Posted by: William | February 5, 2008

Service Under Scrutiny

God does not want an offering that, in our heart, we do not want to offer. It does no good to say to ourselves, or any like statement, “fine! I’ll give a portion of my finances to the Lord!” as if it’s a real chore. Why is that? It’s because God is not firstly interested in what we give him, he is the one who looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). So it’s our hearts that must serve him. If it’s true that God is firstly interested in the heart then it wouldn’t be what we bring to him so much as why we bring it.

Is it possible that someone could be serving in the church, or the needy, faithfully and vigorously yet have that service rejected by God? Yes; so long as that service is done out of any less than willing, delighted, gratitude toward God. What falls under that category? Paying Jesus back for his sacrifice—both preposterous and impossible; you’ll just have to accept that it’s a gift. If your attitude is something like, “well I guess I have to do such and such because of Jesus’ sacrifice.” That’s not willing, that sounds more like the attitude of one writing a monthly loan payment check than someone who’s soul was inexplicably saved without any merit of their own. Gladly serve the Lord! (Psalm 100:2) If you know him, you have every reason to.

Of course, that’s not the only thing falling short of willing gratitude. I propose that any service to God, other than willing gratitude, is no service to God at all—only a mock service to ourselves, which ultimately will end in our demise.

I think this is a serious problem in the church today. It seems there’s been a subtle shift from why we bring things to God, to what things we bring to God. So we’ve got all kinds of people serving in the church, from people stacking chairs, to people preaching in the pulpit, who frankly have no business doing what they’re doing. I don’t think that is honoring to God or beneficial to man; in fact, I think it may be hurtful to both.

I think that for ourselves, we ought to privately assess our service and say, what are the reasons I am doing what I’m doing; we must answer honestly. If we find the answer unsettling, we should remember the doing is nothing, except for the heart (1 Kings 8:18). We should stop and pray seriously that God would change our hearts before we take even one more step.

Jesus, I pray that you would open my eyes to the condition of my heart; particularly when I endeavor to serve you in some way. Jesus, I pray that you would close doors to me whenever my service is motivated by anything other than a willing, delighted, enthusiastic gratitude toward you. But the inverse I pray as well, I pray that where my heart is right, you would supernaturally open doors to me to serve you in new ways. Jesus, I pray for your church as well that you would give her scrutinizing eyes to examine her heart and courage not to resist your Spirit’s sanctifying work. Get your glory.

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Responses

  1. this is a really good word – something I hope we never forget to examine (or try avoiding altogether)…especially as we either step into an area of ministry/serving or expand how we serve/minister.

  2. I actually started the pilgrim’s progress yesterday. you’re right that he’s tough to track with…I have to go back and re-read what I read last night…I fell asleep a little confused. haha


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