Weekly Sabbath Survey
Which Field? — 3-4-2017
I have often encouraged others to see themselves as ‘in the ministry.’ All Born Again Believers are (should be) in something they know they are doing for the Lord. Taking care of elderly parent? Rearing children? Making an honest living for your family? MINISTRY!!! And there are other forms of ministry more recognized as such. At times, the difference lies in whether we realize what we do is ministry for the Lord. There are two “fields” where we work for Him.
The Wheat Field. This is ministry done close to home, where enemies are bugs, lack of water, and the occasional cattle breakthrough which invades and damages your field. Metaphorically these would be demonic interference, low level of Holy Spirit, and attacks of illness or accidents that harm people. But the worst problem is workers arguing with each other.This field is a ‘one another’ ministry. The workers occupy positions with titles defining the row they should hoe. Some teach and preach, others give comfort, and fellowship. Most of the Believers rarely venture away from the Wheat Field area.
The Battle Field. Most (but not all) of this ministry takes place outside the confines of the fenced field. Much time away from home and family. This is the “out of the synagogue” minister Jesus talked about, beyond the four walls of The Building. Missionaries, street ministries, coffee houses, soup kitchens and other outreach. These deal with all manner of spiritual warfare with humans and devils, including at times workers from the Wheat Field who have wandered off and gotten lost in the Battlefield. This kind of ministry requires alone time with the Lord. Much prayer and study. In time these ministers “see” and “hear” truths from God like John on Patmos. They get their marching orders from God. Sometimes they bring lost lambs back to the Wheat Field. And they bring back words hard to hear, truth sometimes not believed by the Wheat People. There is a difference between “doing work” and “doing battle.” Neither ministry is easy, but warfare is the most brutal.
Some go back and forth between the two fields, working one and then rotating back to the other. But most of us have a calling and if we obey, we will stay put most of the time in that calling. It’s as the Lord leads. We grow, and eventually age naturally, so the Lord may move us into a difference venue. But for some, the Battlefield, its solitude and simplicity, is a way of life forever. Hudson Taylor in China and Amy Carmichael in India were dedicated, called to foreign missions people. They died on the Battlefield. (I urge you to research these miracle working people who overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.)
There are Battle Field workers who serve right at home. They work in their own native country, but outside the confines of organization and walls. They have contact with other Believers, but maintain their calling away from meetings and such. Some who serve this way do so a few years, even many years, then return to the old home grounds of the Wheat Field for a comfy retirement of sorts. (Servants of God never really retire!) They dispense wisdom and cheer on the younger folks. Some of them are like the old water wagon fire horses of long ago. These horses lived out their golden years in a nice pasture behind the Fire House. Whenever the fire bell started clanging, they ran to the gate with the other horses, but when they were left behind as the younger horses were chosen, when the wagons pulled away into the street the old horses would run around, bucking, pitching, snorting, stomping the ground and whinnying. They were still ready to get to the fire if they could. In their hearts they were fire horses until they died. I have known several older Godly ministers who were just like that! If someone gave them a chance to ‘say a few words’, they were always ready!
The final question here is: Do you, dear reader, know which field you are called into? There is a limited number of spiritual hoes in the Wheat Field. Many people sit around chatting with one another, but doing no actual work. If your title is “Most Faithful Pew-sitter” you need to reconsider the meaning of “ministry.” If there is no place for you to help inside (no hoe for you), you might ask God if He is calling you outside! (Bridge ministry? Nursing Home?)
Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Mark 16:15, Luke 9:2
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please) September 2015
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