Have you ever known someone whose theology was spot on, but still there was something missing? They had right theology but wrong motives or attitudes. What does this make one? Well it simply makes them one with right theology but far from God. In the Old Testament, we see this example in the prophet Jonah (more concerned over a plant that dies than over 120,000 people's souls). In the New Testament, we see it in the attitude of the older brother to the prodigal son, who doesn't rejoice over his lost brother's return but, instead throws a jealous fit because he never received such a party. God has deep concerns over these individuals and he desires for them examine their hearts - are you serving God or serving self? Are you talking to people about the things of God out of genuine love or self-interest? Are you seeing with the eyes of God or your own eyes and agenda? These are deep, probing questions for the ones serving in "ministry" today. But let's remember, none of us has been commissioned to "do" the work of God, but we are all individually "the work of God" (Ephesians 2:10).
But the Lord said, "You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left - and much livestock?" (Jonah 4:10-11)
Trying to do God's work instead of being God's work, has little to do with "God's work" at all.
Dr. William Burnham is a pastor at Point of Grace Church in Covington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.