…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

Should I go full-time ministry?   Finding God’s will, .. a layman guide

As a layman, I’ve been blessed by veteran missionary, Brother Andrew’s advice about full-time christian ministry — simple, practical and down-to-earth :-).

Brother Andrew (Open Doors):

In some evangelical circles, shortly after people commit their lives to Christ, they are confronted with a series of follow-up questions that sound something like this:  “Has God chosen you to play a special role in his plan for the world?  Do you have the gift of evangelism or preaching or teaching?  In short, has God called you to full-time Christian service?”

These are not bad questions, but all too often they foster an attitude of categorizing Christians into two groups – the special few who are called, and then the rest of us who are merely Christians, but nothing special.  Those who are called will do the evangelism, the preaching, and the missionary work, and those who aren’t will simply look forward to being in heaven one day.

I am afraid this is the opposite of what it means to be called.  There are no first-class or second-class Christians; one believer is no more special to God than another.  The fact is, God call all of us to full-time Christian service — that is, we are called to be Christians full-time.  We may not pastor a church or go to Outer Mongolia, but in God’s eyes we are just as much a part of the Great Commission as pastors and missionaries.

The real calling of God
is not to a
certain place or career,
but to everyday obedience.

The real calling of God is not to a certain place or career, but to everyday obedience.  And that call is extended to every Christian, not a select few.  Then, as we follow his everyday call, he opens doors to where he wants us to go and closes doors to where he does not want us to go.  That way, faithfulness to God’s calling is within our reach everyday, and life becomes an adventure as we obey his Word and walk through the doors he has opened for us.

On the other hand, if we agonize over whether we have received a special call, we waste valuable time and energy and, in effect, limit the work of God in our lives.  When people ask me whether they should go into full-time ministry in the traditional sense.  I almost always discourage them, I tell them to follow Jesus with their whole lives and pursue full-time ministry only as a last resort.

How do we prepare to respond to that call?  Part of the preparation is God’s doing and part of it must be ours.  God’s preparation of us began long before we decided to accept his call — long before we even know who Christ was.  The fact is, God has been using all of the events and experiences of our lives to prepare us for the kind of service he’s calling us to now.  Whether our past was happy or sad, godly or sordid, God is building on that experience to make us into effective servants for him.

Source:   Brother Andrew, The Calling, A Challenge to Walk the Narrow Road, Fleming H. Revell, 1996, 2002.

Brother Andrew began his work in 1955 as a one-man mission-visiting, teaching, and taking Bibles to Christians behind the Iron Curtain. That work has since developed into Open Doors, a nonprofit organization with bases around the world supporting persecuted Christians in over 60 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed

I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart
Psalm 40:8 (NIV)

Thus, doing God’s will, begins with
everyday obedience to God’s word;

living out God’s word
in our neighborhood, our workplace, our home,

Your word is a lamp for my feet
and a light on my path.
Psalm 119: 105 (HCSB)

 A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
– Eugene Peterson

The key to the Christian life is
to find out what God is doing
and get in on it.

 Henry Blackaby,  Experiencing God

Bible Faith comes from:
Knowing what God wants you to do,
Obeying whatever He shows you to do, then,
Trusting Him to do what you cannot do,
in His way and His time.
– Loren Cunningham, Daring to Live on the Edge

Whatever opinions, suggestions, comments we hear,
its worthwhile to pause … to prayerfully consider,
… is it man‘s idea or God‘s idea?

Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying,
“This is My beloved Son, My Chosen One;
listen and obey and yield to Him!”
Luke 9:35 (AMP)

When John Hyde began his missionary ministry to India, he later confided with a missionary co-laborer:

“I wanted to shine as a great missionary ….
That was my ambition — an ambition of of which I had left the main factor:  God.  This was not altogether of the flesh, but most of it was.  I loved the Lord and wanted to serve Him and serve Him well, but ‘self’ was at the foundation of my ambition.”

