Your labor will be rewarded

1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

I know people who seem to have the “Midas touch” in ministry. Not that everything they touch turns to gold, but everything they touch turns to fruit for the kingdom. It seems that almost effortlessly everything they do in the name of Jesus is profitable. The people they share the gospel with are profoundly affected and get saved. People they pray for get healed. They teach the truths of God’s word with great wisdom and authority.

And then there are other people, who seek God like crazy and yearn to make a difference in this life for the kingdom and have significant periods of time that yield no fruit.

I’ve read stories of missionaries that labored their whole lives in almost unbearable conditions to bring the gospel to a heathen people group. They live and die seeing no conversions to Christ. But the next missionary comes and the harvest is so ripe it requires almost no labor on his part.

So, getting really real here, I often feel like the one always desiring and laboring that my life would be profitable for the kingdom of God, and mostly feeling like it isn’t. Always sowing, rarely reaping. In frustration, ready to stop trying and just wait for heaven.

But at the same time, I can’t stop. Inside there is such a stirring to speak of Him, write of Him, that maybe somebody, somewhere at sometime might be helped.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with discouragement.

A number of years ago somebody shared a video with me that has encouraged me tremendously. I want to share it with you now. It’s about 8 minutes long but well worth the time to listen.

I hope it encourages you as well, to continue in your service to the Lord, even when you cannot see the fruit.

Serving God with the spirit

Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.

Often we serve God with the soul, which is subject to emotional issues, ups and downs. Someone serving with the soul is on fire or lethargic in their service to God in proportion to how happy they are, how encouraged they feel, the nature of circumstances in their life. Those who serve with the spirit take no account of these things but they serve God because He is God in all these things.

We can serve in the flesh by our dedication to a task or a ministry. We are doing a thing and enduring in it by the sheer force of our will power. God may never have called us to that task, or He may have been ready to move us to something else, but we continue on faithfully anyway, in the power of a disciplined flesh. Serving God in the flesh is much like any carnal thing we do. We make our plans, schedule our events, recruit our helpers and go about our work. Everything is structured and organized. So organized that there is no room for the Holy Spirit to move, and if He did move it would “mess everything up”.

But we can serve God in the spirit, leaving all of our own plans and agendas and allowing ourselves to be moved by the Spirit of God, even if waiting to know His agenda means sitting and doing nothing for a time. What matters is what HE wants, and personal preferences must take a back seat. Or be thrown out the window entirely. To serve God with the spirit requires a place of surrender that many are unwilling to accept.

Lord, help us yield to you!