“The Holy Spirit came down on them,
just as on us at the beginning.”
– Acts 11:15
How are you serving the Lord today? If you’re not working at a Vacation Bible School or serving on a mission trip to a foreign land, you may be tempted to think you’re not really doing any kind of ministry on this Monday morning in the middle of July. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This very mundane Monday can be full of the sacred, dedicated to the holy, and rich in ministry…for any believer.
In Acts 11, the apostle Peter seemed a little surprised that the Holy Spirit had come down upon and moved into the Gentile folks he spoke to about Jesus. He’d barely gotten use to the fact that the Holy Spirit could indwell any Jew who believed in Jesus as the Messiah. Peter had probably assumed that when Jesus promised the coming of the Holy Spirit in the upper room right before He died on the cross He was only promising Him to the twelve who were gathered there. But when the fire of the Holy Spirit heated things up it was in the hearts and souls of 120, not 12. And later the apostles would witness the Holy Spirit moving into the lives of even non-Jews. With time and experience they learned that the Holy Spirit would reside within all those who followed Jesus.
With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we are all walking, talking, serving disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit comes with a calling. He’s not here just to make our lives a little easier; He comes into our lives to give us power, direction, wisdom, spiritual gifts, passion, and purpose. We’re called to share the gospel, minister to the hurting, shed light in the darkness, love the unloved, and teach the truth. And we have the one thing required to be successful in that lifestyle of ministry – the Holy Spirit.
Today I’m at my desk answering e-mails, catching up on correspondence about speaking engagements, tending to details about my soon-to-be-published book, sending out magazine queries and making arrangements for women’s ministry events at my church. That may sound like glamorous ministry (if you’re really insecure!). Believe me, it’s not. I even struggle to see it as significant or worthwhile at times. But it’s the work God has given me to do today.
I’m also doing loads of laundry my husband and daughter brought home from youth camp, cooking dinner for my guys (Abby’s off at another camp), taking care of my dogs, dusting the furniture and running errands. If I’m not careful I could easily categorize these tasks as non-ministry while the stuff done at my desk seems more “ministry like.” But the truth is, whatever work God gives me for this day is my ministry. If the Holy Spirit is working through me to give me the energy, the right motivation, the sweet spirit, and the grateful heart to do the job well, then I’m ministering well. But if I cut Him out of it and try to do my household jobs and serve my family on my own, neglecting to see my every moment as ministry, then I’m just operating in the flesh and nothing I do will amount to much.
We all have work to do. Who we do that work with determines whether it’s aimless, worthless, trivial and mundane or whether it’s significant, meaningful, and even sacred. Invite the Holy Spirit to join you, even flow through you, as you do your given tasks today and see if you don’t feel just a touch more purposeful and intentional about your work. He can make all the difference. He is the one difference between just living and living the sacred life.