Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ministry Success and Personal Relationship with God

A quick thought at the airport before I fly to Boston/Rhode Island for the weekend.

We should never equate success of ministry with our relationship with God.  It is dangerous to think that we are close to God when there are plenty of fruits in our ministry (aka conversions, numbers showing up, people are interested in hearing about Jesus etc.)  These are all prompted and led by the Spirit.  One might be as far away from God and yet the ministry which God given to him continued to blossom.

I am thinking along this line because at the same time when our ministry are dried.  There's no fruits.  Growth is not in sight.  We tend to think if we are away from God.  If we did something wrong for God to punish us.  

I think this is a mentality of our culture and uprising. That something must cause our ministry to grow or not grow. It depends on us.  True, there's work to be done.  At the same time, we should recognize that it is God through the Holy Spirit that's leading.  People come to Christ not because of fancy speech or elegant presentation. Rather, it is the prompting of the Holy Spirit in someone's heart.

Many speakers always considered Jesus as having the worst ministry outcome.  After miracles, teachings, preaching and ressurrection(!), He was betrayed by someone in His inner circle, His disciples fled and He died alone on the cross.  I wonder if an evanglist did as much signs as Jesus did in His days, how big would his ministry grow (in numbers etc)?  Yet,was Jesus far away from God?  (Ok relatively speaking, God forsake Him... but His prayers, His focus on God was as close as ever leading up to the cross).  Jesus was completely obedient to the the Father's Will and died a shameful death.  

At the same time, if we take a look at the Old Testament, the first King of Israel, Saul, he was far away from God.  Yet God used him to fight against the Philistines.  At the height of Saul's reign, one would think that he was so close to God.  As we seen from history, he was so far away from God that the Spirit left him.

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