall off the wagon.
What determines the quality of ministry is how well you serve in God’s will; not any impulse, passion, ability, or need. There is one foundational characteristic of successful ministry: obedience.
Ministry is Synonymous with Obedience
The goal of service and ministry is never the people or the project, but obedience to God. Love God first. Obedience to His guidance and command proves our love. Sometimes the challenge that follows is learning to love those He sends you to serve.
“Seek first the kingdom of God…”
Nothing stands apart from obedience. For example, after seven years of relative comfort my shiny titanium knee is acting up. And that’s my good one.
I could pray, “If it is Your will, please heal my knee.”
Why do I want it healed? So it wouldn’t hurt and I could do more physically than I can now. There’s nothing wrong with making a request of God. The complicating factor is that He has the big picture and we don’t.
Maybe this physical limitation is precisely what I need to redirect my thinking, corral my athletic inclinations, sit myself down more often in quiet places, and spend more time listening for His voice.
Knowing how and where we are to serve comes by listening, not planning.
Everyone Can Serve
Even those without an obvious ability to serve teach others how to serve. Dear friends of mine are journeying through advanced Parkinson’s and end-stage lung cancer. They’ve ministered for decades. Now they teach others how to minister to them, which can be a more difficult assignment.
God makes it possible for us to be at peace and content with His plan – even joyful. Yet, sometimes we want to know what’s ahead, and sometimes we want different circumstances.
There’s a limit to what we may expect to receive; we must ask within His will, which we can’t know in full. It may be news, but God doesn’t solicit our input about where we intend to serve. When we’re in His will, we go where He wishes and do as He instructs.
“If you love Me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15
Related post: When Ends Become New Beginnings