Never overrate YOUR LABOUR in ministry above THE GRACE OF GOD at work in you. This is a common error in ministry!!!
As ministers, are we permitted under God and in line with Scriptural authority to talk about our labours in ministry? The answer is 100%YES!
It’s IN LINE to talk about your labour in ministry but it’s MORE IN LINE to talk MORE about THE GRACE OF GOD AT WORK IN YOU ALWAYS.
God never planned that your labour in ministry would be disconnected from or independent of His Grace at work in you.
Labouring without Grace in ministry is vain labour; labouring with Grace in ministry is great labour.
One can labour labouriouly in ministry without anything to show for it if he doesn’t realize and understand that in it all, it is the Grace of God at work.
One extreme that is commonplace today is that some people believe that it is wrong for a man of God to talk about his labours in ministry.
No; it’s not totally wrong, and it’s not absolutely unethical; it depends on THE CONTEXT in which he’s talking about it.
The questions to answer will be: Is it in relation to the Grace of God? Is it meant to encourage other people? Is it with a pure motive? Does the situation warrant such? and so on and so forth.
If we don’t approach this with balance, we can produce a lazy generation that is not ready to take responsibility for the Grace of God upon them.
But an advanced level is to TALK MORE ABOUT GOD’S GRACE IN RELATION TO YOUR LABOUR, not the other way round.
This is the principle set forth by the great Apostle Paul.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:10
But by the GRACE of God I am what I am: and his GRACE which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I LABOURED more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the GRACE of God which was with me.
At quick glance, you will notice three things here:
(1) Paul talked about the Grace of God before he mentioned his labour.
(2) The word “Grace” is mentioned THREE TIMES while the word “Laboured” is mentioned only ONE TIME.
(3) Paul noted that the reason for his labour was the Grace of God – the Grace of God was his strength to labour.
There are some other points here but I have only singled out the ones that are relevant to this teaching.
Paul even went further by talking about DEGREES OF LABOUR IN MINISTRY – he said he laboured more than the apostles.
But notice that at the end of it all, he still projected THE GRACE OF GOD above his LABOUR, teaching us that THE PRICE IS NOT GREATER THAN GOD’S GRACE (in the words of Mama Oretha Hagin).
A common error in ministry is that people put their labour above the Grace of God, and many ministers are guilty of this.
If care is not taken, it can lead a minister to OFFENCE, and this will be a product of an unrenewed mind.
That is when ministers engage in competitive jealousy and all sorts of fleshly works.
Then you start telling the Lord, “God, I pray more than that minister. I fast more than my colleagues in ministry. I labour more than others. How come they have more results than me?”.
When you get to that level, two things have happened to you. (1) You’re walking in offence – you have stepped out of the love zone. (2) You have overrated your labour above the Grace of God.
Therefore you will need to repent and renew your mind with God’s Word so that you don’t peg your ministry.
The Bible is never againt our labours in ministry being talked about – 1 Cor.15:10, Phil.1:22, Col.1:29, 1 Thess. 5:12, 1 Thess.2:9, Col.4:12, 2 Thess.3:8, 1 Tim.4:10, 1 Tim.5:17, but it must be in relation to God’s Grace.
Like I said, a more advanced and mature level is to TALK MORE ABOUT THE GRACE OF GOD IN RELATION TO YOUR LABOUR.
Never lose sight of the working of God’s Grace in you amidst your labour – Phil.2:13.
The Holy Spirit will “COMPULSORILY” bring you to that place where you realize that praying for 7 hours per day, fasting for 150 days, reading the Bible 7 times a year, reading 30 books in a month, having regular personal vigils and retreats (plus lots more) is all about THE GRACE OF GOD AT WORK IN YOU.
Until then, frustration is inevitable in ministry. Therefore focus on the Grace of God at work in you.
No matter THE VOLUME of your labour in ministry, be quick to always thank God for His enabling Grace and you will see corresponding results in the physical realm of life.
I hope this meets us well Sirs and Mas?
Source: Bimbo Animashaun Teaching Ministries |Published with permission.