The Pharisees received a strong rebuke because they loved the praise that comes from men more than the praise that comes from God.1One Pharisee prayed, thanking God that he wasn’t like other men, especially like the sinner standing next to him who was praying a prayer of repentance.2 I can be even worse than that. I have thanked God that I am not like that Pharisee!
Right now I have to be careful. Two friends and I are starting up a new ministry. I have been very busy getting the word out and organizing things. While I was working, getting things going, it was easy to be totally dependent on God. Now that everything is ready to roll, I am facing a battle.
Today in my worship time, I was listening on my iPod to Matt Redmond’s song “The Heart of Worship”. I was singing along with it as I often do, but when I got to the chorus, I changed the words of the song to say, “I’m coming back to the heart of ‘ministry’, it’s all about you, all about you. I’m sorry Lord for the way I’ve made it, it’s all about you, all about you, Jesus”.
So here is the question. Is what I am doing truly all about Him? Will He, and only He, receive the glory, or will I take some of it?
I am not sure that God is very worried about who gets the credit. I think He is worried about me. It is not right for me to depend on Him while laying the foundation for a ministry, and then, when all is ready, for me to take some credit for myself. Is my ministry all about Him, or is there a certain percentage in there for me?
Those of you who know me already know the answer. I am secretly wanting some of the glory. Yep, I do want the praise of men. These occasions give me the opportunity to see what I am really made of. Gold and silver are tried by fire and a man is tried by the praise he receives.3
Why is it so easy to depend on Him alone while I am ministering but when it is all over, I would like to get my grubby mitts on some of the glory? I have been in ministry for a while now and I should be over this, right?
So, I go to Him and I ask Him to please take this new ministry away from me. It is very possible that I will kill it if He lets me keep it. He does take it back from me. It is usually in my worship time that I give it to Him. That is the time that I am not really asking for anything, but I am just enjoying Him. He is so patient and understanding with me. I want Him to take back the ministry that He birthed in me, that He developed in me and anointed me to carry out. I want Him to keep it. I can’t claim any credit nor take any blame.
So I meditate on Jesus’ words that ask how we can believe when we receive glory from one another.4 Honestly God, right now I am guilty. I do believe it is all about You when I am depending on You to start a new ministry, but when I take some of the glory, I am guilty of wanting the praise of men.
Jesus, please make me more like the publican and less like the Pharisee.
1- John 12:43, 2- Luke 18:11 3- Proverbs 27:21 4- John 5:44