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I want to point out seven things we can be sure of when we do the Lordâ€™s work in His way.
What God initiates, He will stand by. Whatever the Lord gave you to do, when you do it His way you can be sure that He will be faithful to you in it until the end. Whether your ministry is administration, giving, serving or showing kindnessâ€”if He initiated it, He will stand by it.
Consider Moses as one illustration. He didnâ€™t initiate the liberation of the children of Israel. And until the end, God was faithful and took them into the Promised Land. Even though they messed up, God stood by them because He is the One who started it.
But be warnedâ€”if someone else initiated it or if you started it, I can assure you, it will be nothing but a burden. If you grab for something, it will become a real problem. But if it begins in Him, He will complete it.
A life that is committed to wait on Him will always be effective, because the ministry originated with Him is fulfilled by Him.
When we do the Lordâ€™s work the Lordâ€™s way, the fruit remains. Regardless of opposition, enemy attacks or delay, the fruit remains. With Madison Avenue methods, manipulation, tricks, intelligence and money, we can build a lot of things; but they will fade away in time. They will not endure for eternity. Psalm 127:1 says, â€śUnless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.â€ť
Our role in ministry is one of a love-slave relationship to our Lord. We will not seek for what makes us happy, more comfortable or better equipped. Our only desire is to glorify Him. Our attitude in ministry will be one of belonging to Him and doing His will. We will say, â€śPlease, Master, I want to be yours and serve You because I love You. I will only listen to You, and I will only seek for Your glory.â€ť
In this kind of a relationship, we will have Godâ€™s authority on us. We will have Godâ€™s power, provision and protection. When Jesus sent out His disciples in Matthew 28, He shared His authority with them. When He sends us out, He stands by us.
In Acts 27, Paul says to those who were on the ship in the storm with him, â€śI urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serveâ€ť (Acts 27:22â€“23).
Paul was not frightened or scared. There was boldness and authority in him. Heaven knew Paul; heaven recognized him because of the authority that was on his life that came from his relationship with Christ.
This kind of ministry will change us into the likeness of Christ. It will lead us into holiness and cause us to love Christ more. It is not the work that will bring about these changes; it is waiting upon the Lord that changes us. When we stand before God, we are transformed.
Second Corinthians 3:18 says, â€śBut we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.â€ť We become like Him as we behold Him. Are you becoming more like Himâ€”the humble One, the broken One, the One who came to serve?
When we do the Lordâ€™s work the Lordâ€™s way, we remain faithful and committed to what He has called us to. Second Corinthians 4:1â€“2 says, â€śTherefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.â€ť We donâ€™t give up. Not everything is going to go well. There will be hardships, trials and temptations. But the Lord is the One who called us. It is His work, and as we stand before Him, we receive His grace, grace that is sufficient for every season and trial of life.
When our life is over and the work the Lord has given us is completed, our reward will be given to us by the Lord Himself. He is coming back with the reward in His hand. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7â€“8 (NIV), â€śI have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that dayâ€”and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.â€ť
He is coming to you with the reward for you because you waited before Him, you loved Him, you followed Himâ€”you did the Lordâ€™s work in the Lordâ€™s way.
Chapter 1 1 Zac Poonen, God-Centered Praying (Bangalore, India: Christian Fellowship Centre, 1971), p. 35. Copyright by Zac Poonen, 6 DaCosta Square, Bangaloreâ€“ 560084. Chapter 3 1 A.W. Tozer, The Tozer Pulpitâ€”Vol. 1 (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1994), pp. 134â€“136. Chapter 4 1 Madame Guyon, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christâ€”Vol. 2 (Sargent, GA: Seedsowers, 1975), pp. 53â€“54. Chapter 5 1 Roy Hession, â€śWhen I Saw Him . . .â€ť: Where Revival Begins (Fort Washington, PA: CLC, 1975), pp. 17, 21â€“22. 2 J.C. Metcalfe, Molded by the Cross, ed. Robert Delancy (Fort Washington, PA: CLC, 1997), p. 38. Chapter 6 1 Zac Poonen, Living As Jesus Lived (Bangalore, India: Christian Fellowship Centre, 1977), p. 30. Copyright by Zac Poonen, 6 DaCosta Square, Bangaloreâ€“ 560084. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid.