In this study, I want to share with you about the importance of ministering to the Lord. As important that ministering to people is, our highest calling is to minister to the Lord. We read in Acts 13:2, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” As a result of this small group of people ministering to the Lord, the greatest missionary movement in the world was started.
To minister to the Lord, means to draw near to God, to worship Him and to bring Him joy and pleasure. It is to do something for His benefit and pleasure. We read in Revelations 4:11, “for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (KJV) God did not only create us so that He could show us His great love, but also so that He could enjoy us and receive love from us. In Genesis 3:8 we read that God used to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden. He did so because He enjoyed spending time with them. In Colossians 1:16, we read that all things were made for Jesus and by Jesus. We were created for Him!
In the Ezekiel 44:11-13, we read about two groups of priests. The first group were the Levites. It says, “… and they (The Levites) shall stand before them (the people), to minister unto them because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity … And they shall not come near unto me …” These Levites were more focused on ministering to the people, even when their hearts had turned away from God, they were no longer allowed to draw near to God to minister to Him. This can so easily happen to us today! We can be so focused on our ministries and what we can do for God that we neglect the importance of our relationship and intimacy with Him.
We know the story of Mary and Martha. Martha was focused on doing something for Jesus while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and focused on her relationship with Him. Jesus said to Martha in Luke 10:41, “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
The second group was the sons of Zadok, which was a clan within the tribe of Levi. We read in Ezekiel 44:15-16, “But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, says the Lord GOD: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.” What happened was, when the Israelites went astray from God, the sons of Zadok stopped ministering to the people and focused their ministry on the Holy Place in the Tabernacle. Maintaining a right relationship with God was more important to them than serving the people. They had the right priority like Mary.
It says that they shall come near to God to minister to Him. Intimacy with God and their relationship were more important than what they could do for God. It says that they were to offer the fat and the blood. The blood speaks about their Covenant with God. They realized how important their relationship with God was! The fat speaks about giving God the very best that they had. We read in Genesis 4:4 how Abel brought the “firstlings of the flock and the fat thereof and God accepted his offering.” He gave God his very best. To minister to God means to draw near to Him and give to Him our very best worship, praise and devotion. Food cooked with fat is usually tasty; therefore, when we minister to the Lord, we are giving Him something that is very tasty! We are doing something to bless Him and give Him pleasure.
When we minister to someone we do something for their benefit and pleasure. Therefore, when we minister to the Lord, we have one goal in mind, and that is to do something for the Lord. It is not the time to focus on our needs and our desires! We read about Paul and Silas in prison in Acts 16. We know what happened, at midnight they praised the Lord, God sent an earthquake, their chains fell off and the prison doors were opened. What is really amazing is that they and the other prisoners remained in the prison and did not flee even although they could have done so. This tells us that their motive for singing praises was not to receive something from God, but to minister to Him because they loved Him. They had no other agenda!
However, God, being who He is, has a great heart to bless us and will always give us more than He receives. When our goal is to spend time with Him, praise and worship Him and develop our intimacy with Him, He will often do things for us that we have never even asked for. We read in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Some of the benefits of ministering to the Lord
Firstly, we grow spiritually and become more like Jesus:
For example, if we worship some celebrity or sports star, we will eventually begin to act like them. In the same way, the more we worship God, the more we will begin to act like Him and become more like Jesus. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord (through worship), are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” This is the quickest way to grow and mature spiritually.
Secondly, when we minister to the Lord, we will find that it becomes easier to minister to people:
We read about the sons of Zadok in Ezekiel 44:18, “… they shall not gird themselves with anything that causes sweat.” They did not sweat! When we minister to the Lord, we will not sweat, it will be easy to serve and follow Jesus! Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” I have found this to be true in my own life. The more time I spend in worship, praise and ministering to the Lord, the easier it becomes for me to minister to people. Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” The word to abide means to continue for a period of time in a position or a relationship. It is in a place of rest, that we become fruitful in the Kingdom of God. Therefore, as we minister to the Lord, He will minister to us and a divine flow of God’s grace is released to do the works of Jesus. We will experience “sweat-less Christianity!”
Thirdly, ministering to the Lord can make us sensitive to the leading and the voice of the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 13:2 it says “as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said…” As they ministered to the Lord, they were able to hear what the Holy Spirit wanted them to do. This is one of the ways we can find our ministry and calling. The greatest missionary movement was started after a small group of people ministered to the Lord. We have a similar example in 1 Samuel 3:1 and 4 when Samuel ministered to the Lord as a young child. God spoke to him and told him about what was going to happen to Eli the priest and the nation of Israel.
Fourthly, it is a good launching pad for prayer and intercession. I
In Psalm 100:4 we read, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Thanksgiving, praise and worship is a good protocol if we want to approach the throne of God for prayer. In fact, this should be the bulk of our time alone with God. I have found that it is much easier to prayer when I have first ministered to the Lord.
Finally, there are many other benefits from Ministering to the Lord:
- I t will increase our level of anointing in our lives and we will experience more of His divine flow.
- It brings us great joy and pleasure. Ministering to the Lord is also enjoyable and enables us to be aware of the goodness and the love of God.
- The greatest blessing of all is that when we minister to the Lord, it blesses and gives God great delight and joy.
How do we minister to the Lord?
The most common way to minister to the Lord is simply through our praises, our worship and acts of adoration to the Lord. However, we can also can minister to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit separately.
