Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our success in the ministry will not exceed our dependence on God

As a young pastor, I can't help to think of ways to grow His church in our area. I read several books and articles looking for "best practices" we can employ in our church to be more effective. I "interact" with successful pastors online, trying to learn their secrets. I listen to podcasts. Certainly I learned so much from them. But with all those strategies I have learned from them, I feel worry and pressure. I am afraid I might fail. I know in my hearts of hearts that strategies and ideas are not really what is essential.

The other night, as I was having my time alone with God, I asked Him what it really takes to be His faithful servant. A thought just came to me. All men and women who were used by God were people who were totally dependent on Him. Their exploits were not because of their own abilities and strength but by God's power working in and through them. Even as they were experiencing victories and success, when they would start working on their own, they would be brought down.

I believe that should be the same for us now. The moment we take our eyes off Him, and start to believe that our ideas and efforts are what will make things happen, we are in big trouble. We should always rely on His Holy Spirit to guide us and empower us. "Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit," says the Lord.

My success in the ministry will not exceed my dependence on God. My dependence on Him is determined by my devotion to a love relationship with God. This is manifested in my obedience to His commands, my prayers, in my time spent in His words, and in fellowship with other believers.

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