— John Hyde

Twelve years were to pass before he began to gather in the glorious harvest of his prayers.  During this time, he was to labor unnoticed and unsung, an ordinary man in an ordinary manner, praying through service which would fit him for a position of respect and renown in India.
Source:  Basil Miller, Praying Hyde, Ambassador International, 2008, pg 16, 20

A related post – God calls a layman, click here

In the Bible we are directed to seek first the Lord and His kingdom.

Psalm 105:4, Matthew 6:33, 10 (NASB)
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.

Let’s first seek the Lord and His Kingdom,
by reading and living His Word, and led by His Spirit.
As we maintain this attitude/focus in whatever situation,
we’ll walk into His will
through everyday obedience.

(i.e. Christianese buzzwords – purposeful, destiny, missional, intentional, relevant, … etc)

“Wisdom begins with ·respect [fear; awe] for the Lord,
and understanding begins with knowing the Holy One.
Proverbs 9:10 (EXB)

Praise the Lord!
How joyful are those who fear the Lord
and delight in obeying his commands
Psalm 112:1 (NLT)

It begins with knowing God personally, loving God,
and reverence for the Lord and His ways,
thereby inspiring us to make wise, God honoring choices in life,
as He directs us by His Word and the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 119: 105, 9;  Psalm 1:2  (HCSB)
119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet
and a light on my path.

119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping Your word.

1:2… his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.

Reading God’s Word daily,
knowing His Word personally,
the  lamp for my feet, a light on my path, keeps my way pure,
living out His Word.

Praying with Paul, as he expressed his desire for the believers to walk in God’s will,

Colossians 1:9-12 (NIV)
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light

fill you
the knowledge of his will
all the wisdom and understanding

so that
you may

live a life worthy of the Lord
please him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God,
being strengthened with all power

have great endurance and patience
giving joyful thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (HCSB)
16 Rejoice always!
17 Pray constantly.
18 Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

These 2 passages succinctly describes an everyday obedience lifestyle,
that bears fruit in every good work.

John 15:15 (NIV)
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

James 2:23 (NIV)
And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

Be a friend of God,
for a servant does not know his master’s business.
A friend intimately knows the Father’s business,
like Abraham, God’s friend.

Prayer with a desire and focus for

Matthew 6:9,10 (HCSB)
… Our Father in heaven,

Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
on earth
as it is in heaven.

where-ever we may be in life.
i.e. surrendering our will, our ambitions,
honoring the Lord and His Word,
and living out everyday obedience
in the world we live and work in,

God wants us to walk in His will,
much more than we ever desire to,
He’ll direct us.

Isaiah 48:17, Psalm 32:8 (N(V)
This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
    who teaches you what is best for you,
    who directs you in the way you should go

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you

“Are we there yet ?”

Walking with the Lord, in life’s journey… I’ve realized,
            Destiny is a Journey, not a destination.

Through the biographical accounts of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, .. God was both working through them, as well as working in them to be conformed to the image of His Son.  Through their ups and downs, mistakes and triumphs, betrayals and reconciliation, faith and doubt, … God’s invisible hand was working out His larger purposes and His good through their life journey..

Romans 8:28,29 (NASB)
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

Thus, Its also about seeking God’s purpose daily
in our everyday lives
— seeing our everyday situations, challenges and events from God’s perspective
as we spend our daily time with Him,
as God causes all things to work together for good … according to His purpose.
as He moulds us to  become conformed to the image of His Son
thru our everyday situations, challenges and events;
just like the stories of the people in the Bible.

In a sense, we never arrive, … its a journey.
God led Abraham on a journey,

Hebrews 11:8,9 (NASB)
By faith Abraham, when he was called,
obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance;
and he went out,
not knowing where he was going.

By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob,fellow heirs of the same promise;

by faith, … obeyed,

… he went, … not knowing where he was going,
dwelling in tents …

Daily obedience, … one step at a time … led by the Spirit.

obeyed … he went,
… not knowing where he was going

God does not reveal everything to us all at once,
as we take each step in obedience, … he reveals the next one
in His time, in His way.

