Enemies in Ministry

In this week’s Bible study, we learned about having Enemies in Ministry. The three enemies mentioned were: I can be the enemy, people can be my enemy, and God can be my enemy. We must realize that without Jesus Christ, left to ourselves, we can become our very own enemy and have the ability to destroy the very house we built. We needed a Savior and Jesus Christ was our Savior but left to ourselves, we sin. We are prone to it.

So, when I minister it doesn’t mean I am not going to sin.  We are prone to it.  We have an incredible ability to destroy.  We have no ability to restore.

God can restore what I have destroyed or have the potential thereof and there is no throne of grace or place of mercy that I can’t approach. I can be the enemy in my own ministry and God can have a plan. When I recognize I am the enemy and that I have sinned, God will say these words, “I have put away your sin.” He will turn things around and make that very thing that could have destroyed me and my ministry into something fantastic.  When we do sin, much more grace will be given to us.

Honestly, this has to be at the center core of ministry or we will not survive it. We will disqualify ourselves.  We will walk away.  We will say we are not worthy.

When people become our enemy, then apply Luke chapter 6, see it as a promotion and an expanded ministry, and will love my enemies. What if the next enemy is God? One of the places God would like to lead us is, loving Him while He is our enemy. Does this offend you? Blessed is he who is not offended in me. It is possible that God has become my enemy in this way.

It’s maybe that I am not hearing from Him.  Where He doesn’t seem to be speaking, where He is quiet, where there is nothing there, where He is completely silent and quiet for the rest of the time, where He removes Himself.

An example of someone’s life that was in this kind of place was Mother Teresa. It’s fascinating that from the very beginning of her public ministry, to her death, she lived in spiritual darkness.  In her mind this was not what she had signed up for, and maybe a lesser woman would have walked away, counting it as a failure. She struggled with this and was transparent to her spiritual leaders. She was writing to a couple of people, particularly to her spiritual father, saying that darkness had entered her soul, it was something she couldn’t get rid of it, and it bothered her.

Pray for me, that I might keep smiling at Him (I know He loves me).  I have a resolution that I would really understand your joy; that I would rejoice; that others would see my smile.  She didn’t give the people around her less of herself. Part of her sacrifice was her sorrow. I find that I sense His presence, in the dark corners, where the poor are.

When we think of the life of Job, there is a mystery of why Job suffered.  He wasn’t boastful, he was righteous by choice. Mother Teresa was righteous by choice.  We are sinners and it could be that we are in the middle of something, a situation, darkness.  I must understand that God is for me, and He loves me.

In that dark night and in that darkness, no one really knows what it is; we just know God allows it. - Saint John of the Cross

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