Servanthood is a glorified word for sacrifice. It’s not something we must do, it’s a privilege we get to have. Following Christ is not holding His hand and walking blindly because we have “given Him control” but it takes an audacious kind of Christian to truly serve.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Romans 12:1
I think it’s easy to fall into becoming a blind Christian. We’ve been told all our lives God is in control. “Well, if He’s in control then I can just sit back and watch.” Really? You just want to “watch” your life play out like a movie on the screen? Sounds pretty ridiculous, huh? The ironic thing is, we all are guilty of covering our eyes until we get to the “good part.”
This is where servanthood springs into action. Anyone can relax and enjoy the ride but it takes a person of audacity to get up and be a kingdom builder. Paul is one of the greatest examples of this trait or so-call-it, lifestyle. He received God’s calling over his life and he did something about it. He didn’t wait for the Lord to deliver his first move upon his doorstep, but he went out obediently and fearlessly.
He describes his die-hard servanthood in Acts 20 verses 19-20, “Serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house.”
Being a blind Christian is easy but becoming a good servant takes work and endurance. The life of a servant is not designed to be a walk in the park but a day-in and day-out battle. No one describes ongoing struggles better than Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:11-13.
“To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.”
Chasing God’s calling over your life is not about you, it’s about the journey along the way. God will place people, circumstances and trials on your path to shape you, challenge you and teach you how to face each with a servant’s heart.
God treasures His people; those near and far from His reach, which is why He sent you. As servants we are required to interact with all types of people in this world. While we are royalty in heaven, we are servants on this earth, therefore we are no better than our neighbor, but we get to love on them.
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3
God doesn’t create life because He can or because He feels like it. He introduces new life because He deeply needs and desires it. We are His people, made in His image, designed for His purpose. Paul talks about the body in Romans 12:4-5 and he puts it so well when he says we are members of the body of Christ, no two functioning in the same way. My calling looks a whole lot different than yours and that’s because God doesn’t make something without first assigning it a custom-fit purpose.
“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith.” Romans 12:6
Oh, that’s so good Paul. Did you get it? Serving the Lord is the only way to exercise our gifts, while pursuing our calling. The way you serve is tailored to your skills and abilities. So don’t compare your service to those who seemingly do “more” or “greater” for the kingdom. The good servant doesn’t belittle what the Lord has asked them to do, they just do it.
The moment you let go of comparison and embrace everything God says you are, is the moment you embrace genuine servanthood. Accepting this act of heavenly duty means you must conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the title. You must carry yourself as the Lord’s messenger, willing to do whatever it takes to further the kingdom.
Paul makes it easy for us because he defines the genuine servant:
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what it right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Romans 12:9-18
I encourage you to read Romans 12 and to underline what stands out to you when it comes to being a dedicated servant of the Lord. Write them down, put them in a place you can see them, and live as Paul describes. It will take practice and sacrifice, but the good servant never quivers from a challenge. The good servant wakes up each morning, clothes themselves with audacious humility, and puts on their best walking shoes, prepared to follow God anywhere.