17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.” 26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.
As Paul returns to Jerusalem from his ministry travels he reports to the Christian brothers and gives them an account of what had happened in the time that they had been away. Luke says that Paul reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles. “What God had done.” These words hit hard to remind us that whenever we are working at something for God it is Him who is doing the work. Not us.
Certainly, in ministry there are many tasks to perform. We need to make plans, prepare materials, and organise people but always in the leading of God. We need to be following His lead and working with Him where He is working.
I wonder if this is always the way I see things or do I run ahead of God, coming up with good ideas and a tight timeline for when these must be achieved?
Dear God, please help me to slow down in my ministry and lean into you, asking where you are leading next, how to go about the next step and to hand over the reins to you. All of this Lord so that your name may be praised, and the glory given to you. Amen
Written by Jocelyn Petschack