Labouring rightly – Part 1
In the effort to motivate and challenge people to rise up and succeed, many cogent and profound issues have been explained away. You’ll hear statements such as, ‘one day of favour is better than 100 years of labour’ as if it’s a sin to labour.
Of course, we need favour in our labours, and one cannot erase the other in our lives. The word labour or labourer have been carefully avoided and deleted from the dictionary of positive confession and thinking.
As a result, many are now proud, unwilling to work hard under anybody and believing in overnight success and achievement. What it takes 20 years of hard labour to accomplished are what many want to achieve in two years.
However, the truth still remains that hard work and labour is still the key to unquantifiable achievement in life and ministry. It always takes 20 years of hard work to become an overnight success.
• Biblical Foundation – Psalm 128:2; Pro.10:16; 13:11; 14:23; 1 Cor. 15:58; 3:9.
God created man to work and labour. Adam was asked to till the ground in the garden. (Gen. 2:15). God only called men who can labour into His vineyard. Every called minister is a labourer in word and prayer. (1 Tim. 5:17). It is a labour of love. (1 Thess. 1:3; 3:5).
To labour is to work hard, serve well, sweat, toil, be diligent, invest time, effort, energy and to give 120 % dedication to a vision, cause, purpose and work. It is to work your fingers to the bones in prayers, learning, studying, visiting, evangelising, building and nurturing the work. Here are facts about labour in ministry.
The ministry you do not labour for today will not feed you tomorrow.
Real and durable success in ministry answers only to work, HARD WORK.
The work that does not take sleep away from your eyes today can not give you peace of mind tomorrow. Pro. 10:4-5.
• Being diligent in your work is the road to promotion and upliftment. Prov. 12:24; 22:29.
• A lazy man travels so slowly that poverty and penury catch up with him. Pro. 13:4.
• Your reward here and thereafter will be according to your labour. 1 Cor. 15:8; Heb. 4:11; Rev. 14:13.
• Curse of God upon those who fail to labour in His vineyard. Jer. 48:10; Judges 5:23.
When God gives you a vision, calling, ministry and assignment, He expects you to labour and work hard to bring it to fulfilment. 2 Cor. 6:5; 11:23.
The greatness of your vision and calling will determine the greatness of your labour. Many times, your best friend is your wrist and hands – buckle up and get down to work.
Labouring Wrongly – 1 Thess. 3:5; Job 9:29; Jer. 51:58; 8:20.
Too many ministers and leaders are labouring truly, but what will destroy and make their labours unfruitful and in vain are right with them. Here are some:
• Sinfulness and Inconsistency.
Once you are inconsistent with the Lord, your labour will be in vain. Sin, in whatever form, will render your work to be in vain. Ezek. 3:20-21.
• Wrong Foundation. Heb. 11:3.
When you build your work on the foundation of lies, deceit, disobedience, cheating and backstabbing others, your labour will be fruitless. It is always the wrong way to labour.
• Ignorance and Pride.
When you are too proud to learn, improve, grow and knowledgeable about this work, you will surely be fruitless in your labours. Ignorance is the first strategy of the enemy to make you labour wrongly.
• Not in Place of Calling. 1 Cor. 7:20.
Wrong labouring is working outside your true calling from the Lord. Some who are called as Evangelists have become pastors; others who should be running ministry have started churches. Those who should be supporters and backers have become the main leaders. Disobedience to God, His calling and gifts in your life will always make you to labour loss.
• Curse of Elders. 2 Sam. 3:28-29.
When a leader is under the curse of another leader due to misdemeanors, disloyalty, disobedience and violation of trust and opportunities, then such a person will labour in vain, as long as that curse is not renounced.
• Disunity among Leaders. Psalm. 133:1-3.
When leaders in a church or ministry are working at cross-purposes, they will always labour in vain. Disunited, disjointed and double-faced leadership cannot see the fruits of their labours.
Dr. Bola Akin-John
International Church Growth Ministry