SUNDAY January 8, 2017
Facing the Realities of Ministry
…endure hardship...fulfill your ministry. - >2 Timothy 4:5
The subject and purpose of the book of Nehemiah, is to historically record the Jewish people’s return from captivity, for the third time, and to document the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem. The scope of the book is about twelve to fifteen years. The Lord would begin to build His government among His people. God, in using Nehemiah, would cause a unifying submission of the leadership to restore the city’s stability.
In Nehemiah’s book we also see the opposing enemies of Israel; those who came against the work of God. Despite their hostility and antagonism, the leaders and people of Israel would remain steadfast. They not only had God’s mind they had a mind to work together––in complete harmony. Every person labored with one hand and held a weapon of defense with the other hand (Nehemiah 4:17-18).
First, it is important to understandthat in ministry you cannot get away from authority, order or submission––it is inescapable. You must ask yourself, “Do I have a mind to work for God, in unity with the leadership?” That is called being like-minded, with the same vison.
Second, ministry is not doing what we want to do with our lives. When God restores our lives, He gives to us faith, which not only protects us but enables us to have victory over the enemy. Then we are equipped to minister and work for the Lord. God’s servants are called to build people up not to tear them down. Seriously––if we are not rebuilding we are tearing down. Disunity and even slothfulness can slow down the work.
Third, face the realities of ministry––hardships; know that one of the things you are going to face in life is opposition. Especially as you align yourself with the purposes and plans of God––believe me, you cannot escape conflict; it is going to be there all the time, you will have enemies.
Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.
For more from Raul Ries, please visit Somebodylovesyouradio.org!