An Unexpected Ministry
While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said . . . (Acts 13:2 NAS).
Surely the prophets and teachers in Antioch weren’t “ministering” to the Lord the way we understand ministry. Surely they were simply worshiping, just as most translations say. After all, ministry implies meeting needs, and God has none. How could human beings possibly minister to him?
The short answer is that God created us for relationship, and while he is in need of nothing, he has made himself relationally vulnerable to the desires, affections, and commitments of his people. He didn’t have to; he willingly chose to call us friends. And there is ample scriptural evidence that he can be grieved, moved, delighted, angered, pleased, and blessed by our response to him. Because he has chosen to enter into fellowship with us, we really can minister to him.
Things happen when we do. In Antioch, the Spirit spoke and the world was changed. When we set aside our self-focus and aim to love God and bless him, things change in our lives too. We hear him more clearly. We follow him more willingly. We are empowered more dramatically. And God accomplishes his purposes in ways we’ve only dreamed.