1 Corinthains 11
Do not rejoice in this… (1 Corinthians 10:20)
What do I consider success? Changed lives? People responding to God because of my influence? Salvation of tribal people, churches planted… Jesus told his disciples, “I am giving you authority to perform the works of God. You will be able to cast out demons, tread on serpents and scorpions and not be hurt, over power the devil, etc. But, don’t let it go to your head, because none of that is you! It’s God Himself, just using your hands and feet. So, don’t rejoice in those things, rejoice in the fact that your name is written in heaven. Rejoice in the source! Focus on the root, the source, not on the fruit.
As I meditated on those thoughts, it was interesting to read some of the other verses in my Bible reading for today.
-If God wants us to focus on Him, and not the fruit He produces through us then Luke 10:41-42 will be much easier. Jesus says to Martha, “Martha Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, and it will not be taken away from her.” Martha was focused on the fruit. She was focused on the results, the work. Mary was just enjoying being with Jesus.
-1 Cor 11:1 “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” Christ, in everything he did, was focused on just being available for his Father to work through him. He wasn’t focused on the task, or the numbers, or even his power to do miracles. He said in John 14:10 “The words that I say I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.”
As I apply these thought to the theme God seems to be bringing me back to, what I am hearing is that even success in ministry can become a treasure to me instead of God.
- Success is simply being available to God. Anything I accomplish that is good is God Himself at work through me. (James 1:17) Rather focus on the works God is doing through me, my focus needs to be on Him.
- I acknowledge that even ministry can become a treasure to me. I want the God of the work to be my treasure, not the work for God.