Overflowing: Ministry and Missions That Flow from the Heart

A missionary shares why who you are is more important than what you do.

Is your ministry cup overflowing, or is it running dry?

We minister from the overflow of our heart. If our heart runs dry, so does our ministry. We cannot minister from an empty cup.

I don’t know the plans God has for my life or your life over the next year, but I do know this: our primary focus should be on our heart. Who we are is more important than what we do, because what we do flows out of who we are. Focusing on our heart prepares us to be a useful vessel in God’s hands.

“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:20-21).

Do you want to be useful? In our zeal to be used by God, we have a tendency to rely on doing things for God. However, when God chose to use certain individuals in the Bible, it wasn’t because of their effort or abilities. For us to do what God wants us to do, we must be who God wants us to be. Actions are important, but even more important is the heart that these actions flow from.

Our heart is so important that God is searching for people to use for his glory. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

God is searching the world for a certain kind of person. In the description of God’s search, it seems as though this kind of person is, sadly, not very common. When God was searching for someone to shepherd his people, he found David. There wasn’t a list of people who would all prove a good fit—just David. Even more startling is how God spoke about Job. God said of Job that there was no one else like him on earth (Job 1:8). God saw something different in David and Job, something that set them apart from everyone else.

If the only factor in who God chooses to use is his sovereignty, he wouldn’t need to search and test hearts. He could simply choose without regard to the person and then infuse them with everything they need. But God is looking for something different. He doesn’t choose us because of our personal greatness. God is looking at our heart. “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2).

I have meditated on this verse for years, and this thought continues to thrill me: I could become the kind of person to whom God looks.

So could you.

My consuming desire is to become one to whom God looks. My behavior doesn’t guarantee that God will use me in big ways or according to my plans, but I want to be ready for whatever task he chooses to set before this lump of clay. I want to be useful in his hands.

Because God’s plan on earth is not complete, his search is not over. God is looking. The idea may strike you as simple, but let it really sink in. God is looking. The Creator of the universe is searching the world for people to use for his glory. When he finds these hearts, he pours out his strong support, using them to magnify his name before a world in need of its king.

Do you want to be useful?

Do you desire your life and ministry to be marked by the strong support of God?

Do you desire to be one to whom God looks?

Focus on your heart.

Prioritizing your heart means taking time to “be still and know” that he is God (Psalm 46:10). Meditating on his beauty and power will grow your faith, deepen your humility, and challenge your holiness.

You can become a person that is useful to God—not because of great things you do, but because of a heart that pleases Him. When God finds a heart that is fully his, he fills it to overflowing.

Editor’s Note: Want to dive deeper? This article contains excerpts from Kyle’s book, Overflowing: Ministry and Missions That Flow From the Heart.