Serving… that word may bring many things to mind. It might cause a tingling to go up your spine; “oh the excitement of being able to help!” But that same word might make you cringe inside, “ugh no, I have to help again.” How is it that the same word can have such diverse feelings of heart towards it?
SERVE: to act as a servant, to be of use; fulfill a specified purpose: aid, assist, attend, further, help, look after, minister to, and work for.
SERVANT: one who serves others
BONDSERVANT: devoted to another without regard for one’s own interests.
It is absolutely valid to feel negative towards it when you have had several bad experiences within the whole act of serving. It is also valid to feel it as a burden. This is the case so many times; when you have been drawn into something unwillingly. And if you are like me it is more than likely that it has occurred often. I mean who wants to let someone down anyway right? Well NO; that is the wrong way to approach it. Who are you ultimately ‘serving’? If you are a Christian then your Great Master is Christ. In essence, it is Him you are striving to please, so whether or not you feel like you are going to let people down, it is WAY more important to hear God’s will in your commitment to service.
Colossians 3:23 says: And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. (NKJV)
That verse right there tells us as Christians exactly where our hearts should be at. At Christ’s feet, searching for His will and doing His work.
You might frown right about now and ask why it would be God’s will to say no to service sometimes? You might also justify it by saying that being asked to serve at church is a good thing, right? Won’t He want me to help if I am needed? Well, there is a great danger in just accepting a serving position if it isn’t God’s will for you. You know why? Because many times you are prone to try doing it alone then; trying to serve Him without His help. That is a very draining position to fulfill, believe me, I know. You will try to please people and forget the real reason that you are serving, your focus becomes blurred. And you get worn out.
Ephesians 6:5-8 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye service as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. (NKJV)
Recently I had to learn this again the hard way. I committed to several areas of serving within our church and being under the leadership of others I felt insufficient, unable and like a failure. I would prepare devotion in the hope that the leader would give her approval. I would struggle severely with leading the children in worship because I felt that if the leader can’t see I am ‘Spirit-led’ how could I even lead children’s worship? Then there were several issues within our group and I tried to sort it out. I took the whole responsibility upon myself. And let me tell you, it was tiring, it hurt and it was very hard.
But God says in His Word: Come to ME all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take MY yoke upon you and learn from ME, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For MY yoke is easy and MY burden is light.- Matthew 11: 28-30.(NKJV)
And by the grace of God, I was able to break down before Him and admit that I had been struggling in vain. And the best part is He is constantly patient with us. Sometimes we run into holes, but He remains faithful. He draws us to Himself yet again. And realising anew, it literally ‘lifted my burden’. I could say “Lord, I’m sorry. Here I am. I can’t do any of this alone. Fill me with You, and help me do Your will.”
2 Thessalonians 3:13: but as for you brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. (NKJV)
Christ calls us to serve Him but with the right attitude and heart. Serving is not supposed to a tiresome burden, it is supposed to be a joy when you are working for the Lord of heaven and earth.
In 1 Corinthians 15:58 Paul writes: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the works of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (NKJV)
And if we do it within God’s will with hearts set on Him, He equips us.
Hebrews 13:20-21 says Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepard of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (NKJV)
So may you feel encouraged and if serving had you worn out, go to Christ. Humble yourself at His feet and get your perspective right again, serve your King with His help to His glory and honour, Amen!