2 Kings 3:11 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD, that we may inquire of the LORD by him? And one of the king of Israel’s servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah.
Sometimes we forget that the first four letters of the word ministry spell out the word “mini.” Ministry is never about becoming popular or famous or lording over others. Ministry involves decreasing while allowing others to increase. Two of the greatest men of the Bible (Joshua and Elisha) got their start as ministers to their predecessors. Before Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan, he was the minister of Moses (Joshua 1:1). His ministry entailed submitting himself to the needs of the man of God. Elisha, another great leader, did not begin as the great prophet of God that performed miracles. He, instead, began as Elijah’s minister (1 Kings 19:19-21). His ministry included the “lofty task” of pouring water on the hands of Elijah. Far too many young men graduate Bible college with the intention of making a name for themselves rather than humbly serving a God who humbled Himself (Philippians 2:8).
- (For children): All of us should have an intense desire to do great things for the Lord. Interestingly, the Lord defined greatnessas serving others (Matthew 20:26-28). Think about how much God humbled Himself when He came to earth. He was God manifest in the flesh and could have demanded that everyone serve Him. Instead, He served others (Philippians 2:5-8).
- (For everyone): What are some things you can think of that might qualify asministry? If there is a need to fill, areyou busy doing those things? Are you doing those things to gain advantage, or are you doing them for the glory of God?
- Who is more well known, Moses or Joshua? Who is more well known, Elijah or Elisha? What does this teach us about the sacrifices of ministry? Are you willing to make those sacrifices to insure that God’s will is done no matter who gets the credit?
- Ask the Lord to give you the humility to be a minister.
- Ask God to teach you how to minister to others.