Taking Heed To The Ministry
Colossians 4:17 And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”
I ran across this verse the day other and it stopped me my tracks. It felt like I was running along and ran straight into a wall. It might as well have said, “And say to Lainie, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord that you may fulfill it.”
I have a lot of varied interests. I love to knit and to sew. I love to cook, bake, and to spend time with my family. I love blogging and all those things. But, all those things require a certain amount of time, energy, concentration, and devotion. But I never want to neglect the important things, the good works that the Lord has laid up for me, the ministry He has given to me.
I love that this verse says, “To take heed to the ministry,” That phrase, “To take heed,” means to really discern and ascertain, “What is it that the Lord would have me do?” I know that being married and having children that they are my primary ministry after my ministry to the Lord—to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love my neighbor as myself.
But the question will often run through my mind, “How do I find balance doing the things that I enjoy doing and feel are good works with the time with your family and making sure that needs are met?” I find that I really need to discern the ministry which I have personally received from the Lord, and not looking at or desiring the ministry that someone else has received from the Lord.
I realized that although there are many things that I enjoy spending my time doing, there are the two roles that the Lord has given to me, that at this moment in time, only I can fulfill. There are other knitters and people that create patterns. There are other sewers that are incredibly skilled. There are people that blog, write, and speak and do devotionals, etc… There are so many wonderful, gifted bible teachers out there. If I stopped doing these… hobbies, I guess that would be the best word, there is an abundance of resources out there to minister to people. But, if I stopped living my life as a wife to my husband, who will fulfill my role?
Unfortunately in our society, a lot of men and women are unsatisfied in their relationships and they’ll try to find someone to fill the role of their spouse when they think their spouse is “failing” them. And, what about my children? If I am not ministering to my children, who will? Unfortunately, there is a ready replacement for that as well. The culture around us no longer reinforces God’s commandments that children should respect their parents and give them honor. The culture doesn’t encourage them to walk in godliness, but instead to be self-seeking, self-serving, and to satisfy the desires of their flesh. I realized that when I don’t fulfill the actual ministry that the Lord has given me, I leave a lot of people vulnerable (including myself) to stumble into sin and transgress against God Himself. By me fulfilling my part, which isn’t me just filling a “job position” that God has open, instead, there are relationships that are bound together, and we are all wrapped around Jesus Christ, but in these relationships, we are all dependent on one another to help fulfill our calling which is holiness, godliness, and to give Him glory.
And that when I neglect the greater things, when I neglect the tending to the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of my family, I leave them in a vulnerable place because they have a lack and it will get filled with something. It’s merely a question of is that something good and something from the Lord or is it something that will harm them, harm our family, and harm our society as a greater whole? I need to remember the work the Lord has for me. In Ephesians 2:10 it says, “We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
He has every situation and detail lined up and that as I walk and fulfill those things, I am fulfilling His will. But, when I neglect those things I am leaving vulnerabilities, something akin to a cracks in a foundation or a sidewalk. What happens when someone walks on a sidewalk that isn’t smooth and intact but instead has cracks in it? People stumble and fall.
So I’ve been asking God to help me heed, really discern what it is that He has for me and not miss the opportunity He gives to me to walk in the good works that He has laid before me so I can do my part (in faith, by His strength, and by the power of the blood of Christ) in His body and His kingdom so that I might be a reflection of Him and His obedience, as He was obedient, to the point of death, to the Father to fulfill the ministry that God gave Him, which sets me free. I know have the freedom, the liberty to choose to walk in the Lord’s will in my life. I can choose to not use my liberty to gratify the desires of my flesh, the things that I want to do or feel like doing, but to truly care for my family and the people around me, in love.