I hope someone as wondered why I've missed posting for over a month. I've been fighting some health issues. The details of my health aren't important to share. What it makes you realize about ministry is really vital.
We all have a tendency to think that our salvation is simple. And in reality, it is. Salvation is very simply accepting Jesus Christ's death as your own. A justice payment for your life's sin. But it's not simple, either. You have to accept that Jesus died for you. And more so-- unless you die that moment-- you have to accept the responsibility to live His life through your own.
Jesus illustrated this with a simple story. "I tell you the solemn truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces much grain. The one who loves his life destroys it, and the one who hates his life in this world guards it for eternal life. If anyone wants to serve me, he must follow me, and where I am, my servant will be too. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." (John 12.24-26)
I've had great ministry over the years: from local churches, to outlaw biker gangs, to real outlaws, to people of overseas cultures. I've had great successes. But looking back now, I would have done far more of what is possible, if I was fully given over to God. That's probably the thing for anyone ministering for God.
Natural tendency is to plan it out, do what you can, then lean back for God's help when things fall short. Backwards. By good human standards, that's the right way. But God created us, not the other way around. Our #1 action is not to serve others. It's to serve Christ first. Sounds strange to all of us. But if we serve Jesus Christ first, then He can use us to do more and better ministry.
The simple point is, God is the real One to do ministry. It's important to study and learn. Then when called into action, you do what you learned, but not through what you planned. You always have your eyes and ears open to what is happening. Your words and actions must always come from God's.