Anyone in any kind of ministry knows the huge struggle it can be at times.
I think our western view of ministry is that it should be “struggle free” if we are doing it right… and should be evidently successful based on the numbers.
But that certainly wasn’t Paul’s perspective.
Paul tells the Colossians that he is “toiling, struggling” for them. He talks about how “great a struggle” his work is on their behalf.
Of course it is going to be a struggle. All hell is bent on thwarting kingdom good from happening in the people to whom we are sent, and it is set on our destruction in the process.
But there is a phrase Paul uses in talking about the struggle that makes all the difference in the world. He says he is struggling for the Colossians, “with all His (God’s) energy that He powerfully works within me.”
Can you and I even imagine how much energy that represents?
This is why we have to live and minister in a daily acknowledgement of and invitation for the Holy Spirit to bring that “powerful energy” to work in us, in and through everything we do every day.
Most of the time my first response to a life or ministry challenge is to bring all of my energy, my experience, my intuition to bear on the situation. Only when that doesn’t seem to be working do I think to invite the Holy Spirit to work in and through me.
Here is the issue: I don’t believe that the “powerful energy” of God at work in us is automatic.
My Dad used to say that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He is not going to force His way into a situation where He has not been invited and may not be wanted.
So, let’s invite Him into every situation and ask Him that as we struggle in life or ministry, that we do it with all His energy that powerfully works in me!