I find myself praying every week before I go out on stage to sing and play with the praise band. Praying itself is not what I’m second guessing right now; it’s the content of my prayers. You see, I pray every week and thank God for the privilege to serve Him. I thank Him for using me and letting me be part of the ministry. I thank Him for letting me lead others into worship and for the chance to share my faith with those around me. But I began to think recently, is it really a privilege to serve God.
Now, before those of you who are Christians get defensive on me and flag me as a heretic and blasphemer, let me explain. I don’t think that serving is a privilege, I think it’s a requirement. I came to this realization when I was listening to a Joyce Meyer session in which she said that she was handing out job applications for God. That hit me pretty hard. For the longest time, I had been living like salvation was just something that I got. I received salvation, I believed in Christ, my job was done.
But in fact, my job is just beginning. Salvation isn’t a word or a promise or a prayer. Salvation is a lifestyle. I know, I know. I can hear you now saying that if salvation is a lifestyle, that means that I believe in a salvation based on works. Again, let me explain. The Bible says in numerous places that our outward actions are a reflection of the great work that Christ has done in us. (James 2:14-17; James 2:26; Matthew 7:21-23)
The Bible also says that even if we profess to be Christians but don’t have the fruit to show for it, then we are actually dead and should be cut from the vine. (Matthew 7:17; John 15:1-27; Galatians 5:22)
So I am not saying that you must have good works to be saved, but I am saying that good works is the outward proof of the change that is in you. If things don’t change on the outside, there has been no change on the inside. Both cannot coexist in the same body: works of the flesh and works of the spirit.
“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NLT)
As Christians, it is our responsibility to live differently from the rest of the world. We are told to let our let shine.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16 NLT)
Ok, so now that you can see that we are supposed to be different from the world, what does that have to do with serving in the church? Good question. As you can see, I’ve been using a ton of Scripture here to back this up because I don’t want anyone to think that I’m preaching some agenda or ulterior motive. This is a revelation that came to me. If you wish to heed this, then that’s great! But if you want to ignore it, then that is between you and God and not for me to judge. I will love you as a brother or sister either way.
So here’s my conviction. Peter says, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT) What I didn’t see from this verse, or any of the surrounding verses, is an exclusion clause. Peter is saying that God has given each of His children a gift, and that we have a responsibility to use that gift to the glory of God. I believe that this doesn’t just imply, but commands us to serve in the church in some capacity or another.
I truly believe that if you show up every Sunday, sit through the service, and then go home, and this is your routine week in and week out, then you’re probably not using your gift to its fullest potential, if at all. Each of us should be serving in some capacity. I will leave it up to you to decide the gifts that God has given you and how best to use them.
Before I sound ungrateful, let me say that I do count it a privilege to be able to serve my Lord on a weekly basis. I am completely humbled that God would use me in a way that would bring glory to His name. I do believe that I am called, as a child of God, to serve Him, but I also count it a privilege to be able to do the work of the Father in the capacity that I do.
I have no idea whether this will help anyone or not, but in my mind, I have begun to look at my service in a whole new light. It’s not that I’m volunteering to serve or just serving to fulfill some sort of spiritual requirement, I do it because it is my job as part of the family of God. And I’m honored that He has given me the privilege to spend my days serving and worshipping Him!
Lord, please help me to have a grateful heart of a servant. Help me to view my service as more than a volunteer position for my resume, but as a responsibility that I have to serve you and to serve others as well. Continue to humble me as I strive to live each day in service to you. Amen.