The Ministry of the Gospel

The high priest and his officials, who were Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then he told them, “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!” (Acts 5:17-20) NLT

The work of God must be done as directed by God, not as deemed intelligent to us. This is what distinguishes a genuine servant of God from a fake one. Today God’s workers are adopting worldly ways to do God’s work. Every serious employer has a specific job description, a standard of performance and service rules for his employee. An employee can not operate on his own whims and fancies. We see this in the lives of the Apostles.

God’s work should be done God’s way

The Apostles were guided by the Holy Spirit in every detail of their ministry. They went where the Spirit led them and preached the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. God allowed persecution to scatter them all over the world so that the message will reach far and wide. Sometimes they were asked to leave their thriving congregations to go to deserts and other new places, sometimes to give the message to individuals. They were allowed to be imprisoned so that the rulers and people in authority could receive the message of the Gospel. The Apostles did not chose comfortable mission stations, because they did not have their choice, but went wherever they were sent. That is why they were called “Apostles”. Today, some christian ministers have the audacity to prefix their names with the title ‘Apostle’ without being obedient to the Spirit of God in conducting themselves and doing the ministry.  

God comes with you wherever He sends you

The Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and were speaking the message of God as the Spirit of God directed them. Hence there were visible results. It was God who was adding people to His Church as the Apostles proclaimed His message. There was definite and visible transformation in the lives of those who came to Christ. The influence of these unschooled men up on the lives of the thousands of new believers whipped up jealousy in the minds of the Religious leadership who felt threatened by the popularity of the new Way. They arrested the Apostles and threw them in jail. But God goes with His servants wherever He sends them. He opens closed doors when you do just what He tells you to do.
     
Today, servants of God do not want God to go with them, because they are preoccupied with their own agenda. They do not want God to disturb them in their business. They justify their programs and activities in the name of their ministry strategy instead of following God’s strategy. So we have less and less of God’s ministry and more and more of individuals’ ministries. Wonder who is serving whom? It is to these, who ‘perform miracles and wonders in the name of Jesus’, that the Lord would say, “Depart from me… , I do not know you.”

Some ministers feel threatened by the work done by their co-workers and other ministers. If you feel threatened, it may be  because you are expecting human praise rather than God’s approval. You desire that glory and praise should come to you. It may also mean that you are trying to establish your authority, or your kingdom and not God’s. Then you lose your focus on God and begin to focus on yourself, your ministry, your church and your influence. Serving God as per His directions does not necessarily mean that yours should be the largest congregation in town, or the largest team of missionaries working around the world. There are many unknown servants of God who obediently serve Him in the most unassuming manner undergoing untold sufferings and pain. There is no substitute to obedience in the kingdom of God. 

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