(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 10)

There is enough work in the body of Christ for every born again, regenerated child of the Lord to do.

If you find yourself clamouring with other members in relation to a particular work therefore or harbouring any kind of jealousy or resentment at those who are doing God’s work, consider your MOTIVES. Have you lost your focus?

Consider if the work you claim to be doing or that you want to do WAS GIVEN TO YOU by the Lord or something else. Sometimes when we are operating in disobedience, by not doing what we know God has called us to do but instead, trying to do what God has called someone else to do, we end up with problems and cannot function as we ought because we are not doing what we have been graced to do! Instead, we are trying to force ourselves into and along a path that God did not choose for us, maybe because it is more in the spotlight or because of the kind of secular work or profession or that we have or have had or our level of education or because of people’s expectations.

You could be the world’s greatest orator in the secular world and full of earthly accolades and God not gift you similarly spiritually. You could be the CEO in a large organization and God desire for you to serve him, by using the gift he has given you of helping or or giving. You could be a really good singer and when you come to Christ, he have something completely different for you to do, according to the spiritual gift that he gave to you. The Lord is not bound to give us spiritual gifts that are in alignment with the secular talents and abilities that we have. He gives severally as HE wills (1 Corinthians 12:11).

Consider whether the work you claim to be doing or want to do, such that it evokes contention, envy or ill-will in relation to others, is really A WORK OF THE LORD. Many people in Churches engage themselves in a whole host of activities, which have little or no bearing on God’s Kingdom business, which is and has always been about pointing people to Christ, the lost through the promulgation of the gospel and the saved, through edification and encouragement, so that they would grow in his knowledge and grace.

Consider if you’ve set your sights selfishly ONLY ON YOUR CHURCH GATHERING, which may be a small gathering, when there are saints that can be edified and benefit from your gifts, talents and abilities, worldwide. There are also more lost souls in need of hearing the good news of salvation, than there are workers to reach them, so why exactly is it that you are clamouring with others in the membership, to do what you “claim” is God’s work?

Why not get out there, if you are truly serious about reaching people, saved and unsaved, with what God has equipped you to do and busy yourself with it instead of eyeballing that brother or sister and what they are doing? What is that to you? Follow Jesus!

Jesus himself told his disciples, when he considered the enormity of the work and there not being enough willing believers to do it, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

What then is really your problem?

Do you really want to serve Christ and advance his work or to steal the spotlight and advance yourself and your own agenda? Are you about his glory or yours? Are you in it for Him or for yourself?

If you are in it for him as you claim, then there is plenty work to do, even if there doesn’t seem to be much available among the gathering that you attend. And even there, if God has placed you there, he will give you something at some point and at least on some occasions to do, so that the members can benefit and he can be glorified.

Claiming to want to do God’s work and immersing yourself in what you refer to as ministry, so as to elevate yourself, be seen by others or serve yourself is not really working for the Lord but for self. Often times when our motives are wrong, we are quick to measure what we are doing against what others are doing and want to compete, us getting upset when they are successful in reaching people with God’s truth or when we sense that the Spirit of God is mightily using them to do great exploits.

God’s work is serious business. It is not about competition, self-service or self-elevation. It is not about you.

Judas pretended to believe on Jesus and affiliated himself closely with him as a disciple but he was always in it for himself and what he could get. He was not genuine. When opportunities presented themselves to enrich himself at the sake of Christ’s work, he did, him being the keeper of the bag of money and stealing from it (John 12:6). Eventually, he sought out the Lord’s enemies and offered to sell Christ himself, so that he could be paid thirty pieces of silver, which appeared to be a windfall back then, as it was enough to purchase land (Matthew 27:7).

In Acts 8: 9-13 and 18-23, Simon, before he professed belief in Christ, had been a sorcerer and had promoted and esteemed himself as a great person in the sight of the people, causing them to believe that he was the great power of God.

