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Achieve or Receive

The work of man can be created, measured and controlled, but the work of God cannot. If you try, you will inevitably become abusive in your interpersonal relationships, trying to force people to meet your expectations so that you can accomplish your objectives. — Walt Henrichsen

Do you desire to make things happen in life and while helping others? We cannot make things happen in our own strengths, skills and abilities and if we do, we leave God out. Thus, in the spiritual realm the outcomes and results originate with the Lord and not us. How often do we act as if the work is up to us? Do we contribute to God’s work or participate in it? Is life or ministry achieved or is it received? Why is this important? God does not bless self effort — it is wood, hay and stubble. Achieving in our own strength ties the hand of God from blessing us.

Ministry Achieved

If we believe that we contribute to God’s work, we will invariable seek to achieve some kind of results. How often in ministry do we labor intensively to see results? Is ministry something we achieve or make happen? We are called to work heartily for the Lord. We are called to take action and in a sense achieve but this is not our own effort, it must flow from the Lord Our difficulty is that success in ministry is most often defined by and focuses on results with a particular emphasis on the “bigger is better” syndrome. We need to center upon hearing from God, allowing Him to direct us to where He is at work. If the result of the work is a means of validating our identity and worth it will be destructive. How do I know the difference? If our identity is wrapped up in what people think of us then we will try to make things happen, rather than finding my identity in who I am in Christ as an obedient follower.

Do the results rely on my effort, strengths, skills, or talents? Do I control people to achieve a certain outcome or is the outcome only explained by God at work? While on the surface it sounds good to labor for the Lord and attempt great things, be careful. We can be motivated by our flesh and not know it. How does one know? Examine your heart and ask yourself — are you trying to get your needs (of approval, affirmation, etc.) in your way and on your timeframe? What do others say? If there a lack of unity and obstacles exist with the people you work with, the effort often is of our doing and not of the Lord.

Ministry Received

Life and ministry are defined by receiving where God works through us and we are a conduit through which God flows. We participate in but don’t add to God’s kingdom except as He directs and provides. The result is defined by God working. It is not defined by our skills and talents. How do we ministry with an attitude of receiving? It takes humility, and letting God receive the credit and glory from the work. As leaders we shine the light on the Lord and others’ participation and not let it rest on our accomplishments, which really are God’s works in us. Is the successful result a team effort or is it about me as a leader? God looks at the heart and our motives. Be careful not to do things For God. This can be admirable, yet, it can be the very thing that gets in the way of God working. The work that God is interested in is His work in and through us. Jesus said: “apart from me you can do nothing”.

Achieving or taking action in life and ministry is vital and necessary as long as it flows from the receiving of ministry from the Lord. As a leader spiritually laboring in the business world seek to please God first rather than please men. Seek to receive from the Father as He flows through you.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it but God made it grow. – 1 Corinthians 3:6

Bruce Witt

About the Author

Bruce is the President of Leadership Revolution, Inc. and also Managing Director at Global Alliance Compass. He is Married to Dana and has 2 sons, Robert (27) and Andrew (25). Bruce formed an international leadership development and consulting business working with leaders from over 50 countries. They equip business people in spiritual leadership and teambuilding through coaching, consulting, executive roundtables, and resource development. Bruce also developed an internationally accepted leadership development process partnering with many international ministries such as CBMCI, Walk Thru the Bible, Compass, FCA, Priority Associates, CBMC India, and Indonesia. He has facilitated consulting projects to reorganize and reposition numerous USA businesses for future growth and sustainability. http://www.leadershiprevolution.us/