Service is serving — sometimes voluntarily, sometime involuntarily. In service one is enslaved to someone or something — sometimes voluntarily, sometimes involuntarily. Slavery is not all bad. For instance, Paul, inspired by the Spirit, said, “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). One may be freed from one kind of slavery, but he will inevitably be brought under the control of another kind of slavery. Those who were made free by The Emancipation Proclamation were not free to do as they pleased. They ceased being mere chattel for their masters; but they were brought under the laws of the land. If one is free from righteousness, he is the slave of sin; if he is freed from sin, he becomes the servant of God. Everyone serves someone.
Service to God is a deliberate action. It is a choice made. There is no force involved saving for the force of one’s own intelligent reaction to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel forces one to this new slavery by imposing upon him a sense of righteousness and judgment and a sorrow for sin. It only forces one to serve because he comes to know and love God.
This new yoke (Matthew 11:30) is easy to bear, its burden light compared to the imposing slavery of sin and the yoke it imposes.
Service to God is man’s only way to glorify Him. There is no other. Mental assent may bring some satisfaction to the mind, but it brings little glory to God. Even pangs of conscience may well say something about where a man is headed, but it does not, by itself, glorify God. Only service glorifies God. Adopting the attitudes He recommends, bringing oneself deliberately under His control, performing, to the best of one’s ability, His requirements and leaving off His prohibitions constitutes service. Without these things in their proper places, there is only admission, not service. True service brings the whole man into subservience to God.
To serve God one must put himself totally at God’s disposal. There must be no room left in the heart for any god of any sort, but Him only. One must sanctify Him; give Him the high place He deserves. That speaks not only to faith, but to trust and confidence as well. It speaks to allowing Him complete control in one’s life. Any less is double-minded devotion and such a mental division of affection is not acceptable to Him. Please note that such submission not only brings Him glory, but it brings glory to the person who submits as well. Man never operates at a higher level of efficiency, nor does he ever come closer to the fulfillment of his design for being, than when he is totally disposed to serve his Maker.
Service to God is eminently practical. It makes sense. It is practical because of what it does for man. Man is made better by serving God. His ideals are more substantive, his goals are more sensible, His labors more effective, his hope more lofty. It makes no sense at all to lay up treasures on earth when nature itself teaches that the earth eventually claims its patrons, leaving them penniless and powerless. It makes good sense to lay up treasures in heaven where God has assured that the investment will pay dividends so rich that our fi nite minds fail to accurately comprehend them. Such rewards are the result of service to God. Notice, I said the “result,” of such service. These rewards are provided by the grace of God; but they are for those who choose to serve Him. There will be no such rewards for those who deliberately choose a life of service to the mundane.
In its purest sense, service is an offering. Service is a sacrifice of oneself to God. Paul indicates such in Romans 12:1, when he says, “present your bodies a living sacrifice to God.” He speaks of such as “your reasonable service.” It is reasonable because it makes sense; it makes sense because it is reasonable. This offering is a presentation — one presents himself to God to be used as He sees fit. “Here am I Lord, send me” is the mantra of the true servant. You give your life, you give your heart, and you give your being to Him. He is yours and you are His. Beside Him there is no other. It is this giving in service that makes it a “living” sacrifice; it is alive, active.
Service is a measurement of one’s love for God. If you serve Him faithfully, you love Him dearly. If you serve Him sporadically, you love him sporadically. You must measure your love yourself; and you measure your love by appraising your service to Him. Is it total? Is it unrestrained, unrestricted, unlimited?
By Dee Bowman