The Why of Servanthood
It’s been a few weeks since I have released something for you. Forgive me. Look for entries every week, if the Lord and my body says the same.
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This post will be a foundational teaching of service, one that can always help us no matter what level of service we are in. This may not be as relatable to those recently saved or in the process of accepting salvation. So, if that is you, I want to leave you with something. That is: remember that we are all called to a service of Holiness unto God. This is what I like to call the first service. There is always room for all to work on our first service unto God. Reference: Romans 12:1 & Hebrews 12:14.
Today’s post is for the ones who have come to a place in their walk with Christ and have said, “I want to be used by the Lord.” If you’ve been in church long enough, I am sure you’ve heard this phrase before. If you haven’t, stay tuned, you will. Nonetheless, believers all around the world want to be used by God. That’s good! But, I wouldn’t classify being “used” as serving the Lord. If you look in the Word of God, many people were used who were not servants. Pharaoh being one of those examples. He was used to show the Hebrews that God was a deliverer and a protector of His people, but he was not a servant of God. Moses was the one who served God.
When I think of a servant, I think of someone who is desired by God. When I think of someone who is used, I think of someone who is tolerated for a purpose.
Service unto God is such a great honor. If we desire that great honor, we must take our minds past being used. Servants want not only to be used, but to please God. They look for every opportunity to please, even if they are not used.
In over 10 years of serving, I have seen the difference in being used and serving depend upon one question. That question is: Why? Another name for “why” is motive.
Why do you want to serve God?
Why do you want to serve your leader?
Why do you want a role in your ministry?
These are some serious questions. It is one of the founding areas of our service unto God. I like to teach this early because the sooner we catch ourselves the better. You may find that based upon your answers, you really are not looking to serve but to be used. It is imperative that we evaluate ourselves. That evaluation will lead us to seek God for a cleansing.
Every servant of God must go through a cleansing. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or shun. I went through it and still take spiritual showers. Cleansing doesn’t all happen at the same time. Purity is a process. We even bathe our natural bodies daily.
So, you may ask, how do you know the difference? These are just a few observations that I have experienced over the years. People that are just wanting to be used often base their relationship with God on a gift; prophecy, preaching, singing, all the visible things. Being used is an opportunity to shine, whereas servants look for God to shine. People who look to be used are often self-centered. They consume themselves with the opinions of those they regard as important. A servant will remember that God is always watching and maintain a constant character.
Motive is defined as: a reason for doing something. So, what is your motive for wanting to serve? Even when looking at your first service, what is the reason for accepting Christ? Is it because you fear hell? Is it because your parents told you to? Whatever your reason, my prayer is that eventually while you are on your process of purity, your motive will change, and your answer will be because you love God.
I want to let you in on a secret, no one starts off loving God. Everyone who serves God will have to be cleansed and processed. Loving God is something that must be matured in us all. It’s like any relationship. No one meets someone and is instantaneously in love. They may be instantaneously infatuated, but not in love. There are those that have been fascinated with God from the first time they met Him. The love takes time.
When I first received Christ, being used or serving was a term unknown to me. I was in a bad place and needed change. God met me where I was, loved me, and showed me how to love Him back. It was through God that I realized I never knew what love really was. When the Lord began speaking to me about serving Him, my service began from the best place it could because I loved Him. Even in that love I still went through cleansing, but my motive was in the right place.
So, to answer the question from the beginning regarding why you desire to serve. Your answer should be; for love, your love for God. If it’s not there ask God to help you obtain it. If you are wondering do you love God, the Word lets us know that love is not a feeling, but an action (1John 3:18). God knows we love Him when we keep His commandments (1John 5:3). That love will be the reason you love your leader, the people you serve, and the brethren.
I pray this post helps you and helps to shape your service.