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Ministry – When Hell Breaks Loose

speaker chicks post when god is on the moveAre you in ministry? Do you serve others in some capacity for the Lord? Then may I share with you a little cautionary wisdom? When God is on the move and ministry is on your heart all hell will break loose. Count on it.

When my husband and I served at our first marriage conference we woke up to snow that morning. Snow rarely ever happens in our town. It showed up that day. Our Chevy Suburban was loaded down with tons of food for the fifty people coming. The roads were closed. We prayed and persevered and made it there later than planned but in enough time to get ready for arriving guests.

No matter where I sign up to serve or what I decide to do, the moment I’m needed to fulfill that “something” it’s guaranteed our car will break down, one of the kids will get a cold, or me and Paul will argue about something ridiculously silly. I’ve come to expect it. 

When All Hell Breaks Loose

Recently, I spoke at a woman’s conference in the Smoky Mountains. A four hour drive from our house, the location was breathtaking. The women were incredibly kind and everything seemed to be going perfectly until day two. A telephone call home exposed a family emergency going on and though Paul said he could handle it, I was sick to my stomach with worry.

Sometimes offering yourself as a vessel for the presence and work of God is costly. – John Ortberg

My heart began to pound and my thoughts tormented me. What an awful mother you are. Your family is your true ministry. How can you face these ladies and speak when all hell is breaking loose at home?  

I made my way back to my room and the Lord got an earful. How could you bring me four hours away from my loved ones when they need me? After many tears the Lord’s answer to my frantic prayers and fretful thoughts came through His word.

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:1-5 NIV

The devotion that was included with this verse is what confirmed God’s silent encouragement to persevere.

Adversity invites leaders to lead. It is your time to trust the Lord and lead by faith, not fear. In hard times a leader asks, “Will I panic or pray?” “Will I stay calm or be sucked into the chaos?” “Will I serve the team or stay secluded in silence?” Jesus faced death, but He was determined to stay focused on His heavenly Father and the mission at hand. Adversity is an opportunity to prove the point of Providence. Christ is in control.- (Wisdom Hunters 2013)

Jesus knew Judas had left and would return with soldiers. He was fully aware of the few hours left before he would experience a horrific crucifixion and “all hell would break loose”.

Still, he calmly served.

Don’t Be Surprised

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1Peter 4:12-13

Remember, all hell breaks loose when God’s greatest work is at hand. Consider trials in ministry a backhanded compliment of the enemy. To him you are a worthy enough adversary to oppose. Do not panic or get sucked into chaos.

The world responded to Christ’s greatest ministry work on the cross with darkness and earthquakes. So, why are we surprised with trials in ministry? Be encouraged with an earthquake or two. It’s a holy response to God’s work and your service.

Pray and persevere. God can give you all  you need to overcome any obstacle.

There is a cost to serving. Christ is our example. But, like our savior, we must continue to feed and serve the sheep and consider it an honor when we come up against opposition.

As for me and the women’s conference? I thanked God for the trial that almost derailed my weekend. I praised Him for His word and new-found peace. I washed my face and put on a little lipstick, then finished another day of sharing. Those precious women never knew the struggle I faced. With all hell breaking loose, I washed the feet of His sheep.   

 

12 Responses to Ministry – When Hell Breaks Loose

  1. Perfect timing . . .

    Apparently God is on the move in my world. I’m grateful for the grace to survive the movement despite the devil’s attempts to keep me stalled!

    ~elaine

  2. Susan wrote:

    Acts 5:41
    The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.

    May we rejoice when we suffer because God counts us worthy!

  3. In three weeks, my husband is going to speak at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures about the Pornography Pandemic.

    All hell is breaking loose in our world…I expected it, but I am still reeling from it.

    Timely post, Joanne! Batten down the hatches, boys…we’re in this for the long haul.

  4. JoanneKraft wrote:

    Praying for you and your family tonight, Adelle. Your husband is stepping into ministry that is in dire need of more hands to serve. Please keep us posted!

  5. Iris wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom. It is true that we often encounter trials while ministering to others. But God will always give us the strength to make it through these trials.

  6. JoanneKraft wrote:

    He sure does, Iris. I’m so grateful, too.

  7. Lynn wrote:

    Joanne,

    Girl, Dineen and I lived this out last weekend. We were speaking in Texas and one of our ministry partners was killed on the road on the way there to meet us. I received a text a few hours before we were to begin speaking. But by the grace of God we were empowered and overshadowed by the Most High. That is the only way we made it through that day. And since then every kind of crazy disaster has struck both of our homes. But let me tell you this. God showed up last Saturday and people were healed. I watched the Holy Spirit move in that room and women had a life-changing encounter with the Most High. THAT makes all the challenges worth every minute. We still grieve our friend but know she is truly dancing with Jesus. Love you so much and thank you for sharing your heart. We are joined soul-to-soul. Love you. Lynn

    • JoanneKraft wrote:

      Lynn, Can’t tell you how much our time today blessed me. Looking forward to ministry this week. Grateful I’m walking this road untraveled alongside friends like you.

  8. Jessica Fall wrote:

    Joanne, it was a blessing to be part of this retreat and to now know what God was doing in your life in the midst of your serving. Thank you for being such a great example!!

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