When he joined the membership however, having claimed to come to Christ, he lusted after that same power and recognition, when he saw the apostles, who had been handpicked by Jesus, using their gifts to advance the Lord’s work and not their own glory. Seeing them at work, he desired to do what they were doing, not for the Lord’s Kingdom but for his own elevation. He wanted to be held in high regard again and to be admired and reverenced by the people for his supernatural abilities. He therefore offered to buy the gift from the apostles, thinking that money could get him what he wanted.

Him having been prepared to do this, Peter perceived that there was lust in his heart for his own glorification and perhaps, bitterness that he no longer possessed the abilities he had from the devil through sorcery. He therefore concluded that he was still in the bond of iniquity, where he was still longing after the ways and recognition of the world, that he was supposed to have come out from.

1 John 2:15-16 reminds us as Christians:

  • “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

The Bible states of Simon:

  • “But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
  • But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done…
  • And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.”

In 1 Corinthians 3:3,7-9, Paul wrote the people at the Church at Corinth, seeking to remind them of the essentials when it came to doing God’s work and serving him. They had lost their focus and made God’s work about them, taking sides and bickering among themselves. He wrote:

  • “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building”.

In James 4:1-3-12, James had a similar admonition to the people of God, who had contention among themselves, revealing that, like Simon, they still had a worldly outlook that lusted after pride, self-elevation and recognition, to the point where they were verbally attacking, badmouthing and putting down their brothers and sisters in order to get it. This was not the purpose for which Christ had saved them and given them gifts. James wrote them stating:

  • “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
  • But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and HE shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?”

In 1 Corinthians 12:1 and 4-31 Paul wrote on the truth about spiritual gifts, their purpose and the need for Christians to not adopt a selfish, self-elevating approach to God’s work. He sought to get them to realize the significant contribution that each believer, not just themselves, has to make, which was of equal in value and the need to work as a team, their focus being on the Lord. He told them (and I have emphasized the main lessons in bold):

  • “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant… Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
  • To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as HE will.
  • For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
  • For the body is not one member, but many.If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body?
  • But now are they many members, yet but one body.And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
  • Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”

In Chapter 14:28 and 34-36, he further reminded them that any gift or ability that they had did not come out of themselves but from God and that they were not the only people that God desired to use, for his purposes. He told them, where persons, including the women, seemed to have been pushing themselves forward so as to be in the spotlight and all at the same time, so that their gift could be showcased:

  • “How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying… For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?”

In closing, as we each seek to serve the Lord wherever and in whatever capacity HE would have us and has therefore graced us to function and called us, the exhortation given to believers in Romans 12:1-16 applies.

Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome:

  • “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
  • Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
  • Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
  • Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

(Written on 09th March, 2024)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, beneficial or edifying, you may also be interested in reading the following:

  • Note 17 – ‘In Relationship With God Or Just Religious?
  • Note 45 – ‘Sharing The Gospel Message
  • Note 91 – ‘Dispelling The Myths About Purpose
  • Note 98 – ‘The Real Meaning Of ‘Ministry’
  • Note 111 – ‘What I Have Learned About Obeying God’s Call In Ministry
  • Note 117 – ‘How Important Is Earthly Education And The Ability To Speak Well, To God’s Agenda?’
  • Note 118 – ‘Could It Be That You Don’t Like Her Because…
  • Note 142 – ‘Are You Chasing After Success?
  • Note 152 – ‘Symptoms Of A Person Outside The Favour Of God
  • Note 157 – ‘Cliques – An Enemy Of Unity In The Church’
  • Note 166 – ‘Humility, Intellectualism And The Power Of God
  • Note 169 – ‘The Christian’s Mandate: Go’
  • Note 183 – ‘The Beauty Of Being About The Father’s Business
  • Note 187-‘ Stirring Up The Gift – Getting God’s Work Done
  • Note 193 – ‘Woe, If We Preach Not The Gospel
  • Note 197 – ‘For His Name Alone Is Excellent
  • Note 210 – ‘The Urgency Of The Commission’
  • Note 211 – ‘What Is Your Gift?’
  • Note 227 – ‘Is Jesus In Your Church?’
  • Note 244 – ‘Stay In Your Lane’
  • Note 252 – ‘Working For The Lord’
  • Note 295 – ‘Is What You’re Doing Ministry?’

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