The Conflict of Service and Communion
Text: Acts 6: 4-6 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
Today many of us are really busy in the service of God and this is very much commendable but there are dangers in any service which may reduce our communion with God. The intent of God why he calls us to any form of Service in His vineyard is not first for work, rather it is first for communion with Him. For instance, even when all the world has missed it, His sole intention was to make Israel a Kingdom of Priests (‘And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel’ Ex.9:6), imagine a kingdom where everyone is a priest with constant communion with God, which is the type of Service God want.
Irrespective of any work or task we do for God, our first priority should be that we must cultivate a relationship with God more than being busy for Him because the life of a Servant of God is more important than his work. Even when He called his disciples, His primary purpose was for them to first be with Him afterward, He may send them out. Anyone can do most of the work we do, we can even outsource them, but you cannot outsource communion with God and that is God’s most significant request from mann.
From inception, God has continued to seek man’s communion; He created us in His image to ensure our relationship and fellowship are not lost, he placed man in the Garden of Eden and visited him daily at the cool of the day to maintain the harmony and when a man lost it, He drove men out and later in the Tabernacle Worship He still requested the service of Priests and finally He plans to take us to heaven where the communion with him is the only duty there. (Gen. 3:8,23)
When the Apostles find themselves at this crossroad of busy tasks like our days in (Acts 6:4-6), and they said ‘But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word’. They all agreed to reduce those task that reduces their communion with God because, the more service to God, the more our communion with Him should be but most times it is otherwise. Sometimes, the more we get involved in the service of God the more administrative task we begin to do, and the more our communion reduces.
Therefore, let everyone checks his/her service and be sure it is not reducing our communion in prayer and study of His word but rather increasing it, because the more commitment you are given, the more communion you should have that is the expectation and not otherwise. Also, a point of note is that our communion to God is first for our life, so the Bible we study and the Prayer we pray should first be for our life and not praying and studying because we want to preach or teach.
Author : Seun Oloruntoba