Tuesday, February 3, 2009


“Don’t be too proud of this technological wonder you’ve constructed. The power to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”
-Darth Vader,
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Who would have thought that the words of "Lord Vader" would ring true in a pastor's ears regarding ministry? Not only is Darth fictitious, but he is also one of the most vicious villains to ever grace the big screen. He would probably tell you his temperament is a bit complicated, and correlated to his tragic childhood on Tatooine!

As a pastor, I want the Word of God to change people's lives. I don't mind doing some goofy things in the process. If I have to be a little silly for someone to receive a lot of Gospel, so be it! I will create songs, videos, skits and goofy characters in order to reach people with the Good News. (See my post about gimmicks.)

Sometimes I start depending on my own strength, intelligence and talent to accomplish the work of God. The weight of ministry insidiously shifts from being in God's hands to mine. At first there's a rush of exhilaration. Like a go-cart speeding down a hill, the momentum and feeling that I'm doing this all myself is exciting.

Eventually go carts make it to the bottom and so do those whose power source is no longer the Almighty. God doesn't let me out of his graces - he just eases off the propulsion long enough for me to experience my own inertia slowing me down. The next sensation is like rocking frontward and backward in a motionless vehicle, realizing that I don't have the power to get things moving. Trying to do God's work with my own strength... Not Good!

That's when I hear the mechanized respiration of the Clone War veteran breathing down my neck, as his puts life and faith into proper perspective with that earlier quote. Whatever gift, talent, technology or gimmick I may use, it's nothing compared to the power of the Holy Spirit!
When things are moving again, and I've sighed my relief, I'm actually encouraged to know that it's not up to me to make it happen!

Use whatever gifts and talents you have, but depend on God. Become all things to all people so that you may win some, but depend on God. Read books about effective ministry, discipleship, and Christian living, but depend on God. I leave you with some words from the Word about who our power source should be.

"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the LORD Almighty
-Zechariah 4:6b

Yet I will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them — not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the LORD their God.

-Hosea 1:7

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

-1Corinthians 2:4-5

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us...

-Ephesians 3:20

...for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
-Philippians 2:13

To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me
. -Colossians 1:29

1 comment:

  1. "...for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."
    -Philippians 2:13

    This is one of my favorite scripture verses. I also love the prior and subsequent verses. In the NKJV it reads (paraphrased):

    "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

    It reminds me to listen to the Holy Spirit and to act based upon that, therefore I will have joy knowing that I have acted as God pleases; I need so much to remember I am here for His pleasure, not mine.

    Thanks for the post Pastor, I needed this reminder right now. I think it will help with a big career decision I need to make and the wrong decision would be disastrous. Again thanks.


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