As we ended our Colossians Bible Study video series, we saw the apostle Paul end with a special message for one man. He asked the church to tell Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” These are heavy words that we can all receive. We could read this as, “What has God called you to? Go and do whatever that is.” Paul was worried about Archippus neglecting his ministry. We should be worried about neglecting ours as well!
Is there anything on your heart that continually comes up over and over? Do you have a burden that you cannot seem to shake? Is the Lord regularly pointing you to a certain cause or calling? This is a pretty good indication of what God has planned you. One thing is for certain: the Christian life is not meant to be lived selfishly. Our goal is not to sit on our hands and live in complacency or laziness. We all have a ministry to fulfill. Step into that ministry today.
God may give you a vision for a non-profit or a church plant. He may put a godly vision in you for how you parent your kids. Your burden may be for the other side of town or for impoverished children. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small you think it is, it is crucial. Every calling is massive because it is ordained by God. He cares about the large non-profit and he cares for the person helping impoverished children under the radar. Your parenting vision is no less important than the pastor’s vision. The important thing is making sure that we are fulfilling the visions given by the Lord.
Why fulfill your ministry?
Our obedience to the ministries God gives us is more important than you may realize. Why? Let’s start with an angle that you may have never considered. There are “selfish” reasons to fulfill your ministry. For instance, Isaiah 58 talks about how our healing and our breakthrough happens as we spend ourselves and pour ourselves out for others. So waiting for a magical breakthrough may actually hinder us from healing. God shows us that our joy and healing moment is found in our sacrificial obedience to loving and serving others. Jeremiah 29 says much of the same.
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:7)
This verse shows us again that our welfare (could be translated as peace) is found in the welfare or peace of others. God is essentially saying, “Your sacrificial life is actually a benefit to you. Your peace is found as you help others find their peace.” This is a beautiful thing to self-centered people like us! We think that living a radical life sounds great but would rid us of the things we ultimately want. God, however, thinks differently. He tells us that our radical life of laying ourselves down is actually more beneficial to us than living for ourselves. We get what we need as we spend ourselves trying to help others get what they need. What a gracious design!
The next reason to fulfill our ministries is an obvious one. Who is going to fulfill your ministry if you don’t? My calling may look completely different than yours. It is not as if we are all called to the same thing and can pick up each other’s slack. A ministry that is not obediently fulfilled will most likely never be fulfilled. Therefore, the fruit of that ministry will never come to fruition. The souls God wants you to reach, the burdens He wants you to bear, or the light He wants you to shine will all be left unfulfilled if you don’t decide to obediently act. No more delaying. Step into your ministry today!
Time can be a killer to our visions. “One day, when things are more clear, I will step into my calling,” we repeatedly say. The longer we wait, however, the less likely we are to do anything. It is hard to take risks and step out in faith when we become comfortable. This is why we must take Paul’s message to heart. If we do not act, the fruit of our obedience is forfeited. God has called you to a ministry. If He wanted someone else to fulfill it, He would have called someone else. Therefore, decide to take a step today!
I do not know what you are called to, but I do know two things for sure. First, God has absolutely called you to something. Whether you think it is big or small, God has called you. Second, your calling is not comfortable Christianity. If you find life to be comfortable, or you seem to be lazily going through the motions, I would almost guarantee that you are not fulfilling your ministry. Comfort will kill our callings. God calls us to step out in faith. As we do, He will meet our obedience with grace upon grace to empower us through the uncertainty. Do you trust Him?
Paul’s message for Archippus at the end of our Colossians study was very timely for me. I pray that it will be timely for you as well! There is a broken world all around you that is in need of you acting on your calling. Fulfill your ministry. Your peace is found as you sacrificially pour yourself out for the peace of others. Only you can do what God has planned for you. That is a beautiful thing.