Philippians 1:6 “For I am confident, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
“How can you do ministry in Frayser? Be honest, aren’t you scared when you’re out there?” I had to brace myself before responding to this fellow woman of God, as she was also being groomed in a leadership position at her suburban church. We were having a conversation about our calls to ministry and how God had been using us over the last few months. I responded by telling her that I can do ministry wherever God has called me, and I’d likely be “afraid” no matter the location, since following the will of God can be scary… period.
The more I thought about our conversation, the more I realized that I can relate to her thinking in some areas of ministry more than I’d like to admit… and likely, so can you. Many times, we are willing to be used as vessels for God. We want God to use our words, our talents and gifts to be a blessing to others and proudly proclaim, “Lord, use me.” But when we are called to a position or place that looks nothing like we’d “hoped”, we become apprehensive, and even question if we are really called. We may be called to preach the gospel, but God calls us to first teach Sunday School. We may be called to praise God in our music ministry, but first we are called to sing background for someone else. We may be called to minister to youth, but God first calls us to ministry as a student. Are we always a willing vessel, even when God calls the vessel to be placed in a position of discomfort?
God spoke through Minister Freeman Sunday in a powerful message about understanding that we are all like faucets. Although the faucet is a vessel, unless it’s connected to a greater source, it’s useless. Sometimes, we get caught up in being a bright and shiny faucet, and though we strive to stay connected to source, we don’t always consider where the source is trying to connect with us. We are willing to be a regular faucet in a nice comfortable house, where we’re cleaned on a regular basis and well taken care of. However, are we willing to be that shiny pure gold faucet in the middle of a nearly deserted community? A place where we know we’re needed, but the work is dirty and no one seems to care that we bring a solution to a very real need in their lives?
Working in ministry can be hard, tiring, thankless work. Even a willing vessel, well connected to the source, will be called to be that vessel in some unlikely places. Can we stand proud and determined to be God’s vessel no matter where He calls, no matter what our vision of ministry might be, no matter how dirty the work gets… until the source that flows through us is flowing freely to the ones we’re called to serve? I know it’s not always easy, but I can promise it’s always worth it. God will never put more on us than we can bear. Continue to hold on to God’s promises, for as our key verse reminds us, God has began a good work in us and will carry it on to completion. He will never leave you. He’ll never forsake you. Allow Him to continue to work through your mighty vessel to bring more souls to the kingdom, until the day of Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, I sometimes get so caught up in the places you’ve called me to be a vessel that I sometimes miss the opportunity to allow you to work through me. God help me to trust in you and your will, through all situations and to always be a willing vessel. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By: Min April Carter