I was flipping through my Facebook timeline some weeks ago when I saw this post of how God healed a mad man by the hands of this young brother during the evangelism of his church. There was this long story of how he saw the man and how he didn’t want to go near him until the Holy Spirit moved him to go and he prayed for the man and the man was healed. Then there was the spray of pictures, before and after pictures, pictures of the man in rags, pictures of him eating, pictures of the man at the barbing salon, pictures of both of them together… pictures, pictures, pictures!
At another time, I was going through my WhatsApp status when I saw the screenshot of a WhatsApp chat between a brother & another person. The chat showed him encouraging the lady and ‘ministering’ to her. He (in the chat) encouraged this lady to be closer to God and try to attend church more. He added a comment to the image something along the lines of “I’m on fire for God, doing God’s work… If you need counseling, contact me”!
Familiar stories right?
You’ve seen people who speak big about the things the Lord does through them. Or maybe you’ve yourself spoken big about what the Lord did via your hand. Worse still, they speak about it in public, on social media. They do a 30 days prayer & fasting and we all must know about it. They go for an outreach and social media is full of pictures. We’re in a generation where no one wants to do any service silently anymore. The focus is no longer what I can silently do for God, the focus now is what can I do, that people will quickly see? We have moved from a focus on the right content to a focus on the packaging. We can ignore praying and seeking God’s face for the ministry and yet put all our efforts on its publicity!
Who are your teachers? Who are you following?
Hmm… So unlike Jesus! He would heal a leper in Mark 1 and would instruct him not to say it to any man. He would touch the blind and the sick and would disappear as quickly as possible that no one should identify the healing with him. Where is this generation learning from?
Isaiah 42:2 (MSG) He won’t call attention to what he does with loud speeches or gaudy parades.
This is the standard, the pattern set by Jesus himself. This was the pattern shown to us, that the apostles also followed! Where did we learn to publicise our labors? Who taught you to minister small and talk big? Who are your teachers, that showed you how to place priority on a public image, than the real help that a man receives from ministry? Who taught you? Who are you following and who are you copying? Jesus? I know you hide under the guise of “God is good, he did this and this…” but you’re careful to put your name behind it or worse still your face!
Hear Jesus speak about it directly…
Matthew 6:1-4 (MSG)
1 “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.
2 “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—’playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get.
3 When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks.
4 Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.
Beloved, after you have done all, say “I am an unprofitable servant, I have done that which is my duty to do” (Luke 17:10)
Hmm… Beloved brother, if God allows you touch his work (in any little way), don’t make a performance out of it. When God permits you to help someone, just do it, do it simply, quietly and unobtrusively. Don’t call attention to yourself. The real purpose of ministry is to help people. It is to bring lives to stability in Christ, do that and let it go.
The believers’ acts of righteousness should be done silently. Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing was Jesus’ command in verse 3 (KJV). Whether it’s giving, fasting or praying, do it in secret. Whether it’s preaching, missions or discipling, do it as silently as you can.
Lest you get your applause and that’s all you’ll ever get as a reward! It looks like a man cannot get a reward twice for the same labors. Once men see it and clap for you, that’s all, brother. The moment it becomes public and people begin to make nice comments, that’s the reward you’ll ever get, sister. The last part of Matt 6 verse 2 says “they get applause, true, but that’s all they get”!
It has only been by God’s mercy that any one of us have been allowed to touch God’s work. As young people, please touch it humbly and don’t tie the work to yourself. Reach out genuinely to others, love them deeply without wanting to be spoken about. Ask for the grace to labor selflessly. Plead that God helps you to minister without wanting to be identified with it. And when God moves via your feeble hands, return the glory to him sincerely and disappear from there!
John 6:15 (MSG) Jesus saw that in their enthusiasm, they were about to grab him and make him king, so he slipped off and went back up the mountain to be by himself.
The Correct Response!
It is normal to feel excitement when something great has been achieved via your hands. The disciples felt the same way too when they cast out demons and returned (Luke 10:17-20). How did they handle it?
1. They returned to Jesus, not to men.
When you feel the excitement, return to God in worship and not to men. Go back to God and give HIM all the credit and the glory and do this silently, personally. Return like the 70 He sent out and like the disciples who “told Him all they had done and taught” (Luke 9:10)
2. They put Jesus at the center when speaking!
And if we must speak to men at all, we must do it humbly and carefully. We should talk of HIS wondrous acts in the congregation of the righteous, in church. However, care must be taken that it is done sincerely and that Jesus is put at the center of our testimony. The emphasis should be on what He did, not what we did, not even what He did through us.
May God teach us wisdom and help us to be like Jesus even in this our generation in Jesus name.
Has anyone ever had such an experience before, kindly share for our benefit!