One of the greatest obstacles many Christians have is simply serving the Lord. For some people, time crowds out their ability to serve the Lord. Others struggle to serve the Lord because of illness, a serious disease, or a litany or other reasons. It’s easy to understand the feeling that life is coming at us a million miles an hour and that it’s hard to find the time to pause and reflect on God’s work in our lives. Yet, that is exactly what we must do as Christians. As believers, we are called to faithfully serve the Lord out of our relationship with Him.
I’ve been a Christian since I was a child. I’ve gone through many peaks and valleys in my life, as I’m sure you have. While the mountain top experiences in our walk with God help encourage us and allow us to understand that God is with and for us, we often forget this fact when we are in the valley. Hebrews 13:5 makes this clear—that Jesus is with us and for us. He goes before us, alongside us, and ahead of us. He is everywhere, in every situation, and He is always faithful. I don’t know about you, but that is extremely encouraging to me.
Today, my aim is to help you see that faithfully serving God comes from knowing God. Often, as Christians, we can get in mindset that every seemingly good opportunity is meant for us take. It is okay to take opportunities that come our way; they are opportunities to celebrate and praise God. Yet, we should be careful with regard to how much we take on, because we have only a finite amount of time and we are called to be good stewards of our time and our lives.
Over the years I’ve battled with all the excuses in the book and know how easy it is to make them and then succumb to them. At the end of the day, however, every excuse is only a justification to fail to serve the Lord. Jesus served His Father faithfully all the days of His life. Many men and women throughout the history of the Church have given of their lives in service to the Church. The Apostle Paul is a man known for giving of his life for the glory of God. He poured out his life as an offering to the Lord and for the joy of the nations. Faithfully serving the Lord doesn’t mean doing everything, it means doing what we are called to do with excellence for the glory of the Lord.
When I was in my early twenties, I viewed every opportunity as something I should “go for”. It took me some time and eventually burning out to realize that I needed to adopt a different approach to opportunities to serve the Lord. As I did this, I quickly realized that what I needed was to spend time in prayer and get godly counsel from friends about various opportunities. After I later got married, I made it a practice to always ask my wife what her thoughts were on getting involved in or taking on another ministry responsibility. This has helped me a great deal to be able to handle these opportunities in a God-honoring way.
One of the key things I’ve learned in dealing with these opportunities, is to thank and praise God for it when it is presented. Sometimes I simply feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do every day. When this happens I turn my attention back to the gospel. We don’t find our identity for our service in our work, but in Jesus Christ. We can only serve the Lord faithfully if we are living from our identity in Him, and not from our performance. Understanding this point is crucial, not only to growing in Christ, but also to faithfully serving the Lord. The gospel provides the fuel for our growth and for our service. Going back to the gospel is something we need to do every moment of every day. When we cry out, “Lord help me”, that is a prayer He will always answer. He is faithful to His promises. He goes before us, alongside of us, and ahead of us to advance His Kingdom in the lives of the people He will set before us. The Holy Spirit empowers us to make much of Jesus. This is why we can be faithful, because we have a faithful God, and we can be faithful in our knowing and serving Him.
This is why we can be spent for the gospel. This is why when life seems to be throwing us curveballs we can press in rather than run away. God is faithful; rest in that truth. Grow in your knowledge of this fact by trusting Him. Don’t just say, “I know that”, but let the truth of God’s faithfulness wash over you afresh. Be reminded that the God of the universe is your God and His promises are true. Now stop making excuses, and faithfully serve your trustworthy (and faithful) Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Know that He bled, died, rose, and ascended for you. He is your High Priest, Mediator, and Intercessor. In everything Jesus does, He is faithful and He has now empowered you through the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses for His glory. Serve Him faithfully and declare the majesty of His name among the nations.