“Joe, when you really start trusting those other boys, you will feel a power at work within you that is far beyond anything you’ve ever imagined. Sometimes, you will feel as if you have rowed right off the planet and are rowing among the stars.” Brown, Daniel James. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (p. 235). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Evangelical Christians, especially ministry leaders, have a can-do mentality. We trust the Lord in all areas of our lives, or at least those are the words we use. Yet too often we act as if the work of the church depends entirely on us. Sometimes it gets so bad that we start thinking: God is so lucky to have me! And yet the the work of the kingdom is always the work of God. The Lord uses us. We have the responsibility of working faithfully, and with excellence, but the work is always the work of God. Jesus describes this in a parable in Mark 4:
26 Then Jesus said, “This is what God’s kingdom is like. It’s as though someone scatters seed on the ground, 27 then sleeps and wakes night and day. The seed sprouts and grows, but the farmer doesn’t know how. 28 The earth produces crops all by itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full head of grain. 29 Whenever the crop is ready, the farmer goes out to cut the grain because it’s harvest time.”
The farmer doesn’t make the seed grow. We don’t make the church grow. That should put us in our place. Still, when we engage in ministry, working and trusting the Lord at the same time, we see God do amazing things. Something occurs that we recognize as beyond our power or our imagination. It causes us to pause in wonder, and in praise.
We thank God for the privilege of serving. We rejoice as we see the kingdom advance. We humbly admit: this is not my doing; it is the work of the Lord.
So the Apostle Paul bursts out in praise in Ephesians 3: 20 Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; 21 glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always. Amen.