Romans 8:14 (NASB)
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NASB)
 for we walk by faith, not by sight

Consider Paul, Silas and Timothy’s ministry journey, as they were sensitively followed the leading of the Holy Spirit,

Acts 16:6-12 (NASB)
They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region,
having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;

and after they came to Mysia,
they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;

and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.

Like Abraham,
Paul, Silas and Timothy obeyed … they went,
… not knowing where they were going,
led by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus
step by step.

Like Abraham and Paul’s journey,
its alright if we do not see the full roadmap;  we are in good company.
Abraham and Paul obeyed,
took the first step, … and went, trusting the Lord to lead them.

In obeying and following the Lord, … sometimes we face closed doors
(like Paul & Silas in Asia, Mysia, Bithynia.)

Paul and Silas patiently perservered.

Finally, at Troas,

A vision appeared to Paul in the night:
a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

10 When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia,
concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

11 So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis; 12 and from there to Philippi  which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony …

We also should be mindful of God’s timing.

Paul was forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia (Acts 16)
God closed the door.

Paul did go speak & minister God’s word in Asia in Acts 19, touching lives.

What/where was Abraham’s destination?
(next verse in Hebrews 11)

Hebrews 11:10 (NASB)
for Abraham was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Where’s this city Abraham was looking for?

Hebrews 13:14;   12:22
14 For here we do not have a lasting city,
but we are seeking the city which is to come.

12:22 … the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, …

Paul prayer for the believers in Ephesus (excerpt) gives us some encouragement,

Ephesians 3:14-21 (MSG)
14-19 … And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love,
you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.
Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!
Live full lives,
full in the fullness of God

20-21 God can do anything, you know
—- far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!

Rest in Jesus’ extravagant love.

He doesn’t push us,
He gently leads us, and He works upon our hearts.

He does it not by pushing us around
but by working within us,
his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

God leads us by His Spirit,
working in us, and inspiring us
to live out what pleases Him.

Philippians 2:13 (NKJV, NLT)
for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

for God is working in you,
giving you the desire and the powe
to do what pleases him.

As we partner, co-labor with the Lord, trusting Him daily,

God began a good work in you.
And I am sure that he will carry it on until it is completed. That will be on the day Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 1:6 (NIRV)


And through whatever situations He leads us into, or allows in our lives,
He’s working His image in us, His character in us
to be conformed to the image of his Son

Romans 8:28, 29 (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Be patient, … perservere

Ecclesiastes 3:1
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven

Keep in mind, God works through His body,
… through collaborative, complementing partnerships of diverse gifts and ministries
…. to bless His body, and others who have yet to know Him

Be careful
… if we think we need a bible school degree, or a church given title, or an ordination, or an appointed position …. before we can serve the Lord or be mightily used by the Lord,
in fact, the people God used in the Bible were ordinary people,
most had day jobs (Paul, David, Daniel, Joseph, Abraham, Nehemiah, Esther, etc),
and … quite a number were anonymous

Acts 4:13,14 (NIV)
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

It was a generous, anonymous little boy with his five small barley loaves and two small fishes lunch that Jesus multiplied to feed the 5000.  This one of the few miracles recorded in all 4 Gospels.

John 6:8-13 (NIV)
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.


Luke 16:10 (NASB)
He who is faithful in a very little thing
is faithful also in much;

and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing
is unrighteous also in much

The key is faithfulness,
being faithful in what we already have,
being faithful where we are right nowin little things,
being a blessing to those around us, near us.

Philip and Stephen started out serving tables to widows (Acts 6)
The anonymous widow gave all she had, her 2 small copper coins, mite (Mark 12)

Along life’s journey, through the situations we face,
there are many people we come into contact with,
to whom we can bless them in some small way.

