“When God Puts You On The Bench”
April 8, 2017
As Christians, a lot of times we will pursue ministry endeavors and relationships with others in ministry, attempting to wholly surround ourselves with the things of God, to be busy “doing the Father’s work.” Many of us are called to be ministers of the gospel and as such there are times that we may put ministry ahead of our own relationship with the Lord. Another phrase often used is, “putting the cart before the horse.” When this is done long enough, there is a point when everything we have built will begin to unravel. Emotions may ride high, discouragement can creep in, tensions may rise, confusion can even set in. What we once loved and were passionate about may become a burden, we can lose our joy and become disillusioned. These things happen to us when we take our eyes off of the Lord, when we stop ministering out of our relationship with Him and instead only minister out of our gifts, talents and callings. The Bible says in the book of Romans, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” That means that the gifts and callings remain in tact and operational regardless of the spiritual condition of the individual. When these things take place we are in danger of missing God and ministering to others in error.
God will often give us a season of time to recognize we have gone off course and correct our alignment with Him, by Holy Spirit, Who “teaches us all things.” When things begin to unravel in our lives and in our ministries, He may call us into a “time out” period, where we are placed on the bench. It may take a period of time, putting down those things that have stood in the way of our relationship with Him, getting alone with Him in prayer and strengthening our walk before He will release us back into active ministry. When this happens it is not meant as cruel punishment from God, but is meant to draw us closer to Him and to bring us back into alignment with His perfect will for our lives. The Word of God says He “corrects those He loves.”
It is very possible to have a real, every day, two way relationship with the Lord. If you make the effort to set aside time every day to spend just with Him, relationship will come. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit, to give you an encounter, to reveal Himself to you and help you understand His truth. Make up your mind to go after Him. You will become aware of His presence, you’ll grow stronger spiritually, you’ll begin to recognize your role in His Kingdom and the authority He has given you. He will fill you up daily and He will walk with you on a journey you could never imagine. The impact of things that troubled you before will suddenly begin to seem so small in comparison to Him, when you know He truly has you in the palm of His hand and that He is truly taking care of you. It is out of that experience with Him, that relationship, that causes rivers to gush forth whenever you open your mouth. When you have encountered Him, you can’t help but to give glory and honor to Him. Jesus said, “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God AND His righteousness and all these (other) things will be added to you.” He won’t keep any good thing from you. He is the Savior, the Restorer, the Healer, the Deliverer, the Baptizer. He takes the ordinary, the forgotten, the overlooked…the least of these and uses them to do the greatest of things because it brings glory to Him. We need to start realizing that.
So… if as you are reading this you find that you have also been on the bench for a while, be encouraged. God is not done with you. He’s only giving you the perfect opportunity to go deeper into His presence and enter into the journey of a lifetime. If you’ve messed up or felt like you’ve missed it, just repent, and get into His presence. He…makes… ALL things new.