Have you ever wondered why you struggle to do ministry? I know I sure have. I have many times thought “didn’t God give me the vision to do this?” ” All I want to do is to please him, what’s with all the struggling?” Ministry, real ministry is more than meets the eye. Before we can experience the joy of bearing fruit for others, we have to be rooted and grounded in the real things of God, we have to spend time with God and know Him in order to share Him and His love. The more He calls you to reach and lead others the deeper you must go. You can only go as high as your willing to descend, in order to grow larger to bear more weight we have to be hidden deep in him. Most of the time it takes a at least a season before a tree can bear fruit. Some trees never bear fruit because they simply have a shallow root system. Its all about the roots, if your root system is not well developed and strong, then your simply not going to be able to bear good fruit. It’s only when we are rooted and grounded that we can bear fruit that is both attractive to others but more importantly we can be sustained though trials because of our rooting. But before any fruit can come from a tree no matter how small or big it is, that tree has to have a root system that is well developed.
When a seedling grows it both develops its root and leaf, first growing in the unseen way, getting its “tap root” into place and branching out so that as the canopy above that is visible can provide the tree with its needed elements from the seen world, like sunlight and exchanging its life giving oxygen for carbon dioxide, but the roots provide the tree what IT needs in order to survive and thrive and reproduce; water, nutrition and most of all its stability. Its is the unseen things that cause the tree that is visible to grow and to gain its height and stature. Even in times of extreme distress the tree above can suffer loss and survive and blossom again because of the highly protected root system that is not seen.
If we take the cross section of a tree and look we can see that while it has gotten larger each year doubling in size, we can take note of all that its experienced, maybe a fire, a drought, a car wreck, maybe even some boards left over from an abandoned tree house from 30 years ago that are half engulfed by the trunk. While the bark and the leaves look like the substance of the tree to the world, it is in fact the unseen part of the tree that is both its substance and provides its ability to serve its true purpose. What we see even if its scared by a fire, in time, will be encapsulated, while the scar will remain, it will be covered and be overcome by the strength of the substance of the tree. This is true about us as well, we by the love of Jesus, by the joy of the spirit will succumb to the strength of the substance of the his Love. If you look first year growth is very small but so important. It is that early formation that determines how well a tree will do, if it will survive.
Trying to bear fruit to early will only cause damage to the tree, either the fruit will wither in place because there is not enough root system to both sustain the development of the fruit and the tree, second, the fruit could cause the tree to sag or break because of the weight, the tree is simply not strong enough yet, thirdly, violent harm from external winds and storms, because the tree is simply not strong enough to weather the storm its torn or ripped from the ground because of the weight of the fruit.
We like trees are designed to bear fruit, in their due season, some trees never develop their root system, sadly, many Christians also never develop the deep rooted relationship with God they need to bear good fruit. Many Christians either by choice or ignorance never grow in the grace and admonition of the Lord. They simply stay in the state they started out at, a seedling or a tree that try’s to bear fruit but has no root in it.
So what does real ministry look like? Ministry in its simplest terms is doing what you see Jesus doing, we are told imitate Christ. Jesus Himself states “I only do what I see the Father doing”. John 5:19 A reflection, a mirror image of who God is. Just like our external life the visible tree is a reflection of the unseen root system, our personal relationship with God. So then our purpose is to reflect / mimic only what we see Jesus doing. In order to do that we have to let his spirit guide and grow us. While bearing fruit is the goal of the tree, its purpose is to exist for His good pleasure. in order to bear good fruit it has to be a healthy strong tree.
While the vision of great things has been given to us, literally designed into us, it requires us to first yield to the Holy Ghost to form the grounding and rooting that we need that we can first weather the storms and then be able to yield good fruit.
Who Jesus is, and how he loves us is our chief concern, from it, by it we will produce fruit in due season. If you have tried to bear fruit before your time. Stop, turn around, do your first works and simply fall in love with Jesus. That in its self is the greatest fruit that we can bear, to know Him and make Him known. In due time you will bear the fruit and experience the ministry and purpose you first caught a glimpse of and desire.
It more than meets the eye. Grace and Peace
Luke 13:6, Luke 6: 43-44 , John 15:2