The Defending Protection of God
Often, within the excitement of receiving the call of God for full-time ministry, an individual fails to take into account the potential cost. In the words of our Lord, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (Jn. 16:29). Similarly, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian and member of the resistance against Adolf Hitler, stated, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” The declaration of success in serving Jesus Christ is not determined by popularity or the absence of suffering, but by the faithful proclamation of God’s Word. In our service to Him, we must be willing to set aside our preservation in exchange for the protection guaranteed by the sovereign God.
The Holy Spirit set Paul and Barnabas apart for the missionary work in Southern Galatia. Though they did not receive a roadmap from God, they set out immediately in following the command to go and make disciples of all nations. The result of going, unfortunately, did not produce a significant reception and admiration from the masses. Instead, it created a stressful mix of joy with the agony. Interestingly, they never questioned the direction of the Holy Spirit; instead, whether in triumph or persecution, they remained confident in God’s protection.
It is essential to stay true to the call of God in all circumstances and be willing to relinquish the outcome to the One who makes us more than conquerors through Jesus Christ.
Responses in ministry:
- Boldness in the face of hostility – Acts 14:1-7
- Preaching truth in the encounter of human worship – Acts 14:8-18
- Persistence in consequence of persecution – Acts 14:19-23
- Praising God’s protection at the time of reflection – Acts 14:24-28
Questions to ponder:
- Does your involvement in ministry reflect something godly or creaturely?
- Does your goal in ministry seek God’s glory or creature glory?
- Does your faithfulness in ministry reflect Christ’s-interest or self-interest?
- Does your activity of ministry resemble God’s will or self-will?