Example:  The kidnapped young servant girl from Israel who shared with Naaman’s wife about seeing the prophet in Samaria to cure his leprosy (2 Kings 5).
Instead of despair in her captive situation in a foreign land, Aram (Syria),
or her mundane servant work,
the young servant girl saw the big picture,
God’s view.

She had faith, … and she was faithful.
Her attitude/focus carried her through.

Colossians 4:5 (MEV)
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside,
wisely using the opportunity.

The Lord God-incidently caused her path to cross Naaman
to bless him, and his nation.

Some of us may be like the servant girl,
faced with constraints, responsibilities,
or circumstances beyond our control.
Seeking God’s will … how best to walk in His way in our situation.

Like Joseph betrayed and sold as a slave in Egypt, and later unjustly thrown into prison,
… this young servant girl saw beyond her constraints, predicament, lowly position, confusion,
to how big her God was.
She seized whatever opportunity there was to glorify her the Lord.
She chose to be fruitful where she was at.

She also chose to love and bless her foreign captors who seized and sold her by force.   In compassion she voluntarily offered a solution to her master’s illness.  She pointed him to the Lord.
As a result, God healed Naaman (a Gentile Assyrian) and he came to know the Lord.

After Joseph was reunited with his family in Egypt, Joseph said to his brothers,
“You intended to harm me,
but God intended it for good
to accomplish what is now being done,
the saving of many lives. ”
Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

God worked His purposes, His will,
through the injustices faced by Joseph, and the young servant girl.

God intended it for good … the saving of many lives

Ultimately, the fruit of walking in God’s will is the blessing of others, the saving of lives,
rather than just one’s ministry, one’s blessings, etc

The Psalmist drew out lessons from Joseph’s life on divine guidance:

Psalm 105:15-22 (NIV)
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
    do my prophets no harm.”

God’s protection & presence.

16 He called down famine on the land
    and destroyed all their supplies of food;

God is sovereign.

17 and he  sent a man before them—
    Joseph, sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles,
    his neck was put in irons,

He sent –– God sent Joseph,
… God positioned him for something that was going to happen.

19 till what he foretold came to pass,
    till the word of the Lord proved him true.

till — in God’s time

20 The king sent and released him,
    the ruler of peoples set him free.

The king sent — God orchestrated events for the king to send for Joseph.
God positioned Joseph for such a time as this
(more than 10 years after being sold as a slave to Egypt)

21 He made him master of his household,
    ruler over all he possessed,

22 to instruct his princes as he pleased
    and teach his elders wisdom.

God’ purpose for Joseph in Egypt.

Out of the turmoil, injustice and confusion in Joseph’s life
resulted in instructing the princes & elders of Egypt, etc,
 the saving of many lives — God’s ultimate purpose

Therefore Joseph could say to his brothers, … without any resentment to what they did to him,
“So then, it was not you who sent me here,
but God. … Genesis 45:8 (NIV)

Let’s look at Paul’s life:
On his way from Jerusalem to Rome as a prisoner,
God used Paul to touch many lives in Malta and the ship in the storm,
as well as leaders in high places (Acts 22-28).
Shipwrecked, in prison, false accusations, … etc
Paul was unstoppable.  Fruitful.
(see also 2 Corinthians 11:23-28)

Even in prison, Paul was not silenced.
He wrote his epistles, which blessed many, even us today.

As, Paul’s former teacher of the Law, Gamaliel,  wisely said,
38 …. if this plan or action is of men,
it will be overthrown;

39 but if it is of God,
you will not be able to overthrow them;

or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
Acts 5:38,39 (NASB)

The early disciples were also first fruitful on their home ground,
in the face of persecution and danger,
before moving to Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Change … with God’s help,
first begins in our own hearts, and our attitude to the situations with face,
as we pray and patiently  wait for His direction,
facing and persevering in our situations, challenges.

Although the grass may appear greener on the other side,
change for the sake of change … doesn’t work.
…  “A washed pig returns to the mud.”  2 Peter 2:22 (NLT)


Don’t wait until we reach the destination … someday,

… be a blessing
along the journey,
… now, today

Also, don’t wait for the “when I have … I will ….”
…. begin with the little we already have.

