So lets admit it. We all want to do great things for the Kingdom. We all want to bring God glory and to help other people find fulfilment in Him. Yet when we consider evangelising, teaching, serving or preaching, it’s easy to feel quite overwhelmed. Let’s look at two miracles Jesus did in the book of John and what they could possibly mean for us.
So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.
(John 4:46-53 ESV)
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath.
(John 5:1-9 ESV)
In these two stories we can see that Jesus heals both people in need, in two different ways:
- He heals one person from a distance, the other is in front of Him.
- He heals one person with a promise, the other with a command.
So what does this mean for us?
It means that regardless of where we are in our walk, God can still use us. Perhaps you feel the call on your life is going into evangelism, but you’re scared of talking to new people. Perhaps you feel the call to go and serve in your church, but you’re rather impatient and could actually do more harm than good. In either case, aforementioned or not, here’s what I want to leave you with:
We are either like the official (John 4:46-53):
- We know who Jesus is. We know He is able to help us.
- We desire something of Him.
- And we have the faith to take Jesus at His Word.
We know where we fit in His plan. We desire certain resources and skills and want Him to grant them to us for His Kingdom & His glory. We aren’t worried about how to handle situations that stir our impatience or what to say when we witness to someone because Jesus has sent us and we trust that Jesus is able.
Or we are like the invalid (John 5:1-9):
- Unaware of the power of Jesus
- Feeling forgotten.
- And Jesus is offering to help us.
Maybe we don’t know what to say as an evangelist, maybe we don’t even know how to serve, and perhaps God’s call on our life isn’t enough to move you to action, but we can trust that God will empower us as we act on his command, like the invalid. Rendering to us what is needed as we obey him, not before or after.
So perhaps you want to do great things for the Kingdom and are on that trajectory. Or you want to bring God glory, but don’t even know where to begin. In either case, here’s all you need to do: Go.
On the flip side:
There is a danger of falling into legalism and works. Striving to please God by doing ministry God has not called you to.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)
If you have sinned repent. God has made provision on the cross for your forgiveness. You need to feel clean and new so that you can come close to God and He can love on you.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
(Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)
You need to soak in God’s love and become secure in your identity in Him. Know that you are completely loved by God even if you die today and never do any works for Him at all. Stop striving and rest in God for a bit. You must operate out of His love and grace not out of fear and gilt. Once you are secure in God’s love start looking for ways to serve others. Not to earn God’s love but rather to share it. Love God and love people. That is the sum total of God’s will for you (Mat 22:37-40).
It may take some time to find your niche and that’s OK. God will slowly reveal His plan for you. You don’t have to figure it all out at once.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
(1 Corinthians 12:14-28 ESV)
Your calling will be tied to your personality and gifting. Try different ministry options as they come along. You will soon see what excites you and what drains you. If you love meeting new people you may well be called to be an evangelist. If you are drawn to helping to elevate the suffering of others you may be a pastor. If theology interests you, you may be a teacher. If you are drawn to prayer and hearing from God you may be an intercessor or prophet. You may be a combination of more than one of these. Everyone has a unique contribution to make and everyone is valuable.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
We are all called to be witnesses of Jesus. The great commission involves planting churches (apostles) teaching all that Jesus taught (teachers) baptising people (pastors) and performing miracles. There is plenty of work for everyone and all of this is witnessing.
Don’t try to be an ear when God is calling you to be an eye. Don’t compare yourself to others.