Pushing a Rope vs. Ministry

When you come up against difficult immoveable people, and they do not want to comply with your request, it is as frustrating and impossible to accomplish your goal as it is to push a rope or herd cats. People who do not wish to change will never ever do so no matter what you say or even do. They are more likely to change some with actions as opposed to words most of the time, but neither will change a hardened mind or heart unless that person wants or decides to do it. So what is the point of ministry? Ah, the very great secret is that ministry actually has nothing to do with us. We can accomplish work but absolutely can not accomplish the point of ministry at all. We are quite helpless in the matter. Futile as pushing a rope or herding cats. The goal of ministry (opposite of much public opinion these days) truly is and forever should be to win souls to the Lord for their eternal salvation and God’s eternal glory. He loves all His created children superbly and perfectly and does not want any of them to perish, so obedient people of His minister to those lost to win them to the Lord and accomplish this. However, we can not do it. We can say the right words and do the right things, which fulfills our contrite obedience to God, but we can not close the deal. We can not push a rope. It is impossible. Like spinning your wheels and not moving. HOWEVER, and here is the part I like, God does that work! He looks into the heart of the man or woman you ministered to and determines if pride in their heart is so pounded into them that they can be moved to repentance or not. He determines if there can be found the necessary dosage of humbleness for salvation to stick. Those who can and will be moved, He does the work of drawing them to Himself. You are still helping set the stage for the Master’s grand performance in the play of salvation but without the Master, there would be no show. This is for 2 reasons I can think of. One reason is that God knows everything about everyone He made and knows if they are willing to be saved and teachable. Secondly, if we could accomplish that task, we would be very tempted to lose our own salvation in our grandiose image of our power it would create and we would have these churches named after people and focused on a particular person rather than God. And we have all seen that and should shudder. So, our goal of ministry is not actually to save the world because only Jesus Christ can do that. Our goal in mind is try is to do the work needed in ourselves (being humble, praying, reading the Bible, obeying our promptings, living the fruits of the Spirit, etc.) to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. So ministry becomes a self sacrifice, much like taking up our crosses and following Him daily. So ministry is not a calling of a person called a “minister” but every Christ follower ever. That means me and that means you. We are responsible for us and our decisions and everything else is God’s work. Stop pushing ropes and start ministering.