He who is faithful in a very little thing
is faithful also in much

Serving God whether in the marketplace
… or somewhere faraway, or in a church,
all requires faith in the Lord
to prosper and bless our 5 loaves and 2 fishes.

Let’s be faithful and express our faith in simple everyday deeds,
in everday obedience
wherever we are at.

Like Abraham, Joseph, Esther, Mordecai, Nehemiah, Daniel, David, Paul, etc … as lay people we can walk through doors and corridors to befriend others, where few full-timers are able to.

Mark 16:20 (NIV)
Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word.
… partner with the Lord … and He produces the fruit through His Word.

Acts 8:1, 4 (NIV)
On that day a great persecution
broke out against the church in Jerusalem ….

Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.

Keep sharing Jesus, His word and His love.

Enjoy the journey, and the scenery along the way.

Walking with the Lord we should be mindful of His times and seasons,
and what He is doing through His body of believers.
God’s will/plan is not just about me (singular), … its also about us (plural).


Moses silent 40 years in the wilderness shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep.
Joseph waited another 2 years in prison, after the chief cupbearer was restored.
David’s years spent hiding from Saul.
Paul’s 3 years in Arabia, and a few years back in Tarsus, before Barnabas went to look for him and invited him to minister in Antioch.

God’s time of moulding our hearts and character,
learning from Him, … leaning on Him,
…. preparation.

Its not a high speed bullet-train ride to a destination,
sometimes there are detours (unexpected to us,  but in God’s providence)
… or times of just waiting,
(like at a train stop along the way)
… delays in our eyes,
all in God’s providence & wisdom,

Isaiah 55:8 (NASB)
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.


Hebrews 11:27 (NIV)
By faith Moses left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger;

Moses persevered because
he saw Him who is invisible

Patience, perseverance, endurance,
… daily obedience to the Lord,
Faith, … faithfulness.

Romans 5:3, 4 (HCSB)
And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, be
cause we know that affliction produces endurance,
endurance produces proven character,
and proven character produces hope.

James 1:4 (NIV)
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

In their waiting,
Moses, Joseph, David, Paul remained faithful,
trusting the Lord.
as the Lord worked in them proven character,
like good wine through the maturing process, … hidden away in the cellar.

James 1:12 (NIV)
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial
because, having stood the test,
that person will receive the crown of life that
the Lord has promised
to those who love him

May the Holy Spirit and His love inspire and invigorate us to press on, persevere and stand.


Hence, there’s a timing of the Lord,
not according to our earthly schedules and timetables,
or the speed of a finger swipe or mouse click.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven

There’re times and seasons in the plans of the Lord,
He is in control, sovereign.

John 7:6 (AMP)
So Jesus said to them,
My time has not yet come;
any time is right for you.

Earlier, in Jesus’ ministry,

Luke 4:28-30 NIV
28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove Jesus out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.
30 But Jesus walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

John 7:30 (NIV)
30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him,
because his hour had not yet come.

Much later,

 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. …
(Matthew 26:18 NIV)

Let’s also refrain from comparing ourselves with others,
or try to live up to the expectations or hopes of others,
or try to ‘copy‘ others in ministry,
we may miss following the Lord,
and what He has in store for us.

John 21:20, 21 (NIV)
21 When Peter saw him, he asked,
“Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return,
what is that to you?

You must follow me.”

Amen, … let’s follow  Him.
… let us run with perseverance
the race marked out for us,

fixing our eyes on Jesus, …
Hebrews 12:1,2 (NIV)

Let’s not get distracted.

Isaiah 64:8 (AMP)
Yet, O Lord, You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our Potter,
And we all are the work of Your hand.

God did not call us to be famous,
or stand on some stage, someday,
to be faithful.

