When Ministries Die
By Jennifer Slattery
“They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior.” Deuteronomy 32:15b
Imagine forsaking your way of life to answer a call, pouring your energy into following God, however He leads, only to learn, at the end of a long, difficult journey, your efforts will come to naught. Those people you prayed for will turn away from God. Those relationships you fought for will fall apart anyway. That ministry you built and nurtured and grew from nothing but a vague idea will die completely.
Some 3,500 years ago*, God called a meek shepherd to leave his way of life in Midian to accept a monumental task—to free God’s people from centuries of oppression. After some hesitation, this man, named Moses, agreed, successfully liberated the Israelites, and led them to the land God promised them.
But this wasn’t just a rescue mission. Through Moses, God was changing worldviews and revealing His heart and will to the world.
Moses’ life is an example of surrendered obedience. Though he never entered the land God had promised, when his time on earth concluded, he could look back over all the lives he’d touched and imagine, with confidence, the legacy he’d leave.
Except that wasn’t what happened. As Moses was about to die, God said, in essence, “Everything you’ve worked for, everything I’ve called you to, will fail. The people I loved, provided for, and protected are going to rebel against Me.” (Deut. 32)
They would enter the Promised land as God had promised, and in response, the people would reject their Creator. God knew this, before He led them out of Egypt and drew them near.
Because God’s faithfulness is never dependent on our actions.
Nor is our ministry dependent on results.
Though it had to sting, to hear his life’s work would soon deteriorate, Moses could die in peace, because he’d done as God had commanded.
When we do the same, and daily step out in faith and surrendered obedience, we can celebrate and call this a win, regardless of the results of our efforts.
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Originally published Wednesday, 30 October 2019.