Read 1 Corinthians 14
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
Fruitfulness, however, is not an end in itself. There’s a greater end in view: God’s glory. Even the “common good” is subject to this greater end. The ultimate goal of spiritual giftedness and fruitfulness is to point men and women to God. Paul puts it this way: when a person, still in his sins, comes into contact with a vibrant, functioning church, “he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!'” (v.25b). It’s not charisma that impresses the sinner, it’s the presence of God.
Maybe we church-goers need to get a fresh view of what constitutes spiritual ministry. Let’s get one thing straight: activity does not necessarily equate with ministry. we do so much, so very much, “in the name of God”. Unfortunately, much of our activity, if we’re honest with ourselves, is nothing other than what anyone who is a member of any other kind of social organization does. Committees, planning meetings, retreats, gatherings, special emphasis days, holiday celebrations — all are done in the name of God.
And we always give that expected prayer at the beginning, like “grace” before a meal; as if God is obliged to bless when we ask Him; as if a prayer magically transforms human heat into heavenly light.
And to be frank, so much of our “spiritual” activity mostly tires us out. We become stressed and driven, and as we interact with other stressed and driven brothers, there is inevitable conflict and confusion.
Paul says the end result of making God glorious in our church ministry is not confusion, but peace. Maybe that’s how to determine whether or not you are truly ministering or are you driven? Or are you at peace?