On another note,
sometimes some folks may experience …

a Moses burning bush moment,
or .. an Isaiah “I saw the Lord high and lifted up” moment
or .. a Paul on the road to Damascus moment
or .. a prophet Samuel finds and anoints David moment

consider, Nehemiah,
… rather than a spectacular, momentous moment,

Nehemiah was deeply moved upon hearing a need,

Nehemiah 1:3 (ESV)
And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”

and he responded first
with prayer and fasting
before the Lord for 3-4 months,

Nehemiah 1:6 (ESV)
As soon as I heard these words
I sat down and wept and mourned for days,
and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

And I said, “O Lord God of heaven,
the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,

let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.

which led him on an amazing, miraculous journey with God,
as he persevered with the grace of God.

Serving the Lord, walking in His will
is birthed and supported by unseen
humble, persevering prayer ministry before the Lord

Matthew 6:10 (NASB)
Your kingdom come. 
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

And from Nehemiah’s example,

 Ecclesiastes 9:10,  Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, …

 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Luke 16:10 (NASB)
He who is faithful in a very little thing
is faithful also in much; …

By the way, Nehemiah was a cupbearer to the king.

Nehemiah’s first ministry was
physical hard work, in the hot sun,
… re-building the walls of Jerusalem,
… one stone at a time,
faced with the threat of possible physical attacks from their enemies.
(Stephen and Philip’s first ministry was waiting on tables, … meeting a need.)

15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days.
16 When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence;
for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.

Nehemiah 6:15,16 (NASB)

In walking in God’s way … God gets all the glory!

Can ministry through our marketplace skills be just as exciting and fruitful?
Is ‘secular’ work also ministry?

Jesus said, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.. … Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations (Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:19 (NASB))

Jesus said “Go into all the world …  make disciples
i.e. bring His Word, Spirit and presence into the world.
not, just the church.

Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:10 (NASB)

Acts 18 records how Paul’s marketplace work in tentmaking brought propagating fruit as he shared his life through his work:

Acts 18:2,-4, 24-28 (NKJV)
After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2And Paul found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.
And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

Paul met tentmakers  Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth through his work in tentmaking.
Paul stayed and worked alongside them.

The first thing co-workers like Aquila and Priscilla observe is the quality/integrity of Paul’s work
(tentmaking, stitching, cutting, durable rain-proofing),
… then his life, … his character, integrity in team situations, conflicts, stress/pressure, …
… before they are ready to hear his message of his faithful Lord.

Like our work in the office or professional field of endeavor,
we earn our right to be heard, and taken seriously.

All work is ministry.
The people who used Paul’s tents are blessed by Paul’s quality work.

18 So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him.

Paul discipled Priscilla and Aquila,
and traveled with them to Syria.

Later at Ephesus,

24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue.

When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

Aquila and Priscilla befriended and discipled Apollos at Ephesus.

27 And when he [Apollos] desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

Apollos went to Achaia to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and greatly helped the believers there.

1 Corinthains 16:19 (NKJV)
19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

Aquila and Priscilla also ran a discpling church in their home in the city where they lived and worked as tentmakers.

Paul’s commendation of Priscilla and Aquila’s ministry,
in his letter to Rome,

Romans 16:3-5 (NKJV)
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house.

Through tentmaking,
Paul -> Priscilla & Aquila -> Apollos -> believers in Achaia

Paul wrote to Timothy,
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses,
commit these to faithful men
who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2 (NKJV)

Paul -> Timothy -> faithful men -> others

Hence, through a chance contact at work in the marketplace, .. at a home,
… to discipling … to missions. … and church planting,
by His Spirit.

From colleague … to friend … to fellow believer
… to brother/sister … to ministry partner

“For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2:14 (NASB)

He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; ..
Luke 16:10 (NASB)

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
Romans 8:28,29 (NASB)

being confident of this, that
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion
until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6 (NIV)


Further Reading:


 Daily Rice | Work

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
October 25, 2014

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License



This entry was posted on October 25, 2014 by in Daily Rice, Marketplace, Ministry, Missions, Serving Quietly, Work and tagged , .
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