I went back and listened to and then read the transcript of a great message by Paul Washer. It was on marriage; however I was able to take so much out it concerning ministry! As Bryan and I enter this season of vocational ministry it was such a good word for me!
Excerpts from Paul Washer: “The Glory of God in Marriage”
“We might be running wildly in the ministry doing all that we can possibly because we donot understand grace and we still have a works mentality. We might be running wild in ministry doing all that we can working too much because we fear men. We might berunning wild and working too much because we love to have a reputation of a very tired,worn out servant of God. We may be running too much because we want to build ourown kingdoms. We might be running too much because we don’t understand God’s willnor our place in that will.
The first thing that you must understand is this. God does not need a one of you. Nowthat might make you angry, but that is a very liberating thought to me. If I were to perishbefore I finished in this pulpit, Gods’ kingdom is not going to be halted one bit. Theministry does not depend upon you. You do not have to go out there and save God’swork. You simply have to be obedient. He lists several things through which we might glorify God. And one of them is this. To be content with God’s providence. And I have found that among ministers, very few are content with God’s providence, though they would be if they had a larger ministry. To be content with God’s providence—and I believe that many men in the ministry, their neglect of their wives and their families for the sake of the ministry is simply that they are not content with the place that God has put them.
If you say “I had to put my family on the altar of sacrifice for the sake of the ministry. For the sake of the work of God I had to neglect my family. Couldn’t spend as much time with family as maybe I ought to have spent because I was busy doing the will of God.”You are making a declaration that God’s Word is not true. You are denying the verything that God speaks forth in this passage. God’s will is perfect. That means, dear sir,you do not have to violate one aspect the will of God in order to fulfill another aspect ofthat same will. If in God’s good providence he has given you a wife (or spouse) and that is his will, then his will is perfect and you do not have to neglect that wife (spouse) in order to carry out your vocation. And if you do(neglect your spouse) you are either not understanding God or you are not really working for his kingdom, you are working to build your own.
You see, my dear friends, your approval, God’s approval of you before the throne willnot depend as much on your ministry as you think. I mean ministries are impersonal things. He can get donkeys to talk for him. He gave you a daughter (spouse, child, etc).
You know, if God calls me to be a janitor in Brooklyn and I go to Nigeria and plant 300churches I am out of the will of God.
End of excerpt
I am so easily distracted by doing things for the Kingdom. Yet it is so humbling to be reminded that my ministry is not needed. Yet, it is an honor to be chosen to be a part of it. The greatest commandment He has called us to is to love Him first and love others. If we are neglecting those people He has placed in our lives to love (our spouses, children.) then our ministry is not truly for Him but for our own. We must know His will for our life and stay focused on it. If He has called us to something and we go and do something else no matter how good, noble and for the Kingdom it may be…if it is not His will for our life we are not in His will!