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4. Am I willing to work?
Work is not an unspiritual word. When the Holy Spirit spoke in Antioch, He said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2 NKJV). Did you notice what their spiritual calling entailed? It was a call to work! Serving God doesn’t involve simply sitting around and having warm, fuzzy feelings and thinking about holy things. God calls us to work. Paul said, “I labor [unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me” (Colossians 1:29 AMP). Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NKJV). People will never see our good works unless we work! As I was writing this, I saw a social media post by Jeanne Cook in Panama. She relayed that her missionary husband, Dennis, was cleaning bat dung out of the radio station attic that they had built in the jungles of Panama. She wrote, “Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. It is not all preaching and teaching on the mission field.” Jeanne is so right, and it’s not all preaching and teaching anywhere else. Ministry is work.

5. What am I good at?
God has given each of us certain skills, aptitudes, and gifts. It’s not the purpose of this article to try to delineate between natural abilities and spiritual gifts, but let me simply propose that we use whatever abilities and resources we have for the glory of God and for the betterment of others. A pastor told me about a man who came to him wanting to preach in his church. The pastor had never met this man and didn’t know him at all. While he did not need help in the pulpit, the pastor discovered that this man was also an electrician and let him know that they had a major project underway and that the church needed a skilled electrician. Fortunately, the man was gracious enough to lend his natural skills to the church, and did an excellent job serving the church through that avenue. God can use your natural skills for His glory.

6. What are the needs and opportunities around me?
Some Christians struggle because they don’t feel like they have a specific leading or a direct word from God regarding what they’re supposed to do. Others feel that if they are to do something significant for God, it must be something that is far-away and spectacular. John Burroughs said, “The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.” If you don’t know what to do, find someone who is doing something for God and simply begin to help them. Specific direction may come later, but in the meantime, you’re being helpful and productive. Jesus said, “...if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:12). In short, bloom where you’re planted.

7. Am I willing to take initiative?
Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Be a person who is eager to help others and to accomplish. Don’t wait for someone to ask you to serve; proactively look for and embrace things that need to be done. Albert Hubert said, “Parties who want milk should not seat themselves on a stool in the middle of the field and hope that the cow will back up to them.” Don’t be afraid to start with small things. If you see a piece of trash on the ground that needs to be picked up, pick it up. Lean into action, not away from it. Embrace responsibility, don’t shun it. Act, and believe that God will bless all the work of your hands. If there is something more specialized or more targeted that God wants you doing, He will certainly lead you to it and open the appropriate doors in due time.

When Believers Everywhere Begin to Serve...
The untapped potential in the Body of Christ is incalculable. When Christians mobilize and engage as faithful servants, I believe we’ll see a fulfillment of what George Washington Carver predicted years ago. “…there is going to be a great spiritual awakening in the world, and it is going to come from… plain, simple people who know—not simply believe—but actually know that God answers prayer. It is going to be a great revival of Christianity, not a revival of religion. This is going to be a revival of true Christianity. It is going to rise from the laymen, from men who are going about their work and putting God into what they do, from men who believe in prayer, and who want to make God real to mankind.”

May it be so, and may it be soon.

Copyright © Tony Cooke Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tony Cooke
Web site: Tony Cooke Ministries
Since 2002, Tony and Lisa have traveled full-time with an assignment of “Strengthening Churches and Leaders.” Tony’s passion for teaching the Bible has taken him to forty-six states and twenty-six nations. Tony, and Lisa reside in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and are the parents of two adult children, Laura and Andrew.

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