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Serving the Lord
- Jacob Ninan
Serving the Lord is everyone's call in the body of Christ. It is irrelevant here that some have a prominent ministry while the others are more hidden. All of us have a part to do, and the essence of serving God is to do whatever He wants us to do (1Co.12:11). It is not for us to do what we consider to be interesting to us. He is the Lord, and we are just servants. He makes the plans, and we can be sure that considering His wisdom and foreknowledge, we can never make a better plan.
Very few are called to 'full-time' Christian work, even though all are called to serve God full time - whatever we do, we are to do it as unto Him (Col.3:23,24). We are to do all things with our whole heart into it, because we are ultimately serving God and not man. He who watches our hearts can see what we do and why we do it. It is our motives that are more important in His sight than what we do, because we can do even good things with selfish motives.
The most important criterion with which God examines us is whether we are seeking to serve Him or seeking our own. It was true even among Paul's coworkers that most were seeking their own and not Christ's interests (Php.2:19-21). When we seek money, fame, recognition, power, authority, etc., we are seeking our own, and that negates any service that we do for God even if people cannot see through us. Those who serve in God's kingdom are eligible to receive financial and other support for it (1Co.9:14). But it is quite another thing if we 'serve' in order to make money. The motive makes the difference. If we think that the success of our ministry is measured in terms of numbers, and our goal is to expand till we are comparable or better than the big names, we forget the commitment to doing what the Lord wants us to do. We then start adopting techniques and gimmicks and cutting corners here and there in order to reach our ambition. God says that wherever there is selfish ambition there is also disorder and every evil thing (Jas.3:16). We may start saying and doing what the crowd wants than what the Lord wants (2Ti.4:3). Paul's ambition, on the contrary, was to be always pleasing to the Lord (2Co.5:9). This is something we need to constantly examine ourselves on because the tendency to seek our own clings to us.
When we want to serve God don't we like to think up new things to do for Him? But a good servant does not make his own plans but listens to his master and does what he is told. Isn't what the Lord wants from us to be faithful to Him rather than do a whole lot of things which He never asked us to do? (1Co.4:2).
Jesus said that true greatness in His kingdom came from serving the others (Mk.9:34,35). The greatest is the one who serves all. This means to place their interests before ours. Is this easy for us to do always? Not at all. That is why we need to work on it, seek God's face to learn more about what He thinks about us and how we can do things better.