For example when we minister to the Father: We can thank God for who He is and what He has done and doing for us. We can declare His wonderful attributes such as: (1) He abounds with goodness and truth. He is very merciful and forgiving. (Exodus 34:6) (2) He is very kind and gracious. He is longsuffering and slow to anger (Joel 2:13). He is great in faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23) He is full of compassion and tenderhearted. (Psalm 145:8-9) He is caring compassionate God (1 Peter 5:6). We can declare His might and power: He is glorious in holiness and fearful in praises. (Exodus 15:11) He is our life and the length of our days. (Deuteronomy 30:20) He is our exceeding joy. (Psalm 43:4) etc. We can praise and worship Him with songs. We can sing in the Spirit.
When it comes to Jesus, we can thank Him for what He did at the cross for us. We can praise His Him for who He is and His exalted position in heaven. He is the King of kings, the Alpha and Omega, the glorious risen Christ, the One to whom all knees shall bow and all tongues confess that He is Lord. We can express our love and adoration for Him. We can also worship Him in the Spirit.
When it comes to the Holy Spirit, we can thank Him for His wonderful functions. He fills us, inspires us, empowers us, teaches us, sanctifies us, fills us with abounding hope, imparts to us righteousness peace and joy, etc. We can yield our lives to Him and ask Him to fill us with His power and love. (I have attached a short declaration that will enable you to minister to the Lord) There any many ways we can minister to the Lord. My wife and I have been doing this regularly for more than twenty years and we have seen such amazing results. There is no set formula, so the best is just to open our hearts to the Lord and let the Holy Spirit lead us. It is great to do it in a group and with music. However, I have discovered that the highest level of blessing and presence comes when I do it alone and without any musical accompaniment.
It is important that we minister to the Lord by faith even if we do not feel His presence. Remember, we are doing this for Him! Our one and only goal, is to bless Him. In Psalm 37:4 it says, “Delight yourself also in the LORD; and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”God often fills us with His desires and thoughts when we minister to Him. Therefore, this will be a great blessing to you as you make Ministering to the Lord a high priority in your life. I have attached a short crafted confession and prayer to assist you to minister to the Lord. Amen.
Example of a prayer to enable us to minister to the Lord
Ministry to the Father:
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus. I come to worship You, to praise You and to adore You. You are an awesome God who is glorious in holiness and fearful in praises, a God who does wonders. (Exodus 15:11). You are wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance, (Isaiah 28:29) I honor You and worship You.
Thank You for Your wonderful attributes. You abound towards me in goodness and truth; You are merciful and gracious forgiving and longsuffering (Exodus 34:6). I thank You, are very, very kind. (Joel 2:13). You are a God of love who is full of compassion, tenderhearted (Psalms 145:8-9) and You care for me (1 Peter 5:7) I declare that You are a faithful God whose mercies are new to me, every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) Above all, I want to thank You that You are My Heavenly Father, You have adopted me into Your family, and that I am Your child. (1 John 3:1)
Thank You for loving me so much that You sent Jesus to die on the cross for me. (John 3:16) You are the God of hope who fills me with all joy and peace, (Romans 15:13) and You have a wonderful plan for my life. Finally, I put my trust in You, and I believe in You. You are my dear Heavenly Father, and I love You with all my heart and want to please You in all I that I do. Amen
Ministry to Jesus:
Dear Lord Jesus, I want to thank you that You loved me so much, that You laid down Your life and died on the cross for me. Thank you for redeeming me and giving me the gift of eternal life. Jesus, You are my Lord and my Savior, my hope of eternal life.
I declare that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead and is seated in heavenly places, at the right hand of God the Father, far above all principality and power and every name that is named. (Ephesians 1:18). He is highly exalted and has a name above all names, to whom every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord. (Philippians 2:9-10) He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, (1 Timothy 6:15) the “Alpha and Omega,” (Revelations 1:8) the Lamb upon the throne and the glorious and the mighty Son of God.
You have destroyed all principalities and powers, (Colossians 2:13) and him who had power over death, the devil. (Hebrews 2:14) You now have the keys of hell and death (Revelations 1:18) and all authority in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18
Jesus, You are the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) You are the “bread of life,” who satisfies the hunger of my heart (John 6:35) and You are the “giver of living water” which quenches the thirsting of my soul. (John 4:14). You are my righteousness, my holiness, my wisdom and my redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) You are my peace, my joy, my healing and health. You are everything I need (Colossians 2:10)
You are worthy, to receive all honor, all praise, all glory, all dominion, all power and all the blessings and riches. (Revelations 5:12) Jesus, You are wonderful, (Isaiah 9:6) precious, (1 Peter 2:6) and altogether lovely. (Song 5:16) You are the love of my life, the desire of my heart. I adore You and love You with all my heart and I want to follow You and please You in everything I do. Amen
Ministry to the Holy Spirit:
Holy Spirit, You are the glorious and mighty God who lives in me and who is with me. (John 14:17) You are the Witness in me that I am a child of God and have received the gift of eternal life (Romans 8:16, Ephesians 1:13) Thank You, precious Holy Spirit for Your wonderful presence and anointing. You inspire me and show me the wonderful things that have been given to me. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
Thank you for Your power and the ability to tell others about Jesus and to do His wonderful works. (Acts 1:8, Romans 15:19) Holy Spirit, You give me the grace to overcome the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16) and victory over the works of the devil. (1 John 4:4)
You enable me to have a relationship with the Father and the Son and to glorify Jesus. (John 16:13-15, Ephesians 2:18) You guide me into all truth, You comfort me, You teach me, You convict me and You lead me. (Galatians 5:18)
My body is Your temple, (1 Corinthians 6:19) I am not my own, I belong to you. Come and fill me, sanctify me (Romans 15:16) and change me to become more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18) Holy Spirit, thank you for Your love, Your faithfulness and Your commitment to me. I love You, appreciate You and I will always depend on You. I yield my life to You and ask you to fill me with Your presence, You power, Your gifts and Your love, in Jesus name. Amen.