Today’s Quote: “Humility does not mean you think less of yourself, it means you think of yourself less”- Ken Blanchard
Today’s Song: “The Lost Get Found”- Britt Nicole
Just to refresh your memory and to keep us in one straight line, yesterday’s part of our key scripture said:
“Do not use your freedom to satisfy your own sinful nature…”
We talked about pride.
That we wouldn’t use our freedom, gifts and callings to glorify ourselves, which can be so easy to do- but rather to glorify God.
The person to whom all the real glory is due, and the only one who is capable of living up to it.
So, so far we know that we are to remain free in Christ, and to be stubborn for that freedom!
Also, we know that we are not to use our freedom for our own selfish gain.
We need to keep our pride issues in check.
So today we are going to be talking about what we have been freed for.
We ended off yesterday talking about humility. Today we’ll be talking about service.
Service is a life’s evidence of true humility.
We’ll be looking at the last part of our Galatians scripture….
“Instead use your freedom to serve one another in love- For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
It all boils down to this right here.
The whole law summed up into one thing.
The most important thing we can do on this Earth. The commandment that sums up all other commandments:
If everyone actually did that can you imagine what kind of world this would be?
Even if only the Christians lived that out, things would be so different.
Not many people ever really get there though.
That’s just the truth.
I mean let’s be honest. None of us are so distant from being that kind of person that we talked about in the intro. The kind who gets stuck on herself. Always trying to build up and grow our own success. It is about the easiest thing in the world to default to.
Because after a while we just get comfortable.
We don’t really have that deep pain anymore that drew us to Jesus in the first place, so we stop praying and really pouring our hearts out to Him.
We just kind of get stuck doing the whole church routine, just always looking to see what else God and the church can offer us, and our own well-being.
But it’s not working! Because it’s not what God made us for.
Now again, it’s not a bad thing to go through times of self-reflection and really just allowing God to work on you, that is great, great stuff!
We just don’t want that to become our permanent focus.
We were made for more.
And if you’re like me then you actually want to get to the more.
The next level stuff.
The real kind of stuff that reaches farther than I knew I could.
Like Jesus. Jesus was a servant.
In a world that is teaching us to look out for #1,
that to be great means to be served, Christ shows us quite a different picture:
“Gathered at the Passover feast, the disciples were keenly aware that someone needed to wash the others’ feet. The problem was that the only people who washed feet were the least. So there they sat, feet caked with dirt. It was such a sore point that they were not even going to talk about it. No one wanted to be considered the least. Then Jesus took a towel and a basin and redefined greatness.”-Richard Foster
Oh, I just love that!!
I just love Him!
Girls, our world is not telling us to be feet washers.
But in God’s Kingdom, servitude is greatness.
It is freedom from the maintenance of our own egos. Because it allows us to step outside of the world’s burdening games of position and importance.
Is that not just awesome?
Now I didn’t say easy, because it’s certainly not.
Especially in a world were we are all under a lot of pressure to constantly better ourselves on every front, because it’s what everyone else is doing. And we fear that this is what we have to do also, or else we will be left behind.
After all, if we are busy taking care of the needs of others, who will take care of us?
While you are busy focusing on meeting other people’s needs, God will provide and meet your needs in a way that is so much better than you were ever doing for yourself.
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.(Isaiah 58:10-11)”- Ann Voskamp
Simply put, God takes care of those who take care of others.
“Spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives, and God simply will not be outdone.”
God wants us to serve people out of the abundance that He has blessed us with.
He calls us to use our gifts, talents and blessings to serve other people in love.
To be like Him.
And as your focus begins to leave yourself and fixes on helping others, you find that your life comes even more into line with the things you were looking for all along.
It is the true state of letting God be the one to meet your needs.
In the book of Matthew it says:
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” –Matthew 6:28-34
So does that mean we toss any semblance of care for our own well-being out the window. No.
What it simply means is that we put God first, follow the priorities that He calls us to and He will take care of the rest.
And the more selfless we are, and the more that we pour our energy into other people, the better he will take care of us.
He won’t be outdone!
Serving people is what you’re called to do. We all are!
How are you called to do it? I have no clue. Only God knows.
Because whatever He has called you to is personalized to you.
and that personality that He’s given you.
Your calling is unique, just like you!
And maybe you have not the slightest clue what your calling is right now, but it will take form and become more clear as you walk with Jesus.
He wants to change you and set you into motion to do what you are called to do in the area that you’re called to do it.
Not fix the world,
but fill that special niche that you were made to fill as God's plan unfolds in the world.
And this is where you’ll really come to life!
All that talk about walking inside of your calling, this is what we’re talking about!
Whether it’s serving different people for different seasons in different ways, or one very specific outreach that you’re to focus on; Again, your calling is solely and uniquely for you.
And you can be sure of this: you have a calling.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” –Ephesians 2:10
Does the idea of using your life to serve other people sound uncool or unrewarding?
Trust me, the enemy is all over you not serving.
Because once you taste that kind of real life, there will be no going back for you.
And he knows very well how effective and influential you can be.
That’s why not many people actually move from a life of selfishness to a life of service, because there’s such a push against it.
I think that the enemy is fine with us loving Jesus, and being good churchy people so long as we’re not doing anything for anyone.
I imagine that ineffectiveness, however it comes, is fine by him. But it will always leave us with a sense of emptiness.
But serving makes us full.
When we are serving inside of the context of God’s calling on our life, it is the highest form of being human.
It’s where you’ll really find yourself and come to life!
Oh girls, to live the life we were meant to live on this earth.
Wouldn’t that be something?
I want to leave you with a little piece from a Beth Moore Bible study I love called Breaking Free.
Just something about a well-lived life.
Try to let these words really soak into your bones!
“Spending ourselves for something infinitely greater still fans our parched souls with the God-given need to matter, but relieves us of the relentless pain of being the “It” person at the center of it…
To live for the greatness of God is to live a great life. Oh, I know we’ve heard it before, but what if it finally clicked? What if we awakened to what a dream-killer perfectionism is? To how pitifully small and unworthy a goal personal greatness is? We were meant for so much more.
Every one of us who embraces the glory of God as our purpose will end up doing great things precisely because we do God-things...
Those with presence of mind and semblance of health are called to pour out the drink offering of their lives until the cup is overturned and every drop of energy slips- perhaps unnoticed, uncelebrated- into the vast ocean of earthly need. The last imperceptible drop of your well-lived life will sound to the host of heaven like a tidal wave hitting the floor of the Grand Canyon.
In effect Christ says, “I’m already great enough for both of us,” relieving the willing of their woeful burden. ‘Just follow Me.’”
Today’s Dare: Today, I’m not going to dare you to go run out and serve.
But along with praying for God to help you to be humble, I want you to continually just try to open your spirit and your schedule for God to use you how He wants to.
Write about what you feel like some of your gifts and talents are, and some ways that you can see yourself using them.
I would definitely recommend beginning to serve in whatever small capacity you can do right around you- volunteer at a soup kitchen, or to do child care at your church, etc. But I’m also a big believer in leaving ourselves time and space to really feel out what specific things God is calling us to. (If I were volunteering 5 days a week at my church, I wouldn’t be writing this blog!)
Pray that God would begin to give you a more selfless and willing heart and that He would begin to reveal some things to you about your calling- even if it's 'just enough light for the step you're on.'