Originally published Thursday, 18 December 2014.
I love serving. I love encouraging. I love giving. I love following the call of the Lord so that I can call others to know the Lord more. I love giving it all for the one who gave it all.
Yet, sometimes, when my eyes stray from the Ultimate Servant, I start to think I am the ultimate giver.
When this happens two things normally happen:
1.) I start feeling insecure, because I think results rely on my shoulders.
2.) I attempt to steal the Lord's glory.
Tired. Worn. Weary. My eyes wander from Christ. I desire appreciation and require affirmation.
It’s so easy for the servant to be replaced with one wanting to be served.
With just the slightest perspective change, we are lured in. Why? Because serving is hard. Being less than is hard. Ministry is hard. It’s tireless. It’s sacrificial. It’s never ending.
It's easy to think, "I have given so much, what about me?"
Have you ever felt this way?
Often, we servants, have 5 predominate lies that grow thick and take over our mind. But, we can cut down these lies with the truth of God's Word.
1. "I should be doing more. My work isn't enough."
We wrongly think that God values big things, big endeavors and huge results. We feel marginalized by God. Less than. We believe our work won't count until it is bigger and better. Sometimes, we can wonder why we are even trying...
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much... (Luke 16:10)
TRUTH: If you are being faithful with what God has given you, you are being faithful. Period. At our days end, we will be valued - not by how big we did things - but by how we loved, how we believed and how we trusted God with what we were given.
'Well-done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share your master's happiness!" (Mt. 25:23)
2. "Look what they're doing. They are so much better than I am."
The second we take our eyes off of Christ is the second we start getting big eyes for other's accomplishments. We see. We want. We envy.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Phil. 2:3)
TRUTH: We are all working for the Lord. We have the same boss - and the same goals. True joy is found when we co-labor with our neighbor. God desires community, relationships and teamwork. He never intended for us to mark our territories – as we pursue our own agendas.
Instead, he tells us to consider others better than ourselves. Why? Because he wants us to experience the full joy of serving, working and loving others.
3. "I feel worn down. I can't find strength."
Tired. Worn. Weak. Weary. We feel that ministry has become a daily grind.
...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Is. 40:31)
TRUTH: We renew our strength by renewing our relationship with the Lord. Meaning: we remember why we are doing this, whom we are doing it for and why we have been called. If he called us, he will clear a way for us. We can stop striving and start resting in his plan. As we do this, he will renew our strength.
4. "Does what I do, even matter? I am not making a difference."
We doubt the difference we are making. We question our purpose.
The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me. (Mt. 25:40)
TRUTH: If we affected one, we have pleased One. God values the least of these. He is not looking for numbers; he is looking for changed hearts. What you are doing does matter. If someone has been changed, your work has had huge impact. And, imagine all the people you have impacted who have never even told you.
5. "No one has affirmed me. I am not any good."
We can feel discouraged, waiting to be encouraged. We need people to fill us up, in order to feel full.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mt. 6:33)
TRUTH: When we seek after God, his kingdom, and his righteousness, we don't need to gas up on approval. Because know we are already approved. In this, we can stand secure. This means we don't have to spin wheels seeking approval and affirmation. He has everything covered.
The Lord sees us. And, as he sees fit - he gives. He gives to us as we are seeking after him. He makes it easy, he just tells us, "Seek after me and I will give you all the rest."
We were created to serve. When we serve based on the promises of God, we can serve from a whole-hearted place, instead of an insecure place. It makes all the difference in the world.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served
but to serve others
and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mk. 10:45)
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