Don’t Think It All Depends On You

One of the problems I have faced in ministry is when I have gotten to a point that I thought things really did depend on me. That is such an unhealthy place to operate because viewing ministry like that takes God out of the center and replaces it with self. Usually that replacement is not an intentional action but it still happens. Looking back on various ministries I have been a part of I can put my finger on a couple of instances where I really felt that if I wasn’t doing the ministry that it would fall to pieces. You get to a point that you feel like things just can’t go on without you or that things wouldn’t be as good if someone else took them on or that things would just fall apart without your leadership. But that just isn’t the case.

When I look back on ministries that I did have to leave behind I find situations that improved. God was at work doing things I wasn’t aware of. God put the right people in place, pulled things together and made ministries that were even healthier than when I was a part of them. It is a good reminder that in all that we do we remember God is the one who really makes things work. We are just instruments and we have to be humble.

The reality is, every single one of us will be replaced at some point in time. One hundred years from now things will be different with different names and faces and talents and ministries. We have to trust that God can and will work things out. When we start thinking and ministering from a mindset that it all depends on us we need to remember that it all depends on God and that we need to humble ourselves and minister out of a spirit and attitude of total dependence on God.

The man Jesus called the greatest man born of a woman said this about his ministry, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30). There is much to be learned from that attitude that will allow God to use us even more in his service.

About mattdabbs
I am a minister, husband, and father. My wife and I live and minister in Saint Petersburg, Florida. My primary ministry responsibilities include: small groups, 20s and 30s, involvement, and adult education.

7 Responses to Don’t Think It All Depends On You

  1. LukeD says:

    This is a great post and a great reminder!

  2. Tina says:

    This all sounds good, but someone has to: turn off the lights, set up the chairs, buy food and drink, etc. etc. I think one of the problems I have with “let God do it” is that I get the picture of saying a prayer, then sitting back and doing nothing and poof, the results magically happen.

    I have a son with autism. We don’t know at this point if he will be able to live on his own. It’s fine to say, “Have faith and let God take care of it,” but God is not going to “magically” provide the resources we need. I’m not going to say a prayer, look up, and find a pile of money on the table to pay for his care. We have to go and earn it, save it, and spend it properly. Someone is not going to just up and ask, can we be Matthew’s guardians if anything happens to him? We have to look for that person and ask the questions.

    God forgive me for my lack of faith, but in my son’s case, sometimes I DO think it all depends on me!

    • mattdabbs says:

      Tina,/

      You sure have a lot on your plate. I really can see where you are coming from on this and I wish there was something I could do to help. At the end of the day we might be turning on lights, putting on clothes, doing the dishes, etc but it is God who gives us the strength and will to do what needs to be done. Praise God for that because on my own I am nothing.

      Tina…I would like to send you a copy of Megan’s Secrets by Mike Cope if you will email me your full name and address to – matthewdabbs@hotmail.com

      Thanks for commenting and God bless

    • Ken Sublett says:

      The “Chicken Soup for the Soul” sect (my wife deprogrammed herself) view of faith is from the perspective of a wet noodle. We are baptized to become disciples and the rest is often busy work. God works HIS will for good but not everything that happens to us as good. I understand the autism burden from remote and one can never say that “it is God’s will” because that says that God caused it and that might be a fatal conclusion. Bad things happen without it being anyone’s fault. It is true that we can rise to meet the needs but bad things are not sent to us from God. The word LOGOS is the opposite of PATHOS which is “using my own experiences.”

      Those who Lade Burdens not required to be A School of Christ tend to neutralize the death of Jesus who died to give us rest FROM the laded burden imposed by Scribes and Pharisees, but Jesus invited the twos and threes to come and rest “outside the camp” and “Learn of Me.” That is the meaning of “gospel” or good news.

      In the meantime, Jesus will ask for an accounting of what He gave us: not to prove what He has done but to prove that we pass the “obedient” test which Jesus set as an approved example.

      Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

      Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

      The Gospel promised to Abraham and defined by Paul in Galatians 3 has been restored and that LEAPFROGS the Monarchy from which comes all of that “busy work imposed.”

      Genesis 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
      Genesis 26:5 Because that Abraham
      …….obeyed my voice,
      …….and kept my charge,
      …….my commandments,
      …….my statutes,
      …….and my laws.
      Genesis 26:6 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar: [He obeyed]

      Ministers are servants and Paul commanded that Timothy work so he could support the Agape which was to “feed the poor on their way hoping to find a job.” He would also understand the burdens of the “audience.”

      There are moms with such lovely kids in every congregation. But, it never keeps them from setting up the chairs. I applaud your faith which “comes from hearing and experiencing.”

      Maybe someone would set up a “Let’s Not Go to Workshops and use the Money to set up an Autism Fund.”

      Ken

    • mattdabbs says:

      Tina…thanks for your note. I will get that book out to you on Monday! God bless

  3. Johnny Mullens says:

    I am a life-long Church of Christ member. I would love to volunteer at my church, but I don’t because of people who think it all depends on them. We have a preacher that gets mad if people want to comment in his Bible classes because he is arrogant and thinks what he says is superior, even though studies show most people prefer interactive classes to lectures.
    Many people do things in church for ulterior motives – to be seen, to get power, to feel superior, because they compete with others. Also, so many people, including me, have gifts that they aren’t using because there are so many people who condemn by their opinions even if their opinions are contrary to scripture. I can do a standup comedy act on pious-masked people who don’t realize how Satan is using them.

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