People who go on the Marketplace Mission Trip commonly reply that either they didn’t have the time they wanted to spend or that nothing happened. Sometimes we just don’t notice when God does big things that look small to us. But there is another possible reason that nothing happened. Maybe God purposely blocks our ministry and makes nothing happen.
When God Blocks Our Ministry
God will put us on the bench. At times, I’ve spent years there myself. We get the bench when we harbor or practice an activity contradicts our message. Some call that “sin.” But we need to be specific. Sin is missing the mark and we all miss the mark (Romans 3:23). Missing the mark is a fact of life.
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.James 4:17 NASB
Rather than simply missing the mark, some of us have habits or practices we know are wrong, but we do them anyway. We choose to do them. Maybe we choose drink or drugs or porn. Maybe we gossip or we lie on our expense reports. Anything we do that pulls us away from God, if we choose it over and over, can become a problem. We may look forward to it, or maybe we can’t keep ourselves from doing it. The activity becomes a stronghold.
It may be video games, or sports. Whatever it is, it takes us away from God for extended periods of time. When confronted we may become defensive or angry. We don’t want to be interrupted when we’re doing it. And we certainly don’t want God to stop us to pray for someone else. Most of these activities make us someone who has something to hide, and we have to hide for the rest of our lives.
God Wants You to be Free
If you harbor something like this, God wants you to be free. He wants to help you but you won’t experience his joy and purpose often while harboring this secret. Deep down inside, you and God will always know. God wants you to confess this problem and get free of it. Tell your pastor, or one Godly friend. Begin to turn to God and turn from your area of weakness. God will let you off the bench as you defeat this stronghold. God may even “put you in” every now-and-then while you harbor this sin. He can and may use you regardless of your willful separation from him. But deep down inside, as you’ve prayed for coworkers or customers, you and God know your secret. You probably even suspect God is keeping you from making a difference in the lives of others because of your secret.
Don’t wait. Act now. Tell God you’re sorry and ask him to show you a way out. He will give you an idea of someone to consult. When you get an idea, take action. Confess your secret to someone else and it will lose its power. You may even have a secret that could cost you your job. I promise the consequences of harboring your secret outweigh the consequences of confessing it and turning it over to God. And the rewards for doing so will exceed the cost.
If you have no one else, schedule a call with me and let’s talk. I’ll help you get the help you need. And I will pray for you. But I will not protect your secrets if you have violated a crime. Knowing that, if you’d like to talk, schedule a call. I’d be happy to help.