As we discussed in last week’s blog called Are You Building the Kingdom or a “Machine”? Part 1, we identified the difference between being ministry-minded and kingdom-minded. Having our primary focus be Christian living or ministry accomplishments is what we are calling the “machine.”
We all want to be the best Christian we can be, and we all want to serve God to the best of our abilities. But God’s main interest is knowing that we are engaged with His kingdom and partnering with what He is doing. It is a more fruitful option to let His works become ours than to try hard to do the best we know to do on our own strength.
If you want to assess whether you are more focused on building your machine or building His kingdom, here is a continued list of questions to ask yourself:
4. Do you measure success by accomplishments or by fruit?In my blog entitled Are You Too Busy Pleasing the Lord?, we looked at how we tend to feel better about our contributions to God by how much we are getting done. But He isn’t looking for more checkmarks on our task lists. He’s looking for something of much greater worth.
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples,” (John 15:8).
He just wants us to bear good fruit. That doesn’t come by doing, it comes by abiding. What makes you feel better, exhausting yourself with good deeds or being saturated with His presence? Fruit = good works to God.
- Kingdom-minded people let their good works come from an overflow of the abiding presence of Christ within them.
5. Are you serving God on your own or in partnership with other kingdom-minded people?
Ministry-focused people tend to see their ministry as the end all of what needs to be accomplished in their world. “Ministry” and “kingdom” are not synonymous. Your ministry is a portion of the kingdom, but there is so much more that you need.
To fulfill our roles in the Body of Christ accurately, we need to understand that “Body of Christ” doesn’t mean your church. It means the entire family. People who try to “Lone Ranger”-it somehow tend to have a hard time breaking past some form of invisible barrier. We need one another so we can receive and contribute graces that are lacking in each other.
- Kingdom-minded people find other kingdom-minded people to build alliances with.
6. Are you building a name for yourself or a name for Christ?
John the Baptist was the big dog of his day. He was a prophet quickly rising in the ranks of popularity. He had people from all realms of society coming to follow his every move.
But when he came into proximity with the Son of God, he knew who the true Big Dog was. Recognizing who really deserved the glory, he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease,” (John 3:30).
It’s easy to have a secret ambition to gain prestige in the eyes of man. It’s not bad to desire significance. What is bad is to build towards that rather than to make the name of Jesus famous. It’s His name that is above all names! (Philippians 2:9)
- Kingdom-minded people find fulfillment in exalting Jesus and giving all glory to Him.
You have a calling that is much greater than what you can do on your own wisdom or strength. Thankfully, God never calls us to something beyond what He will provide for us. Rather than us trying to serve Him by our own means, we have the opportunity to enjoy our relationship with Him and our fellow companions.
He has set us up for success. But to Him, success is simply abiding with the King in His Kingdom!
What are some ways you keep yourself in check with being kingdom-minded versus ministry-minded?
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