“I sustain you not in your strength, but in Mine...
It’s not for your glory, but for Mine.”
— Said the Holy Spirit
If there was ever an eternally constant reminder for any minister or believer it is the reminder to come back to God’s plan, God’s path, to God’s ways. For, we stray. We stray so easily into the realm of ‘ministry’ efforts in our own strength and for our own glory.
The more we do for God, the more a threat it is that we are actually not doing it for God. There is no direct correlation, for there are many, many faithful servants who serve out of their submission and they serve never more in God’s power, blessed by God’s capacity, and anointed by God’s providence.
But doing things for God – building his Kingdom – ever involves us in a paradox. The more we do for God, the closer we come to doing it in our own strength and, therefore, for our own glory, alone.
It hardly need be said that when we build in our own strength we labour in vain. Nothing we build will stand up, or it will stand up for the glory of God under somebody else’s leadership (we won’t retain it).
There is a reminder in this fact: it is never good for a person to be given too much responsibility or control before time. Such a weight of burden needs to be borne with great wisdom, and it’s easier to succumb to a great but hidden peril than we often realise. This is why humility and mentors, and listening to wise advisors are such keys.
When we serve God, serving him well – that is, to serve him with a good confidence of sustainability, being ever mindful of the only glory that is worth it – we are gifted with the blessed Presence of God that ensures we, personally, thrive in our walk with God. If our walk with God suffers in any way, or worse it’s stilted, then we are surviving and ‘serving’ in our own strength and, thereby, we are ‘serving’ for our own glory.
It is our chief task to take serious day-by-day concern for the culpability of our devotional lives. Discipleship is even more critical for leaders.
The more we do for God, the more a threat it is that we are actually not doing it for God. Anything not done for the glory of God may also not be sustainable. We must serve God in the Spirit’s strength and for God’s glory alone. That will inevitably involve much loss, for it is not about our gain.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.