II. The Servant of the Lord Must Not Strive
(2 Tim. 2:24)
If you're building your kingdom, you'll
find the work strenuous. But if you can relax, rely on the
supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, with all of His gifts
and glory, you'll find ministry to be delightful. You may
get tired in the work, but never of it. "Burn out" is unthinkable
if we're resting in Jesus.
As Pastor Chuck [Smith] says, "God wants inspiration, not
perspiration." If we seek to "pump up" a ministry with programs,
hyped up "worship", or charged up emotionalism, we'll not
only be exhausted, but we'll have to strive to maintain what
we built. True inspiration comes from a heart yielded fully
to God, a life in a state of being continually filled with
the Holy Spirit, "speaking to ourselves in psalms, hymns,
and spiritual songs."
Pastor Chuck loves to take ventures of faith, like Jonathan
of old. He loves to just step out and see if God wants to
do something. If He doesn't desire to move in that way, that's
fine, you withdraw and move on. But sometimes, God will move
mightily. He was just waiting for someone to step out of the
When you recognize that God is in charge, and Jesus is building
His own church (without our help if need be), you can relax,
not strive, not push, not worry. Sometimes if will become
obvious through the lack of fruit that God's not in a particular
venture. If so, fine, if God's not in it, let it go. That's
one reason why each part of Pastor Chuck's ministry is financially
independent. That way you're not taking away from something
God is blessing to prop up something He's not. [That's a principle
straight from George Mueller's life of faith, where money
designated for one purpose, or donated for one purpose would
never be spent for another purpose.] All of our churches and
ministries don't have to be identical, maybe God doesn't want
a bookstore here or a touring music ministry there. Let God
be God. Go with the flow.
III. Blessed are the Flexible For They Shall
Not Be Broken (See Acts 18:9-11)
This third principle is a necessity if you're
adhering to the first two. In fact, you can't do the first
two without being flexible. Lack of flexibility is why we're
often attracted to pre-packaged programs; we like our lives
to be regimented, scheduled, so we know what to do and when.
It drives our flesh crazy to not have a five year plan.
Any ministry associated with Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa
must be flexible, "instant in season and out", ready to be
used of God at any time in any way. If you're not flexible,
In ministry, there are no interruptions, just opportunities
to minister the love of God to others. If our lives are guided
by the Holy Spirit, we need to be open to hearing and obeying
His voice as He speaks to us from His Word.
It's not necessarily wrong to have a schedule, only to be
a slave to it. Perhaps God has other plans. I planned to write
letters today and tie up administrative details, but maybe
God's plan for me was to visit in the hospital or share Christ
with the letter carrier. Walking in the Spirit implies an
openness to have one's schedule rearranged. Everything God
wants done will get done.
Of course, we need to be diligent, good stewards over our
time, well organized. But simultaneously, we must be flexible,
able to accept change, willing to go wherever the Lord leads.
In a big ministry that God is blessing, you may be called
on at a moments notice to teach a Bible study, pray with someone,
counsel another, or fix the air conditioner.
The flexible never break.