Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Don't Give the Devil a Foothold by Being Afraid

Serving in children's ministry can be one of the most exciting and joy-filled things we will
ever do; it can also be one of the most difficult and frustrating. It can be exciting and joy-filled because we are introducing children to Jesus and helping them learn how they can know and walk with Him for the rest of their lives . . . what isn't exciting and joy-filled about this! It can be difficult and frustrating because far too often negativity and power-plays leave a atmosphere of distrust, disunity and cause hurt to those serving.

Clearly negativity and hurt are not from God; they are from the devil. When we do not face these things in a spirit of Christian love, we are allowing the devil to have a "foot-hold" because they will spread like a cancer and limit, side-track, and derail our ministry.

Too often when negativity and power-plays threaten our ministry we choose to say nothing, "walk on egg-shells", and do not press forward with what it is God wants us to do in an effort to, "get along". These things just allow Satan to limit, side-track, and derail our ministry because we are not moving forward with what it is God wants us to do.

So, what should we do? I believe we need to keep our focus. We need to keep in front of us what it is God has called us to do and continue to move forward. This requires us to follow Ephesians 4 . . . 
  • Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
  • 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
  • 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
  • 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
  • 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
We need to be humble, gentle, patient, and loving with others; especially those who are serving with us so we have unity and peace. This requires us to speak the truth, but to do so in love so we all become mature, growing in love as we all do the work God has called each of us to do. Understand; while God has gifted and called us all, He does not give us all the same gifts and abilities. So, while we work in unity as a team, not all team members have the same work to do. This requires us to have good attitudes; to not give in to pride and wanting to micro-manage everything and to remember, "each part does its work" means I do the work God wants me to do and do not try to do the work of others. We have to be on guard for what comes out of our mouths; do not allow negativity or gossip to take hold because when we do, we give the devil a "foothold". Commit to being kind and compassionate to one another, and be forgiving; remember God forgave us, how can we do any less?

Yes, serving with others can be difficult, but it can also be a source of joy and strength! When we serve as God has called us to and do not allow fear of being honest with others keep us from doing what He wants us to do, there will be no stopping us and no limit to what God does in our ministries!

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