From a stirring account about King David in the Old Testament we learn a foundational principle: success in our own God-given ministries will follow our loyal help and service to others in their ministries.
1 Chronicles 12 is the inspiring story of the men of Israel rallying to David to make him Israel’s king after King Saul’s recent death. David did not know the true inner thoughts of each arriving soldier, so we hear him declaring what he expected of them (vs. 17): “If you have come to me in peace to help me, I am ready for you to join me.”
God had called David to be Israel’s next king, after Saul’s death. Facing this great calling and task, David was looking for loyal helpers, for soldiers and others whose heart’s cry was to support him in his God-given call.
God honored the desire of David’s heart and put these Spirit-inspired words into the mouth of Amasai, one of the leading men coming to David’s side (18): “We are yours, David! We are with you, son of Jesse!” I have pioneered and pastored churches in New York and Oregon. And I can declare with certainty that having loyal, supportive men and women “with me,” submitted and committed to helping me fulfill God’s calling, was vitally important. I could not have done the work without those loyal saints at my side in the work. King David understood this principle.
Still under the Spirit’s inspiration (vs. 18), Amasai said further to David: “Success, success to you, and success to those who help you.” The Holy Spirit was declaring a timeless principle: Devote yourself to the fulfillment and success of another man’s calling, and you will find God honoring that by bringing success to you in your calling. Let me quote verse 18 again. Ponder that principle as you hear Amasai’s Holy Spirit-inspired words:
Again, what is the principle? Simply this: God will honor your loyalty to another man’s ministry by giving you success in whatever He calls you to do. And we see this immediately reflected in David’s response to these men who were pledging allegiance and loyal support to him (vs. 18b): “So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands.” Remember, these men coming to David’s support were loyal men. For example, vs. 33 says, “the men of Zebulun … [came] to help David with undivided loyalty.”
Let’s turn to the New Testament and see Jesus summarize this principle in one simple statement.
The context was a steward managing another man’s finances. The underlying principle is broadly applicable to all of us who are stewards of the callings, gifts, and grace of God. Jesus had already said in vs. 10, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.”
The Lord is telling us that He expects us loyally and faithfully to serve and help others in their callings and ministries. If we’re “not faithful … [in serving] another man’s” ministry, God is not likely to give us our own ministry.
I mentioned earlier having planted and pastored churches in New York and Oregon. But prior to the first church plant, for nearly ten years I had been happily involved serving the ministries of the pastor and other God-called people in our church in Alaska. God asked me in a variety of ways to give myself to the support of other men and their callings. Then, in God’s timing nearly ten years later, He called me to take on a pastoral leadership ministry of my own. That earlier support work was not burdensome; it was fulfilling. Some tasks even seemed relatively “minor.” But remember, Jesus is looking for our faithfulness in what may seem to be “the least” before entrusting us with “the much.”
In closing, I encourage you to do some self-examination. Has God called you to serve Him? I can safely answer that with a “yes” in each of your lives. God desires to use you. Next, ask yourself, how can I help others in my church fulfill what God has called them to do? Of course, you alone can’t do it all. Just let God lead you to one or two brothers or sisters in your church who are actively involved in leadership of their own God-given callings. Volunteer to help them.
Live by the attitude of those who came to help King David with undivided loyalty: “We are yours, David! We are with you, son of Jesse! Success, success to you, and success to those who help you.”
God will appreciate and bless you for your loyal help, constancy, and support to others in their ministries. And in His good timing, He will give you new ministries, or He’ll enlarge the scope and success of your present ministries. The principles are timeless:
Search out someone to serve and help in their ministry. And do it with undivided loyalty! That is a key to opening the door to receive your own fruitful ministry from the Lord.
Let me add one closing thought: every ministry that comes from the Lord is important. Don’t compare one with another. Whatever God places into your life to do — nursery worker, youth leader, greeter, worship team, church usher, nursing home visitor, personal evangelizer, elder, deacon, role model and Christian witness to your co-workers, or any one of hundreds more ministry activities inside or outside the church — every one is important to God. Find someone to serve loyally in their ministry, and you’ll find God giving you more callings and ministry abilities of your own.
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©2017, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.