There Are No Small Ministries
1Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
God is in control. In your darkest hours, most uncertain situations, and exceedingly stressful times; God is in control. Yet we can lose that focus sometimes in our trudging through life. The world can often pull us apart from the truths we all know. We can drift. Thankfully, that never happens in church! NOT.
Just as easily as we can drift in the world, we can experience the same drift in our church activities. In fact, serving in ministry can often cause more distress then your job due to unrealistic expectations. There is no question though that we are called to serve:
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 1Corinthians 12: 4-7
There are different kinds of service but the same Lord. We are given these situations to serve the common good. The Apostle Paul then goes on to discuss how we are all parts of the body of Christ and in verse 18 we find solace for any moment of despair we may feel in ministry.
But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. - 1Corinthians 12:18
There are two essential reminders in this verse we should hold close to. The first is that it is God who arranged the parts of the body, not man. We often can feel as though our ministry has lost importance or that no one is taking notice. We can slip into the human mindset that judges value quite differently than God does. The truth is that there are no small ministries in the body. Every part of the body serves a purpose. The second essential reminder is that God has arranged the parts just as he wanted them to be! Don't ever think that you are in your position by accident or happenstance. God has ordained your steps. Within each experience, such as ministry opportunities, there are lessons God wants us to learn. But we too often react in the flesh and feel indignant or treated unfairly and the lesson walks right by us.
Verse 58 of 1Corinthians 15 offers the direction we all should adhere to in our service to the King. First of all Paul exhorts us to stand firm and let nothing move us. If there is a dry season in your ministry God wants you to stand firm in your service. He wants you to be unmovable. Why? Because it is in the dry season that our character is refined. It is in the desert experience that God prunes us and perfects us. I wish that I could assure everyone that they will never experience a dry season in their ministry but that would be a lie. What is worse though is to leave ministry, leave His service, or even the church over the dry seasons. Your ministry doesn't seem as important as it once was? Your ministry seems small? Stand firm!
Secondly, Paul reminds us that God demands our best at all times! You should always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord. Did He give Himself fully to save you? Did He give Himself fully to bring you out of darkness and into light? Remember why you serve. Remember for whom you provide service. If you find yourself serving in ministry because of the exposure it gets you or the attention it garners for you; then it is time to reevaluate your motivation! We serve in ministry to serve God, not man. We serve to advance His kingdom! It is the condition of your heart beloved. In the book of Acts we are told the story of Simon the Sorcerer who sought to buy the power of imparting the Holy Spirit from the Apostles. Here was Peter's response:
Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." Acts 8:20-23
Sometimes we can allow bitterness to creep into our service in ministry. The result is we will lose our share or part in that ministry. Our heart needs to be in the right condition for why we are serving. Acts tells us that Simon believed and had been baptized! He followed Phillip everywhere. Yet his heart was not in the ministry to serve God and his motives were exposed. Make sure your heart is right before God in your service to Him.