This past week I had the opportunity to go visit Austin and spend some time on the UT campus to see some pretty cool things that God is doing through RenovateUT. On the flight out there, I had the pleasure of picking the seat in front of the little boy who was a first time flyer. As we were preparing for take-off, he mumbled to his mother, “we’re ready. we’re ready.” Then as we launched into the sky, he said, “I can fly! I can fly!” As I heard him express this joy in his newly acquired super powers, I took the above picture of the wing that was allowing him to stay “in flight”. As I looked out at the wing, I couldn’t help but think that this little boy had no idea of all the mechanics that were allowing him to “fly”.
Sometimes, as those who work within ministry, we may find that we have our own “I can fly” statements. See if any of these statements may have shown up in your time of ministry:
- “I can do this by myself.”
- “I don’t need to take a break”
- “If I don’t do this, no one will be able to”
- “I can do this better than she can”
- “They need me”
- “Only I can reach this girl”
- “No one talked to me about this, but if they had this would have been better”
Now of course, no one we know would say these statements; out loud. These are the little voices that pop up during the midst of ministry. Are we proud of these statements? Nope. Not in the slightest. But these statements are indicators that at these moments when these “voices” showed up in ministry, we are as unaware of the actual mechanics allowing us to “minister” as that little boy in the plane who thought he could fly by himself.
So what do we do when we forget that we are incapable of ministering in our own strength? We need to have accountability people in our life that can ask us the tough questions. Here are some conversation starters using scripture that you may find helpful to make sure you are relying on His Spirit to drive the ministry He has given you.
1. What are you doing to ensure that you are not choking out the Spirit from moving in and through you?
“Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit” says the Lord God Almighty
2. Take inventory of how God has gifted you, enabled you, and how you see Him at work in your ministry. Intentional recording of how God is moving is a key means of ensuring that you aren’t the one who is making things happen.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
3. Take a moment to confess how you’ve seen evidence of depending on your flesh for your strength.
This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
4. Now lay before God the dreams, visions, barriers, and situations that you are finding yourself working in this week. Ask Him to breathe His spirit into all that you lay your hands to, and for Him to guide you as you do them for His glory.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.