Crossways Concepts

Because it is all about the cross...

Insights from the scripture as lead by the Holy Spirit

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Imagine A Ministry With Unlimited Resources

Recently I watched the movie, Aladdin, in which a young man accidentally acquires a genie and the corresponding 3 wishes.  After the movie, when my mind was idly noodling around, as I performed some mindless task, I thought about what 3 wishes would mean.

Eventually, I came around to thinking about ministries.  They never seem to have enough anything.  There are never enough workers.  There is never enough money.  It seems that whatever the resource is, that there just isn’t enough.  What could they accomplish if they had the unlimited resources of a genie’s 3 wishes?

But then I thought of Jesus.  His ministry didn’t need a genie because He was God in the flesh.  Everything was possible for Him, there were absolutely no limitations.  His ministry didn’t lack for anything, because they had absolutely everything that they needed to accomplish God's purposes.  Jesus didn’t need to seek donations.  Jesus didn’t need to campaign for volunteers.  He had everything.

Yet, by our standards of today, Jesus didn’t hardly have a ministry.  He had a dozen guys that He was mentoring, and He went from village to village speaking at whatever venue he could manage.  He had no buildings.  He had no staff.  He had no money.  In fact, the guy only ministered in places that He could walk to.

Yet, His tiny ministry had an impact that is still felt 2000 years later.  He and His dozen close followers managed to change the course of history, and this was done without any of the trappings that we consider essential for a ministry.  Without any “stuff”, the ministry of Jesus has clearly eclipsed the impact of any multi-million dollar ministry that has ever occurred since.

How can this possibly be?  Is it possible that budgets, buildings, staffs, campaigns, donors and multi-media are not the key to ministry?  If Jesus didn’t have these things, then what did He have?

Simply speaking, He walked in the Spirit and the truth as a servant of Yahweh.  That was the true secret of His earth-changing ministry.

He walked in the Spirit.  The presence of the Spirit was obvious in what He did.  Even when He wasn’t performing one of His amazing miracles, it was still obvious that the Spirit was guiding Him in all truth (John 16:13).  He exhibited a knowledge of the hearts of men and the wisdom to deal with those hearts in a way that could only be a product of the Holy Spirit.

He walked in truth.  Jesus spoke the truth, even the uncomfortable truth without any reservation.  He never walked in fear that His words might offend somebody, because the words were the truth and they needed spoken.  His words showed his deep faith as He described a God that was the God people really needed.  His words did offend some, even to the point that they chose to crucify Him.

He walked as a servant of the Father.  He plans were not His own.  He was continuously listening and obeying the instructions of the architect of His ministry, His Father in Heaven.  Even to the point of a cross, Jesus was always in submission to His Master.  He was not seeking anything for Himself, everything was for the Father.  Everything He did was in accordance with the wishes and desires of the Father.  This was the essence of His humility that was so winsome to the people.

We have continuously built up the concept of ministry, so it looks more and more like corporations.  As we have done this, our ministries look less and less like the ministry of Jesus.  Perhaps if we had less dependency on dollars and more dependency on the Lord, then the harvest might be better.  Perhaps if we speak the unvarnished truth of the Good News, is spite of what modern marketing says, then people might respond.  Perhaps if we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit instead of the guidance of consultants, then we might see God working.  Perhaps if we spend less time in front of spreadsheets and more time on our knees, then we might know what God wants.  Perhaps if we allow ourselves to be the submissive servant of God Almighty and let Him design and lead the ministry, then we would be acting exactly in accordance with His will, and, in turn, His Hand would be upon us.

If we allow Him to create a ministry like this, then it isn't a matter of what we can do, but a matter of what He will do through us.  Maybe we wouldn't expect our ministry to involve raising the dead or walking on water, but then, why not?  With God all things are possible.  There are no limits where God is acting.

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Lexington, Ky