“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11 ESV
“If any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles of God; if any man ministereth, ministering as of the strength which God supplieth: that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, whose is the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11 KJV
The world teaches we need the ability and strength to do stuff, doesn’t it? Usually we think of this in the context of our everyday lives, right? All we have to do is muster up the ability and strength to get by in life and accomplish what we want, right? If we don’t have the ability and strength, we’re supposed to go out and find it, eh? Somehow. Somewhere. From someone. Some way. So we can accomplish our goals. Can you imagine then how we can possibly find the strength and ability to serve God? And to do His will in life instead of ours as He calls us to do? This isn’t just about doing stuff. About accomplishing things. It’s about serving God and doing His will in our lives instead of our own! This isn’t just any ordinary, run of the mill ability and strength we need, is it? Not when it comes to loving and serving God! And loving and serving others! And living according to His will and His way in the lives He has given us!
The Spirit of God teaches us in His Word He will give us the ability and strength to serve Him! The KJV Bible uses the word “ability.” The ESV Bible uses the word “strength”. We need both, don’t we? Shouldn’t we be able to get ability and strength on our own? Shouldn’t we prove ourselves to God in this? No! For years, this is exactly what I tried to do in life and ministry. I miserably failed. I wiped myself out. I hurt God and hurt others. I operated exclusively in my own human “strength” – foolishly and dangerously. God has woken me up, led me to repentance, and is teaching me day by day how to stop trusting in myself and this world and instead to trust in and seek Him for the ability and strength to love and serve Him and others. He wants us to come to Him for the ability and strength for ministry (also known as service) and to do His will in life. Why?
Merely because He loves us and wants to provide for us? No. Merely because in our own “strength” we will undoubtedly fail? It’s because when we trust in God to give us the ability and strength to love and serve Him and to do His will in life and receive it, we are able to do that to which He has called us AND He gets the glory and praise rather than ourselves! Not to mention the world around us gets to see more of God as He shines forth through us!