We’ve come to expect the enemy to attack via conventional means. It surprises us when he doesn’t. It shouldn’t, though, and if we’d taken the time to understand our enemy, it would not surprise us in the least that he endeavors to find our blind spot and then attack with the ferocity of a crazed beast.
When it comes to ministry, one of the most prominent blind spots is that if your vision for it is different from God’s vision for it, eventually, inevitably, it becomes an albatross of compromise around your neck.
Even the best of men are still men. They have egos, aspirations, and visions of a future not yet attained, and if adequately driven, they work toward them tirelessly. Things become problematic when their visions or aspirations are different than what God would have for them, and it’s usually the desire to be bigger rather than smaller.
If God’s desire is for your ministry to be bigger than it is, it will be. There need not be any machinations or artificial growth hormone added, it will happen organically, and in ways no brainstorming sessions would have thought of.
My youngest daughter is very proprietary. It doesn’t matter what it is; if it’s hers, it’s hers, and if anyone touches it, you’ll hear about it. The other day she got on her sister for taking her straw wrapper, which she’d blown at her because she made a bow out of it rather than return it.
“It’s mine, Victoria! Give it back.”
That’s how some men act about the ministries God entrusts into their hands. Some even put their names on it and believe it’s their sole duty to grow it like you would a baby. They won’t allow for the possibility of contraction. All they see is growth, and by golly, they’re going to put their hand to the plow and push for all they’re worth. Goober McGee Ministries Incorporated LLC is going to be talked about for eons to come! We have a five-year plan, expansion outlines, vision boards, the works!
That’s all well and good but do you still have God?
The problem with building a beast is that once you’ve built it, you have to feed it. It’s always hungry. Not a day goes by when the machine doesn’t have to grind away. If you’ve gotten ahead of God, then it’s no longer He who must tend to the feeding of it; it’s you.
Because you have no other choice, you roll up your sleeves and push for all you’re worth. Quality begins to slip, new speakers need to be found, and you let people into your ministry whom you haven’t vetted properly. Some of the things they say sound off, but you’ve got to make deadline, and people seem to enjoy the sensationalism of it all. Every iteration inches further away from the gospel, Jesus becomes an afterthought. Eventually, you find yourself selling radiation shield undergarments in preparation for the upcoming apocalypse, wondering how you got here.
When you stray from the purity of the calling, when you veer off the simple, straightforward, uncomplicated path that God has laid out for you, dark snares and ravenous beasts lie in wait.
It frustrates and exasperates my staff to no end, one in particular, that, in their estimation, I don’t take the growth of the ministry seriously enough. They may have a point in theory, but practically speaking, it’s not mine to grow. It’s not even my ministry. It belongs to God. He will do with it as He wills, and my trying to do anything other than obey would be akin to attempting to empty the ocean with a thimble.
Sometimes God speaks so abundantly that you have a hard time keeping up with taking the dictation. Other times God is silent, and the only thing you can do is be silent too. It’s as simple as that.
But doesn’t God understand that the people need a fresh word? Do they, though? Or perhaps you need the fresh word to keep the people engaged. And so, some try to nudge God along, give Him ideas, and the unscrupulous ones even put words in His mouth because, well, it could be true.
Usually, it isn’t, though, because His ways are not ours, so rather than go from victory to victory, we go from disappointment to defeat, the ever-nagging question of why God didn’t keep His word scratching at our peace like nails on a chalkboard.
Few allow for the possibility that their favorite pink-haired prophetess made it up, God didn’t say the thing she said He said, and they’ve been duped. A well-intentioned lie is still a lie. Eventually, the fruit of it will be bitter and rancid.
There is one true measure of success when it comes to ministry: whether or not you were obedient to the calling to which you were called. It’s not the size of the work, the square footage of the office space you have to lease out, or whether you own a jet or drive a beater.
Are you where God told you to be? Are you doing what He commanded you to do? Are you speaking the words He entrusted you to say? If the answer is yes, then godspeed. If the answer is no, just beware, eventually, something will give, and the beast, mad with hunger, will eat anything in its path, including you.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
So true Mike. I have a friend who is convinced that he is a prophet while he exhibits no godliness or maturity. Claiming God said this or that on his blog. All of it wrong/false and yet he stopped speaking to me when I called him on it. I so look forward to your blog each morning. Thank you Mike.
This one was for me. And I thank God he had you to write it. Blessings.
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