“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory,…” Psalm 119:1
When a sweet sister in the Lord in South Africa told me God had used some of my writing to reach her heart, I got a beautiful reminder.
In my first few years in ministry, completely untrained, raw, and in passionate pursuit of the Lord and my life’s calling, I made some grave errors. One of the most serious was I looked to much of modern day American Christianity, churches, ministries, Christians, and Christian authors as my model for ministry – instead of to the Lord and His Word. Much of what I saw was not based on God’s Word, but on the world’s ways. I saw and learned about “success”, numbers, growth, recognition, awards, best seller lists, sizes of congregations, mega churches, money, numbers of readership, advertising, marketing, promotions, Christian book tours, etc. Does God ever use some of this for His glory? Probably. But in my case, He showed me my pride, fear, worry, doubt, self-centeredness, need for validation, and a host of other sins – and led me to repentance. Not just once, but continually, as needed. And He took me to His Word to show me ministry in its simplest, purest form. His way.
I was so caught up in what for me was the wrong approach to ministry that I was more worried about reaching mass numbers of people so I could “succeed” and prove myself to God and others, and feel good about myself, and had no idea I needed to humble myself, die to myself, live for Christ, exalt God rather than me and my ministry, and yield to however He wanted to reach people, whomever He wanted to reach, whenever, and wherever, whether it was thousands of people in my own town or one single person across the world. He taught me my job is to love and serve Him, to use the gifts He’s given me for His glory, and He will reach the people He desires through me. Ever by His Spirit. Ever through the Truth. His Word. I am simply His vessel. Instead of exalting myself, my job is to humble myself and exalt Him.
Never in a million years would I have thought I would reach a woman in South Africa. And the truth is I didn’t reach my sweet sister in the Lord in South Africa. The Lord did. Not with my messages I wrote. With His messages He gave me to write with the gift of writing He’s given me. Not to garner glory for me. I deserve NONE. ALL the glory is God’s.
The beautiful reminder from Africa? When we humble ourselves and obey God in our service to God, God reaches by His Spirit whom He wants to reach with His messages which are always in line with His Word to fulfill His plan to fulfill His purpose to magnify His most marvelous, magnificent, amazing name! To God be EVERY OUNCE OF GLORY!