Jesus is always at work, even when we don’t think so. And we don’t always think so, do we? Perhaps no truth has encouraged me more in ministry than this: Jesus is always at work.
Even when we can’t see what’s happening, Jesus is at work.
Even when all hope seems lost, Jesus is at work.
Even when it looks as if nothing is going on, Jesus is at work.
Here’s Lesson #10 of 20 Lessons I’ve Learned in 20 Years of Vocational Ministry: Jesus is always at work.
It was early in my vocational ministry that Blackaby and King’s Experiencing God blew my mind with this biblical truth: God is already at work. Therefore, I need to look for what he is doing and join him in that work. As anyone who has read or studied Experiencing God will tell you, this assumption is transformative.
And it has been ministry bedrock for me, helping me as I’ve ministered to difficult marriages, traversed spiritually resistance relationships, reached out to people far away from Jesus, or prayed for the health of the church.
More recently, the work of Vantage Point Three (VP3) begins with the assumption that God is up to something good in us, in our community, and in our world, something that is worthy of our whole life response.
What a difference this makes in our daily life and ministry to others! I can walk into any situation, any school, any family, any town or farm, any city or boardroom and Jesus is already present, already at work. This assumption sets my heart right and my eyes keen, watchful for how he is already working, attentive for how he is already bringing his kingdom on earth at it is in heaven so that I can get in on what he’s already up to.
Wherever we go, rather than first asking, “What should we do here?” we ask, “What is Jesus doing here? And how can we join him in that?” That fundamental shift brings transformative change.
On the weekend, I enjoyed a walk with a friend and fellow Covenant pastor. He reflected on the difference this principle makes when working with people who are disconnected from Jesus, even overtly resistant to church or faith. When we carry the assumption that Jesus is at work in a person’s life, we can trust the Holy Spirit is present and our work and witness can and will have effect. Rather than feeling the pressure to create or manipulate anything, we can serve and speak and share with trusting hearts, partnering with Jesus in his ongoing work.
I’m so thankful to Jesus for his work all around us. I’m relieved that Jesus is leading us, empowered by the fact that wherever we go, he is already present. When we show up, it’s Jesus who shows us around. And then we simply follow his lead.