The opportunity came. The Lord opened the door to ministry as a pastor in a church. I was so excited. I was doing the stuff. I would preach twice a week and facilitate prayer for healing and miracles after each message. It was great. As time went on my other duties in the church increased due to the growth of the church. Growth was good but time was suddenly scarce. I wasn’t getting the time in the prayer room that I had been initially. I was running all day long with counselling and meetings. With a growing family and a growing congregation I barely had time to read the word and pray. It got to the point that I was spending Saturday evenings and nights trying to pull together a word. I resented that I had to preach. The very thing I had to have was now a millstone around my neck. (Obviously I had my priorities wrong but I was a young pastor with no one to give me some spiritual guidance.)
After a number of years I attended a Billy Graham School of Evangelism. One of the speakers, Eddie Fox I think his name was, told of how people would say to him, ‘Do you have to speak this Sunday?’ He would say, ‘Have to! Have to! What are you talking about? I GET to!’ He spoke of what a privilege it was to be included in the Lord’s work. To see lives changed, bodies’ mended, hearts healed, and people renewed - these are all part of the divine privilege. He admonished us to check our attitude regarding the opportunities that God presented to us. We needed to see what a difference it made.
That had a huge impact on my life. I know what it is like to be run off my feet by ministry and I know what it is like to be in what seems like a desert place. I missed it dearly when I wasn’t doing it. It was and is such a privilege. I have learned to be wiser in my priorities and like Mary in the gospels to choose the better thing.
Lately a sense of a feeling of apathy in the greater church has concerned me. People appear to resent “having to do the stuff”. Personal comfort appears to be the culprit that steals away their joy at “doing the stuff”. The most amazing miracles in the bible happened at the most inconvenient times. Pressed on all sides and hugely in demand Jesus still managed to encourage a woman that her faith had healed her from a bleeding problem. It was inconvenient to the disciples when Jesus asked them who touched him. It was inconvenient to the woman who touched him as she was ritually unclean and didn’t want to be discovered as breaking the law. It was terribly inconvenient to Jairus as his daughter whom Jesus was going to pray for died during the delay.
I would encourage you to remember we GET to do the stuff. The joy of seeing God work through us will overshadow any inconvenience at the time.
We get to do the stuff!