Ministry is Not the Enemy

by Anonymous
 

“The enemy has harpooned you with the lie that the ministry is killing you. Ministry is not the enemy.”

Those words from a mentor immediately unleashed a flood of unexpected emotion. This lie – that my calling was an unfair burden – had somehow been growing in my heart like a cancer, and I hadn’t even recognized it. 

“Ministry is not the enemy.”

Having been church planters for close to a year, our life has consisted of long hours, constant decisions, and emotional and spiritual tension.  All of this felt, at times, like it would crush us. However, over and over again, God proved Himself stronger than our limitations!

No, the real danger was not external pressures, but what was happening inside of me. I had been entertaining thoughts and questions such as,

“Why would God ask us to do this?” 
“This is too difficult.”  
“Does He expect us to fail, or am I just not capable enough?” 
“God must not care.” 

In fact, it was just the Sunday before I met with my mentor that I had been cowering behind our pipe and drape. Instead of greeting people, I was hiding and hoping no one noticed as I desperately prayed for the strength to get through the morning service. Other than some elusive concept of failure, I’m not really sure what I was so afraid of. I just felt alone.

Now I can see what had been happening. I had slowly been allowing the stress and frustrations to build up some resentment towards the call to ministry and church planting. Even worse, I had begun to build up a wall towards God, the One who had called me.

I mean, I wasn’t about to quit or anything, and I wasn’t doubting God’s call. I was becoming hardened – less trusting of my Father’s heart towards me. My fears and insecurities grew larger as my faith felt more distant. Disappointments were becoming stumbling blocks I just couldn’t hurdle.

Maybe you or someone you know can relate? Perhaps I’m not the only minister who has found herself faithfully living out her call while wishing she wasn’t.

The problem with this is we end up spending more time fighting our own call and less time fighting the real enemy, who, by the way, is a liar. You see, ministry is not the enemy.  Ministry is not threatening your family, or causing you to doubt, or stealing your joy – the devil is!

However, I am so thankful for the power of prayer and the truth of God’s Word! God loves us. His calling is beautiful and precious. He strengthens and empowers us/ His plans are good. His Word will not return void. He gives and He takes away but His faithfulness is forever.  

His will for you is that, however He chooses it to look, your calling is marked with longevity and legacy!

Church planters and ministers, let’s reject the lie. It is an honor to serve our Lord!  Ministry is not the enemy. God is not against us. Our calling is a blessing. Instead, let’s stand against the true enemy of our souls. He is afraid of what God is doing in and through you – so keep it up!  

Let’s persevere through the difficulties and believe God for greater things yet to come!

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