“… I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power” (Ephesians 3:7).
Anybody who ministers the gospel does so by the gift of God’s grace. We are not in the ministry because we are extraordinarily holy people; we are in the ministry by the grace of God.
This is important to realize because, humanly speaking, we have a tendency to elevate people. It is just part of our nature. But sometimes we go beyond elevation into idolization. We do that quite often because our reasoning is incorrect. We look at a person and think, they are so holy and righteous; of course they must be because look how God is using them! But the fact is, as Paul put so beautifully, “… By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10). At the end of the day, whatever I do, it’s because of God.
I see the work of God in various places and great outpourings of the Spirit and many people coming to faith in Christ in large churches. However, I personally know many of the pastors of these churches, and I know they’re just normal guys. Therefore, I know that what is going on isn’t really them—it is the grace of God. And it’s true across the board. I’m not saying this to put anybody down—it’s true for me as well. It’s about God’s grace, and if we lose sight of that, we end up glorifying a man instead of glorifying God.
Paul goes on and speaks of “the effective working of His power” (emphasis mine). This particular passage encourages me. It is a reminder that God supplies me with the power I need; and He will do the same for you. As God calls you to serve Him, this is what you need to know: He will give you the ability to do what He has called you to do. What we are a part of is supernatural, and we must depend upon the power of God!
So, when a ministry opportunity presents itself or there is an area in which you want to serve the Lord, yet you think, I’m so ill-equipped; I’m so feeble; I’m so incapable in so many ways, remember the effective working of God’s power. This power doesn’t give us an excuse—we must work hard, discipline ourselves, and study. But at the end of the day, even when we’ve done all of that, we know that’s not where our power lies. Our power comes by the work of the Spirit.