02/07

Stand Firm

“… be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord…” I Corinthians 15:58

God wants stewards to stand firm in their word and in their calling. What are some reasons people pull away from the work they have committed to? In Luke 9 Jesus called certain people to follow Him in ministry. There were some excuses listed and Jesus’ responses. Some of these excuses seem reasonable, but poor judgment and the voice of the enemy can often make sense to a person who wants to do the right thing.

In verse 59 of Luke 9, Jesus said to a person, “Follow me.” The person’s father had just passed away, so he asked if he could put off the assignment to go bury his father. Jesus’ response may sound callous, but Jesus considered eternal matters to outweigh natural matters. He said, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” In verse 61 another person agreed to follow Christ in ministry, but first wanted to go back to his family. Jesus’ response, “…No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” I’ve known many that have abruptly left a ministry commitment because of a family member in need. While I believe our responsibilities to our family should come before our responsibility to ministry, I also have witnessed the enemy pulling the rug out from underneath a ministry or minister through the strong emotional ties at home. If the enemy can’t stop a minister directly, he will often pull him or her away from ministry through their family, especially through a spouse or their children. It might seem noble, but often it is a ploy of the enemy to destroy kingdom purpose.

Satan knows that when a person commits to serving in Christ’s kingdom, the kingdom will advance. Lives will be reached for Christ. People will be restored and grow in their faith. Satan wants to stop the kingdom from moving forward, and one of his tactics are to pull out God’s stewards. Many ministers have left the ministry because they felt guilty about leaving someone, shame for past mistakes, or fear of losing someone again. These emotions can cause people to turn on a dime, quickly thwarting them from kingdom purpose. Satan might also use a distraction or temptation like a good paying job, another platform for influencing people, or a similar opportunity for doing good. He might offer a project or hobby, likeable friendships, amorous relationships, or any other desire to distract us from the ministry he has called us to. God wants us to enjoy our life, but He also wants us to trust Him with our family, our responsibilities, concerns, and desires. His kingdom requires that we count the cost and complete our commitments.

Application: Ask God for discernment for anything that distracts you from ministry. Trust God with anything that concerns you.

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