The challenge of ministry

Sweat-it-out is a phrase commonly used. When there is a difficult task or assignment or anxious moments, this phrase is used. After the Fall, humans were cursed to sweat and earn their livelihood. Sweat indicates human perseverance, effort, and toil to complete a task. In the Old Testament, a priest should wear linen clothes when they serve in the Tabernacle or Temple so that he does not sweat (Ezekiel 44:17) That provides insights for effective ministry. Sadly, many servants of God are exhausted, stressed, and burned out. God did not intend His servants to suffer during the ministry in the Temple.
Toil: It is work thrust on someone without choice to refuse, and sometimes even without remuneration. The caste system makes people of lower castes toil for higher castes without remuneration, rewards, or even recognition. The Egyptians exploited the Children of Israel, making them slaves, tasking them to work, and did not pay wages. Ministry is not a toil; it is a joyful work God has assigned with eternal rewards. There would be hard work, but no toil.
Tension: Anxiety could make a person sweat. All believers are exhorted not to be anxious but to convert their worries into prayers to receive the peace of God which is beyond human comprehension. (Philippians 4:6-7) There could be emergencies, sickness, unexpected accidents, political oppression, or religious persecution. Yet, trusting God in those trying moments is perseverance and maturity in faith life.
Too much: There are many Christian leaders in denominations, churches, institutions, and organizations who experience overload that is Self-induced. First, they are unable to trust others. Second, they are unable to share responsibilities and delegate work to others. Third, they are unable to train others for leadership responsibilities. Hence, they end up doing it all and sweating unnecessarily.
Treacherous deception: The Gibeonites deceived Joshua stating they were from a faraway nation and extracted a promise that they would not be attacked and killed. Without discerning God’s will, Joshua promised them protection. (Joshua 9:15) They were a perpetual thorn in their sides. (Judges 2:3)
Do I sweat it out unnecessarily or joyfully serve Him?

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