Uncovering Satan in Ministry

In this week’s Bible study, we spoke about uncovering Satan in ministry and what to do, as believers, when ministry fails. It is necessary to understand that we have an enemy and that we share a common enemy.  Satan’s device and plan would be to separate and bring division; but if I recognize that we have a common “enemy”, meditating upon the fact that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, then things will be put into their proper place, and I will be able to have an affective ministry. Jesus gave us a great picture of this, when He stood on the Cross and said,“Forgive them they know not what they do.”  He identified to who His ministry was and who the enemy was.

We meditate that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.  I am not the enemy, but I recognize we have an enemy. If the work I am a part of is going to be effective, then I am going to have an effective attack.

What does failure look like in ministry?

1. No Results: Ministry will only be a failure if I walk away from the situation. The only interesting thing to God is fruit in my life, not results. I need to ask myself if I have joy, if I have a burden, these are not necessarily results, but lots of fruit.

2. Negative results: We see this in the life of Christ. The Cross was a negative result, it was a crucifixion with a resurrection that was coming afterward with people who now have entrance into Heaven. In my own life there can be negative results, but I can stop in that moment and say, “I am filling up the afflictions that are in Christ.  This moment is a ministry.  I am being like-minded with Christ and I am sharing a little piece.  I have a ministry at the very least to God.

3. My heart is not in it:  Let us ask, “Am I walking worthily?”  “Am I letting fruit being developed in my life?”  Maybe that’s where I increase in the knowledge of God. I have to shut the door around me and get before God and say

Lord, I need you. I am so poor. These people don’t even know how poor I am.  I am in the negative. I have less than a penny in my pocket, spiritually speaking, to do any of what you are asking. I don’t feel an ounce of love today. In-fact, I am disgusted, I am angered, I am irritated. When I am weak then I am strong. To walk away then, that’s the problem.

Pastor Stevens used to say this quote: “You are not a failure until you quit.” We don’t walk away.  This is my recipe, my poverty plus their poverty, the recipe for success.

4. Circumstances: In the world we will have tribulation.  Let’s not be subjective women.  Our success is not in subjectivity.  It’s not in “Oh, they all loved me today, 15 people became born again, etc. Everyone on the team loved me today. I felt good today.  I feel light-hearted here.”

Circumstances are dangerous for the Christian as a deciding factor for the Will of God. We follow a voice.

Our very spiritual lives are wrapped up in that voice.  The moment I begin to not listen to that voice, it’s dangerous for me.  That’s the world of subjectivity.  I begin questioning everything.   Learn to hear the voice and then never let it go, because there will be a thousand voices.  Be like the mother who hears her child’s cry when there are 50 other children in the room.  Listen not to circumstances but the voice of God.

5. Enemies:  If you have the enemies of Luke 6, then see it as a promotion. We have an expanded ministry.  Ministry should hurt.  It’s the proof of love.  Love can be wounded but love doesn’t reject. You can’t tell love to stop.  What we do is, we go to the voice and we don’t walk away.  We don’t let circumstances and my own heart cause me to make movements. Psalm 73-“When my heart and flesh fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

When ministry fails, I don’t make movements outside of understanding all of this.  God knows when He has allowed hurt.  The Shepherd leads us out and in. Our methods should be decisive. I move with Are you available for anything?

Main point: There has to be an understanding of success
What keeps Adoniron Judson so long without any visible fruit?  Only an understanding of success does that
What keeps Paul, who was stoned and kept going?
What keeps Christ dying on the Cross?

Like two pieces of paper, be ready for the love, etc. and then when she hates you, turn that piece of paper over and be ready for Luke 6.  I have an opportunity to exercise long-suffering. Ministry will only be a failure if I walk away from that and if I see no results.

These thoughts were taken from our Monday night Bible Study. To listen to the whole message, click here.