Christians often speak of relying on the Lord. We quote verses such as Philippians 4:13  “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (NLT). But saying it isn’t enough. True success in ministry rests on our dependence on the One who calls us, equips us, and sustains us.

“God, the Lord, is my strength” (Habakkuk 3:19 ESV).

10. Step out of pride.

Lean in to humility.

Pride is often described as the first sin. It’s one of the sneakier sins, too. People will tell us how wonderful we are to serve the Lord despite the sacrifices. They’ll thank us for allowing God to use us. They will tell other people about our ministry. Problem is, we find ourselves puffing up a bit more with each new compliment. The antidote to pride is simple. Remember that Christ didn’t just die for other people’s sin—He died for your sin and mine, too. There is nothing more humbling than that.

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 ESV).

Of course, God knows we’re often motivated by reward, so He has that covered, as well. The writer of Hebrews tells us:

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10 NIV).

Following these ten steps (and remembering the reward, too!) helps maintain contagious joy in ministry. It also refocuses our perspective on the privilege of serving the Savior who first served us. May these steps be helpful to you as you enter a new season of service.

devoAva Pennington teaches a Bible Study Fellowship class. She is also the author of Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur.

Publication date: September 27, 2013