Lofty Goals – God’s?
Stephen M. Newman
What’s the hardest thing about being a worship leader? For some, it’s the struggle to balance the performance aspect with the worship-leading aspect. For others, it’s dealing with people who feel called but show no true gift. Still others are faced with directional issues in style of music and worship. The list is endless. After all, ministry is people, and where there are people there is bound to be conflict and struggles.
A few of us deal with issues that are deeper and more personal. Personally, the most difficult thing I deal with is ministry success. I am a person that is driven to be successful in whatever I do. It is not necessarily a bad trait to possess, but it does have its difficulties. As a minister, I have had to find a contentment between what God has called me to do and what I want to do. I have lofty plans for the Lord that include big goals to do God’s work’ here on earth. I want to reach thousands with the message of worship and the gospel of Christ. I desire to be someone for God! I want to be a Paul or a David. I am not content with ministering just at my church, I want to minister to millions of people around the world.
I know I am the only person who deals with this issue! I wrestle with wanting to do more on a constant daily basis. The struggle is all the more intense because I truly believe my calling is to reach many with the message of worship and what it can mean to the believer. Where do I find the balance? How can I know what is of God and what is of me? Sometimes it is hard to let go and let God take over. I came across this scripture in my devotional time that has helped identify my struggle more clearly. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” That verse describes me to a tee. I have many plans in my heart to do God’s will and work. The conflicts occurs because they may not all be part of His plans. How do I maintain a balance?
I have had to back up and take a look at the root of the struggle. Could it be my ego? Of course not, because I am a minister! We don’t have egos… we are all servants, right? Perhaps you are like me, you are driven to succeed and not fail. I don’t know if it’s a God thing or a human thing He has put within us. I choose to believe it is a desire that God has placed in me, and it’s up to me to stay within His will so that it doesn’t become a sin. Though we all struggle with egos from time to time, it’s how we respond that will matter in the long run. Do I choose to continue to plow ahead with my plans, or do I slow down and look around to see what God is doing? I know He places desires in my heart, but I try to be careful they are desires to promote the Kingdom of God and not the Kingdom of ME. Finding the balance between my plans and God’s plan is a continual ongoing process. If He has placed me in a small church to serve, then I need to serve Him the best I can there. If I cannot prove myself in a small situation, He will not place me in a larger one. Luke 16:10 says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much”.
How are you handling what God has entrusted to you? Are you encouraging and motivating the people where you are at, or do you continually wish for a bigger situation? Are you focused on their needs, or are you concerned about your own? I struggle weekly with these issues and pray God will give me a heart to truly serve those He has called me to minister to right here where I am at. I hope we all will strive to be the ministers/servants God has called us to be. He knows the plans for us, and if we will be patient, He will direct us. It’s very natural and easy to plan and do things in my own strength. There are many things I can go ahead and do without God, but that’s not the way it should be. He must become the Leader, Lord, and Director of our lives and ministries.
As I take my eyes off the big plans I have, I find spiritual peace and relief that settles my soul. My battle with the flesh and selfish desires is far from over. I am learning how to change the focus and recognize the warning signs. I am learning how to be content and even happy in the place God has placed me. I pray God will expand the ministry where he has placed me. I pray He will expand my territory here, and bless this ministry and His people. I have to wonder if the short tenure for people in our positions could be altered by rejoicing in the Lord for all He has already done and is doing presently in our lives. If we would give Him praise for where He has placed us, our lives and ministries would begin to take on a new meaning. By not seeking out bigger opportunities or more recognition, it frees us to seek out how we can be faithful with what God has already placed in our lives: our talents, time and the people He has called us to minister to.
The above article, ‘Lofty Goals – God’s?’ is written by Stephen M. Newman. The article was excerpted from www.experiencingworship.com website in October of 2012.
The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.