God's Word is rich with the concept of serving Him. We see this in a sense that anyone who believes in Christ and walks with the Lord is said to be serving Him.
Serving God shows that we have put God and ourselves in the right place; that we believe in Him to save and keep us; and that He is worthy to be obeyed. We also notice that serving indicates that we not only know Him, but that we will follow and obey Him! Then we also see in Scripture the idea of serving God as more literal acts of service to Himself by serving those around us. Having just highlighted serving in our services this past Sunday, here are three things that may keep us from serving:
1. Poor motivation.
In 1 Samuel and the Joshua passage below, we see sincerity and truth being named with service. The verse in 1 Samuel 12:24 says that we should "... consider how great things he hath done for you." Our prime example and motivation to service should be what Christ did for us on the cross! We cannot rely on duty, pleasing man, or fleshly motivation to faithfully serve the Lord. It must come from the heart and it makes all the difference.
1 Samuel 12:24, "Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you."
2. Recognition or gain.
The very concept of service means that you are giving up what you want or need in order to help someone else. That is against our human nature and is what can make service difficult. Are we willing to be like Christ and selflessly give up our own time, energy, and finances in order to help others? Christ gave everything when He served us on the cross! This passage in Colossians helps us to look past all of the difficulties in serving. It helps us to look past the discomfort, sacrifice, and even the person when we see Christ as the object of our service.
Colossians 3:22-24, "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
3. Our sin or distractions.
We can't faithfully serve God when there is unchecked sin in our life. The Israelites were at a dividing point with the Lord when Joshua told them to choose in Joshua 24. It was very simple; they had to leave their sin in order to serve God. Our acts of service to others will suffer if we have unaddressed sin in our lives. We can even extend this to things that simply distract us or unduly draw our time from what God wants us to do. We could equate this to materialism or entertainment and realize that our service to God could always be more if we adjust those things in our lives. (Hebrews 12:1).
Joshua 24:14, "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD."
Written by Aaron Lanier