Roughly ten years ago, God pushed me out of the corporate workplace; and stirred a desire in my heart to help Christian leaders find joyful, Spirit-filled ministry. Of course, I wanted to know how He expected that to happen. He told me:

Surrender to My purpose;

Sacrifice for My plan; and,

Submit to My power.

I did not realize it at the time, but later discovered that this process is found in Psalm 37.

Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Psalm 37:4-6

God has placed a desire for joyful, Spirit-filled ministry in the heart of every Christian. That ministry may manifest through a pastor, business owner, elected official, teacher, homemaker, etc. It may look as expected (e.g., leading a church, running a business); and it may include rescuing unborn children, feeding the homeless, taking the gospel to the nations, etc. The common denominators are: God’s promise to give us these desires; and – now this is important – our being soft in the LORD (the literal meaning of “delight”). In other words, we must surrender to His purpose in the desires of our heart.

Furthermore, for God to give us the desires of our heart, we must turn over our plans (i.e., way) to Him; trusting Him to do what He desires with them. As followers of Jesus Christ, we can expect to encounter sacrifice – even suffering (Philippians 2:5-8); for His plan is as much about our transformation as it is about our desires (2Corinthians 3:18). Trusting Him in this way marks us as His heir (Romans 8:17).

The result of our surrender and sacrifice is a good work that demonstrates His power. The life of Jesus Christ is the light of men (John 1:4); and He is our righteousness (1Corinthians 1:30). Jesus’ life comes forth as we submit to the Holy Spirit’s transformative work; and to the gifting He chooses to provide for the good works we are created to walk in (Ephesians 2:10).

As we let our light shine before men, they will see our good works, and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Everyone involved will experience the life of Christ, the Father’s glory and the fruit of the Holy Spirit! They will discover joyful, Spirit-filled ministry.

Consider this: The kingdom of God operates in process; and every leader is “in process”. You cannot lead someone into a place you have not gone yourself. When was the last time you had a process review with your Boss? Go ahead and make that appointment. He loves talking with His children about the desires He wants to give them; and He wants to be intimately involved in their surrender, sacrifice and submission.

Humbly yours and forever His,