There is a phrase in Acts 13:2, used only once in the Bible. I’m focusing on this single phrase in 2021.
While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set Barnabas and Saul apart for Me for the work to which I have called them.” (an older version of the NASB)
“Ministering to the Lord”; what does this mean? The phrase can also mean “serving” and “the priestly function of representing others.”
The phrase brings confusion because the Lord needs nothing – how do we minister to Him? God has created us to enjoy Him. When we worship Him, His purposes are fulfilled.
Is God some egomaniac desiring praise? How many dictators have destroyed nations and murdered millions in their search for adulation? No! No! (Saying it twice for emphasis.) God wants our best and our best will only be found when we worship Him.
Our future is in Christ.
“Ministering to the Lord” is different than praise or thanksgiving. While the saints in Antioch were ministering to the Lord, God spoke and told them to set aside Barnabas and Saul. Saul became Paul and this ordination is the beginning of Paul’s ministry to the gentiles. Without this foundational ministry of the Apostle Paul taking the Gospel from Jewish confines to everyone, well, I wouldn’t be writing Interruptions and you wouldn’t be reading them.
My point from Acts 13:2 for 2021: I want to minister to the Lord so that He will speak to me. I want to give Him glory.
Whereas Acts 13:2 seems to be a “one off” passage, you get glimpses of more in-depth meaning from Romans 12:1 when we are asked to present ourselves a living sacrifice. The Book of Revelation provides a catechism from ministering to the Lord.
Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. Revelation 4:11
“Ministering to the Lord” means serving Him. His purpose for creation is fulfilled when free-will creatures proclaim His glory. When we align with this purpose, His Spirit is released through us. He speaks, He provides, and His Power is manifested.
Now you understand why I am “ministering to the Lord” in 2021.
I “minister to my wife” when I say, “I love you.” Not that her ego demands my love; I want to say it. The purpose of marriage is fulfilled when a couple volitionally (big word meaning “really wanting to”) loves one another. This professed love of “ministering to my wife” creates a bond that is best for becoming one, raising children, and living according to mutual purpose.
When ministering to the Lord, the saints in Antioch were told to send Paul and Barnabas to other nations. I can hear that conversation from 2,000 years ago.
Saints, “Hey Paul and Banabas, off you go, leave and go to the uttermost parts of the known world!”
The implication … while I am ministering to the Lord in 2021, and the Spirit tells me that you are to move to China or some other uttermost part for mission work… I will call and let you know.
I have this feeling that my number has just been blocked on your mobile.
My #3 New Year’s Resolution for 2021: Learn to minister to the Lord!
My #2 New Year’s Resolution for 2021: To pray often, “God bring revival, power, healing, and salvation in 2021.” (Explained in Interruption #237.)
My #1 New Year’s Resolution for 2021: I will recognize and confess my bitter-bits before they ignite a forest! (Explained in Interruption #233.)