Doing ministry in our own power

After God told Moses to go, I’m sending you, what was Moses’ reply to God was: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”   Moses’ answer implies that Moses was expecting God to use somebody great to do God’s work. But is God looking for anyone great?  God was just looking for someone whom He could use.  When God gave Moses a mission, it wasn’t with the intention that he was to do this all in his own power and all by himself.  But God told Moses that “I would go with you. (v.12).

Megachurch-cartoonChristians ministries, both small and megachurch-type ministries, look for greatness in their programs, and their preachers–those who have a ton of charisma, intelligence, and leadership. As mere human beings in God’s service, we are just participating in God’s work and mission.  It’s easy for us to deceive ourselves into believing that we are, and can, do ministry in our own power; besides, doing ministry in our own power will also tire us out quickly.  All types of pastors can fall for this–and even lay-people.  When we serve in church, does God expect us to be anyone great when we teaching Sunday school, leading worship, or preaching. Is God expecting us to serve in our own power?

In my limited years of ministry, I can say that it’s very easy for us to slip into this mode of thinking of serving and relying in our own power .  Actually, doing so disables us from completely relying on God.  But why do we still do it ?  Because of pride of Self.  Sometimes, when tasks are too easy for us to do, there’s greater temptation to rely on our own power and strength.  If this happens, will God get the glory, or will we get the glory? If we begin to think we can do it without God, we will inevitably take glory for our own work when all the glory belongs to God.

God taught Moses that the concern was not about himself and who he is, but it’s about God, and who God is, and his calling to us. God said to him in v.14 that “I AM WHO I AM.”  And he reassured Moses that “I will be with you” and tell your fellow Israelites that “I AM has sent me to you.” Moses thought that God was looking for someone special. That’s why he asked God: “Who am I to do these things?”  He thought he wasn’t good enough for God’s “great and magnificent” service.  But he really had missed the point.  God wasn’t looking for greatness.  It’s really all about the great I AM.

If it’s God’s mission, then it’s God’s calling and He’s looking for someone available to be used by God and someone humble. And when God calls and we obey, God will enable us to serve Him. It’s not about our own status, power, influence, and often times, even Christians make this mistake. It’s about being available to be used by God, and coming to complete humility so that we have to totally rely on God’s power and completely trust in Him.

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