Keeping the Fig Tree
Anonymous - July 8, 2019

When I was offered a ministry internship, I’d been in a season of spiritual warfare in my thoughts. Working in the church sounded like a dream come true; serving in a place where closeness to God is your coworkers' paramount goal seemed like a good way to keep my mind distracted from the temptations. Besides, it felt good to know I was doing something right for once. All I wanted was to get back into focusing on God again, and going to church seemed like a good start.

The pastor I interned under told me he liked to give people jobs that allowed them to use their spiritual gifts. I wasn’t sure anymore what my gift was (come to find out I’ve got the gifts of helps and administration). I’m not any kind of prophet or evangelist, but I can serve those who are so they have more time to do what they’re good at doing. So I stepped up to plate, not waiting to be asked or told to do something, but taking initiative and serving where I saw it was needed.

I started out with simple things, like cleaning the bathroom, or bringing the pastor his afternoon coffee. The more I offered service, though, the more the pastor entrusted to me, and by the end of the internship, he dubbed me his personal assistant. Counseling sessions that needed to be scheduled, or documents that needed to be filed were filtered through me so they wouldn’t clutter his time in the Word.

Not only did this aid his ministry, but my ability to evangelize actually strengthened; it’s natural for people to talk about their own lives, and if a majority of your life is spent at church, it’s a whole lot easier to bring up the gospel in conversation.

There’s a Proverb that says, “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; so he who waits on his master will be honored” (Proverbs 27:18). In essence, if you  submit yourself to taking initiative, if you dedicate yourself to service, then you’re going to eventually get a sort of tenure. You’ll gain trust. This is exactly what happened to me: I was given the role of assistant simply because I stepped into it when I saw assistance was needed. I wanted to serve for the sake of the simplicity, for the sake of being with God. If I were trying to earn my way to some lofty title, I wouldn’t be truly submissive—and a lack of submissiveness would actually hinder my ability to serve!

What about this concept on a larger scale, though? What if the master we’re waiting on isn’t a pastor in need of a secretary, but rather the God who has called us into obedience? What if we tended to the spiritual fruit in our lives, making sure we accurately represented He who saved us? What would it look like if we submitted ourselves in a way that we took initiative in serving Him? What doors of ministry would we open for ourselves and others? How much more focused on God would our minds be if we dedicated every day to His Church and Kingdom?