"My" ministry? YUCKO!
HE will not “Increase” if YOU will not decrease.
A thought I was meditating on this morning (please just catch the essence of it—i’m not trying to be super all-encompassing here)…
If you look at the lives of so many of the folks whom God has used…Moses, Jeremiah, Deborah, Gideon, Hosea, Daniel, Isaiah, Paul…the list goes on…there appear to be two prerequisites for being “used by God” in many of these cases: 1. Total lack of ability and, 2. Utter lack of desire to “BE somebody”. :-)
By lack of desire, I don’t mean that they didn’t Love God and His ways, but that they certainly had no interest in “being anybody.” And if they did desire this, as with Peter, James, and John, some SERIOUS things had to happen to strip them to See who they REALLY were.
(In fact, they often tried to avoid getting dragged into His plans. :-) Reluctance is a recurring theme. These heroes of the Faith were often quite opposed to His plan for them altogether! Even Jesus prayed, “Not my will, but yours be done.”)
A great hindrance to being “used by God” then, it would often appear, would be wanting to be “used by God.” :-) As it was said of Aaron, “no one takes this honor upon himself…he must be called by God.” And through John the Baptizer, “Man has NOTHING that Heaven doesn’t give them.” So…I was just thinking that I probably have the “lack of ability” down cold. :-), so maybe purging my life and thoughts of ANY shred of desire to “be used” somehow…to be “looked up to,” “respected,” to be “in on the action…” Even to be “useful” and “make a difference.” Those are all just as wicked as thinking that, in my natural abilities (intellect or personality), I have “something to offer to God.” No, my natural abilities are all DUNG and my natural Desires are no better…God can do with me as he pleases. My life is NOT my own. Perhaps the “not by might, not by power (or intellect or knowledge or experience or personality or energy or hard work) but by MY SPIRIT, says the Lord” is a necessary component of anything that is not “in vain” labor—“wood, hay, and stubble” that is worth nothing in the End? To “save my life is to lose it” and to advance myself is to have already gained by reward. I don’t want to live like that in this Realm. I want to hide in Him and spend myself for HIM, not my idea of what I can get out of life by using Him as my banner, when it is only a corrupt religious “self” that is lurking, and wanting, and “doing.” To DECREASE and be “nothing” is better by far, for His glory alone.