Don’t Burn Up Your Blessings

23 01 2012
Busy Busy Busy

Working within your strength while working out your own salvation.

Philippians 2:12 tells us: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” This speaks to me of individual believer’s taking responsibility for their sanctification; which is a process incorporated into one’s daily lifestyle choices.

The larger aspect of working within one’s strength and calling is reflected in this account of the Apostles setting the focus of labor in ministry in order (see below): Acts 6:2 says, “And the twelve Apostles called the whole assembly of the disciples and they said to them,It is not acceptable for us to forsake the word of God and to serve tables.”

Time and again, I have come across this while in ministry training  under a Senior Pastor who refused to ‘let go of the reigns’ and allow the dedicated people within the Church to grow and serve in their God-given talents, gifts and callings.

What happens is “burn out.” It happened to Moses until his wise Father-in-law, Jethro stepped in and basically told him to ‘chill out’ and find some reputable leaders among the tribes and let them be Captains of thousands, hundreds and tens; then if they can’t solve the situation, they can speak to the league of Elders and if they couldn’t solve the situation; the Elders would seek out Moses; who in turn would bring the problem before the Lord.

I served under a Senior Pastor who planned a Church cookout. He went shopping for all the groceries, called special people to set up kid tumble houses; went personally to pick up various ala carte items; set up all the tables and chairs; cooked the burgers and hotdogs, served same from the grill; table-hopped to welcome everyone and stayed late into the night helping with all of the clean up.

The Church members almost turned into a choir as we all chanted: “Stop, sit down, we’ve got it; relax; we’ll do it… Stop!” All to no avail. The next day was Sunday and he admitted to being totally unprepared and tired from the previous days activities and the sermon reflected same.

As the early Apostles determined, he should have been praying and seeking God for the sermon message and not (literally) “waiting tables.” As leaders, often our desire to ‘be in the midst’ and ‘in control’ can hinder not only our own walk, but those to whom we minister.

I believe it all comes down to TRUST on a variety of levels.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 Be Blessed !

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