When serving in any church ministry, one can feel the pressure: we want to do our best and stay on our “A” game. But how is such a thing measured? As the saying goes, we can be our own worst critic. In my opinion, this results in some harsh and potentially unreasonable expectations. A by-product of this is a little too much self-focus, and a lot less God focus. John 3:30 tells us that we must decrease so that God can increase. God gives us gifts and talents to use in His service; and practice & preparation are necessary ingredients that WE provide. But there are crucial ingredients that God must provide.
Once when I was feeling that anxious pressure in ministry, God interrupted my thoughts & asked me this question, “When you cook, do you cook all of the same meals? No, I don’t, I thought. Then He asked, “And when you cook meals, do they all taste the same?” No, they don’t. Then God made a puzzling statement to me, “Yet you continue to use the same pots, pans & baking dishes over and over and over.”
I couldn’t wait to see where God was going with this. He began to reveal that I am the pot, pan or baking dish. I am a vessel that He is using. But there is criteria for using the same pots, pans & dishes. They must be available, clean & in good repair. I thought of the thousands of meals I’ve prepared over the years in those same pots, pans and baking dishes. Now imagine various meals and variety of tastes and all came from the same vessels.
The dish does not determine the quality of the meal, but the meal cannot be created without the dish. God knew this would move my focus away from me and onto the master Chef.
2 Timothy 2:21
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