They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely….. (Lk 20:47).
When I first started out in ministry it was imperative to my own pride that I was the one who was doing the most leading. Many times it had very little to do with the students but was an opportunity for my insecurity to be soothed. Hoping for a few attaboys after a good message, I was driven by my own personal desire for praise then what brings the greatest delight to God’s heart.
One of the most dangerous places we can put ourselves in is in as Christians are the place where we exalt and seek man’s praise more than the glory of God. It didn’t take me long to figure out that my poor attitude polarized me from caring for people and created within my context a shallow youth ministry. Thankfully, I got called out by some beloved friends and I made a choice to change. I made a choice to humble myself and be transparent for the glory of God.
Something in my own heart began to go through a metamorphosis and the ministry did too. It was remarkable. We went from a shallow ministry to a place where students came to be broken, loved and cared for through Christ. I went from a place of my own personal desire for prosperity to a place of personal brokenness and grew as a leader because of it. I still have a long ways to go, but at the time, the changes I saw in my own heart were monumental.
More recently God has been challenging me to even further steps of humility. In the contexts where I feel like I would thrive the most I hear Him saying, “stay silent and take a back seat.”
Sometimes the opportunities in ministry we want for ourselves are not the ones God wants. What matters most is not us living out our gifts for God through our own forceful advancement, but listening, intently, to the Holy Spirit and walking in obedience to the voice of God. Sometimes this means remaining silent, for this is when we bring God praise as we walk in step with Him.
I think God is taking me on a journey through humility, because, wrongfully, I have thought often to myself, “I could have given a better message than that.” Now, I sense His muzzle keeping my mouth shut. For the purpose of teaching me what wisdom and humility are, so I might learn to praise others. Understanding that He doesn’t need me and “my gifts,” to make things happen.
If there is anything I have learned in this season it has been to lay low, exalt the name of Christ, put others first, walk in submission to Him and wait patiently. For there are great joy and delight in walking in step with His love. There is a grace I have never experienced before. There is a deeper level of fellowship with the Father that I have never been to before now. Could it be because sometimes God wants us to take a step back from working and striving for Him to a place where He pours love into our hearts for His namesake? I think so. Lord, I surrender!
Abba, you are a great and loving Father! Today, I long to be surrounded by your love. I long to dance with exultation in your presence. You are my eternal joy. Thank you that today I can live my purpose for you because I am your child. That is enough! Jesus, I long to walk in step with you so closely that nothing else in this world matters! Lord, pour out more of your grace in my heart for your name! Amen!