Who is an Independent servant of the Lord? Why are there people becoming independent? Nevertheless, this independence is absolutely dependent on the Lord Almighty. Perhaps you might be struggling with this sort of question. Let me share my walk with the Lord for almost twenty years by His grace, now I am independent but absolutely dependent on the Lord.
I began my journey in or with Christ in my late teenage, though was born and brought up in a God-fearing Christian family. The call of God was confirmed to me by his calling to my own people and the State of Odisha, in India, when I was involved in the summer ministry during my theological studies. I was been very serious about this call of God, therefore I made sure to hang on to that call of God. I made sure to remind myself when I was getting married to my beautiful wife, someone from a different culture and State of India. I also made sure to stick my commitment to the Lord of his call as I began my ministry.
Having been strongly convicted of his call of ministry, I was always cautious not to be sidetracked by any temptation of ministry that comes along with some handsome package of support or facility. My priority was to join the teaching ministry because I knew, what I had learned in my theological studies are still not enough for me (a personal conviction) and I need to learn more as I get involved in the teaching ministry. The Lord gave me this desire of mine to be in the teaching ministry. I was blessed to have this teaching experience in a seminary where the Word of God was exalted and at the same time the honor for me to be an associate pastor for almost ten years. I was planning and praying to continue that same teaching and pastoral ministry for 5 to 10 years, and I was looking for some opportunity to get back to my land for the vision and burden that the Lord has burdened me with. But nothing really worked or came on my way, and finally, I had to resign from my ministry opportunity due to contention with the authorities.
This was a very crucial moment for me to decide, whether to change to another ministry or pursue the call that the Lord has called me. The Lord was gracious in guiding me, he did not make me fail in my heart but instead gave me the grace and courage to follow what he has put in my heart. This was the time when I asked some capable people and leaders who could support me to do what the Lord has put in my heart but none came forward to join hands with me. Then I finally decided to do some part-time ministry with another organization and at the same time engage my wife in a teaching job at the school (though I personally did not want her to do that, for the sake of our needs I had to) to meet our family and ministry needs.
The Lord beyond my comprehension, opened a door for me to go for my Doctorate study in the United States, without anyone's promised financial support. I stayed there for six months and completed my two doctoral semesters by the grace of God. And now I am back in India because the needs are great and I have a family here in India. Waiting upon the Lord to lead me according to his good pleasure, there is not even a single pinpoint of regret for all that the Lord has done in my life though sometimes the enemy tries his best to discourage me.
As I am in India now, I have continued to do what the Lord has burdened me with. The Lord has begun his work no matter what are the obstacles and hardships. We have started a ministry which is named Udhaar Ministries, which means in English Deliverance. We are reaching the unreached to establish churches and working with needy pastors and churches to strengthen the churches. As we do this we have none but the Lord who has been our support and strength. We do not have any support from anyone or any missions as such except for one faithful man of God who has been gracious to give a little gift to meet our housing needs. We are independent but definitely dependent on the Lord.
Here are a few points of advice for being independent but nevertheless dependent on the Lord:
1. Not because you want to become a boss:
What is the driving force that makes you or you want to become independent? Never think that working under someone or an organization is a curse or something that is less. Please know that God has appointed both the masters and the servants. Therefore there is nothing wrong to be a servant of the earthly leaders, besides being a servant of the Almighty. I know one of the greatest needs among the workers today is to get rid of the leaders because the leaders are not treating the workers as they suppose to treat, they forget the mandate from the Scripture, but this does not give you permission to be independent. This attitude is something that is wrong with the person.
2. Not because you don’t want to be accountable to anyone:
Another aspect is that most people want to become independent because they do not want to be accountable to anyone. They want to do whatever they want to do and nobody should question them or ask them. This is something like people are not willing to work legitimately, they have become very low in their integrity, and as a result, they do not want to answer people, and neither anybody should ask them anything. This attitude is something that is wrong with the work of the person.
3. But to accomplish what the Lord has called you for or your heartbeat is for:
One thing that should drive you to become independent, no matter whether people are there to encourage or support you or not, is when the Lord burdens you with a specific call and heart and desire. As long as you have like-minded people to think and work with you in the same way, please join with them, but if you are found alone (as a result none are found to encourage and support you), never be afraid. Because we have the great promise of Christ, which says that He is with us even until the end of this world.
May the Lord bless you all as you strive to follow his call and the commission.