THE MINISTRY BEHIND THE MINISTRY
Pastor Frank Hornsby
Life Church of Jackson, Mississippi
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
We all know this familiar story of Abraham and his willingness to lay down his son in obedience to the Lord. It is a great story of Abraham’s faithfulness and obedience to God. A story so familiar to us that we sometimes lose the gravity of the actual reality of the occurrence, how it affected Abraham, and how we would have responded to such a request from God if put in his shoes.
I mean, think about it--God’s promise to Abraham had come, and now God said go and sacrifice him. Sounds crazy! But that’s exactly what happened and exactly what God is asking of us and “our” ministry. Think about it. The very thing that we prayed for, were prophesied over, pressed in through prayer, and now has finally come--God is asking for it. He wants it, and He wants you to offer it up to Him!
The ministry that God has entrusted to us can be our greatest test of loyalty to Him. The very thing He has called us to do can become the greatest obstacle to the most important relationship to us, our relationship to Jesus. Think about how many times we have gotten caught up in ministry matters and found ourselves detached, drifting, and almost desolate before we finally woke up and realized that we needed to get back to the thing that matters most.
What is ministry anyway? It’s not something you merely do; it’s something you give. You know the “freely you have received, freely give” thing in Matthew 10:8? It’s giving out from the overflow of our relationship to Jesus (John 7:37-38). We minister to Jesus first, loving Him, pursuing Him, knowing Him. Then He, in turn, fills us up by ministering to us. Out of that overflow, we minister to others. We have freely received, so now we can freely give.
Yes, we must take care of our Isaacs. We must be concerned with and know the condition of the flock. We must feed them. But we are not to get so caught up in it that we forget to keep the main thing the main thing--Jesus!!
Let’s always know that we were first created to “be with Him” before we were sent out to do anything (Mark 3:14). May we always first be known as pursuers of Jesus rather than just a really good pastor. We should be more about knowing Him first and foremost, and about the Father’s business second. May the Lord Jesus bless and keep you as we endeavor to know Him!!