God’s Work, God’s Way: A Guide for Successful Ministry

God's Work, God's Way

God’s Work, God’s Way: A Guide for Successful Ministry

 “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not drive it out?’ And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith . . . this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.’”

Matthew 17:19 -21

Dear Family & Friends,

God’s work must be done in God’s way. Have you ever noticed how when you start something new you are incredibly attentive to detail, but when you’ve gotten comfortable you sometimes get sloppy? Jesus’ disciples had been given the authority to do miracles and cast out demons, but then one day they failed in their mission and this failure created confusion and distress. That’s when they had to get back to the basics: God’s work can only be done in His power by faith!

The Gospels: 4 Accounts

The gospels are four accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus as told by four different disciples. The accounts are told from differing viewpoints, but cover much of the same material. When reading a story in one gospel it is helpful to read the same story in another gospel to get more details.

Matthew recorded Jesus’ instructions to His disciples on how to do God’s work and minister to those around them, and Mark and Luke, in their gospels, verified the same information. Jesus granted His closest followers authority over unclean spirits, including the power to cast them out. He also gave them the power to heal every kind of disease and sickness in His name.

He instructed them not to worry about what they would say when persecuted but to rely on the Holy Spirit who would give them the needed words. The Gospel writers recorded some of the successes the disciples experienced on their first attempts. But then each eyewitness records a discouraging setback in the disciples’ healing ministry.

 A Discouraging Setback

While Jesus, Peter, James, and John were away on the Mount of Transfiguration, a man brought his suffering son to the rest of the disciples for healing. The young man, possessed by a demon, would often have seizures that caused him to fall into the fire or water. His father was desperate for help. Sadly the disciples could not be of assistance. Everything they tried failed.

So when Jesus came back from his retreat to the mountain, the desperate father fell on his knees imploring Him to intervene. “I brought my son to your disciples,” he explained, “but they could not cure him.”

Despite Jesus’ frustration with the unbelief of those around Him, He asked for the boy to be brought to Him. Mark depicts the scene as the demon threw the boy into a convulsion, causing him to roll around on the ground and foam at the mouth. After some discussion with the broken father about his faith, Jesus commanded the spirit to come out of the boy and not to enter him again. Grasping the comatose boy by the hand, Jesus raised him and he got up.

 God’s Work Must Be Done God’s Way

Later, the discouraged and embarrassed disciples asked Jesus why they hadn’t been able to help. He gently but firmly pointed them back to the basics. They had been impotent in this situation because of their lack of faith. The kind of problem that had confronted them would only go out by prayer and fasting.

These men who had started out so well in ministry had gotten sloppy. They forgot that their success hung on their faith and reliance on God’s power. Jesus reminded them that even the faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains and do the impossible.

 Getting Back to the Basics

I can’t help but think about myself and how easy it is to get sloppy in ministry. We start out well, praying over each new endeavor, incredibly attentive to God’s instructions and relying on Him to show up in power. But then we get comfortable, or maybe so busy that we don’t have as much time to spend in prayer. So we say a few quick words to heaven and get on with our responsibilities wondering later why discouragement and lack of success are the results.

Like the disciples we need to get back to the basics. God’s work can only be successful when done in His way and in His power. We need to bathe all of our efforts in prayer, sharpen our faith through the Word, and rely on His strength, wisdom, and power if we truly want to help and bless people,

 Prayer and Faith

Are you new at helping and pointing people to Jesus? Stay attentive to the details of God’s plan for success and move forward in faith.

Are you a veteran “people helper” but discouraged because your efforts don’t seem to produce much fruit? Then get back to the basics.

Remember, God’s work can only be done in God’s power. Refocus your eyes on the Lord and rely on Him. Your prayer and faith – no matter how small – can do the impossible, move mountains and bless people in ways you could never imagine!!



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Hi, I'm Sandy! 

I write inspirational letters based on the Bible that share words of hope, encouragement, truth, and healing to my children and anyone else who longs for a mama's touch.


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