“[F]or without [M]e ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
It was not too long ago that President Obama made a statement concerning small businesses in America. Basically he told small business owners and entrepreneurs that they did not build their business but the gov’t did, more or less. While it may be true that one cannot build a business without gov’t over reach and over regulation that does not mean that the business owners are not the responsible party. If the small business fails who suffers the business owner or the gov’t? With that last question the answer to the presidents remark is obvious.
However, If the president were speaking to a church full of ministers and he said to them, “You did not build that ministry on your own” he would be absolutely correct.
It is a terrible offense to God when a minister begins to believe his ministry is his and the works of his hand. It is a terribly dangerous thing as well to steal the glory from God. Do not forget King Herod. When he spoke his hearer’s said he spoke like a god. He began to believe his own hype. The Scriptures tell us plainly that worms began to eat him from the inside out and he died.
We would remind you of Ananias and Sapphira of Acts 5. They tried to take glory unto themselves and their “generosity.” The Scriptures tell us equally very clearly the Holy Ghost took them to their eternal destiny.
We also have the Old Testament record of King Saul overstepping into the priestly office and God rejected him right then and there. He lost his kingdom and God’s favour. David having seen this prayed in the Psalms, “Take not [T]hy Spirit from me.”
The point is one must not ever take the glory that belongs to God, solely to God, and to God Alone. This is how one remains humble. One should always remember that we can do nothing without Christ and we can do all things through Christ for He is our Strength.
We are taught in Scripture that anything done that is not of faith is sin so any ministry that is accomplished in the flesh and not of faith is sinful. Many churches in Christendom are the churches of man or churches of the flesh. One way one can recognize these churches is by by there large size and a lack of sound Biblical teachings. An example of this is Joel Osteen and most of the ministries on TBN television station. Please note I did not speak against large churches. A large church is acceptable if the Word is preached soundly and there is a proper number of pastors to meet the needs of the people.
The glory of God should be a thought never too far from the ministers mind. When the glory of God becomes secondary we become primary…God forbid. If a minister begins to think or feel that everything depends on him he has entered onto dangerous ground. The minister must always remember that all depends upon God. All depends upon God from his prayer life to his message preparation to the preaching of the message. All decisions should go through God by prayer. The minister should learn to wait upon God for God’s will. It has been said by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones that he would wait upon the Presence of God before he would dare step into the pulpit. He would at times wait up to thirty minutes. Could this be the “secret” to his ministry? We can attest to this as God has kept us waiting upon His blessed Presence. One cannot explain it very well other than saying We simply knew not step into that holy place..the pulpit without the divine Presence and blessing. What is the point of preaching without God’s Presence and blessings anyway? By the way, what could be said about the congregation that is happy to sit and wait thirty minutes for the preacher? They knew something that many do not…God’s Word being preached with power is worth waiting for and the difference between the powerful and powerless is easily recognized.
To God be ALL the Glory.