The resolution to oppression, perplexity, and anxiety about which acts of service to assume or not undertake, centers completely around possessing the knowledge of God’s will, and then being completely committed to fulfilling His will. Paul shares this notion with the Colossian saints in the opening portion of his epistle.
“We have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.” (Col. 1:9-10 NLT).
Determining when your “yes” needs to be “yes” and your “no” needs to be “no” can be very awkward and stressful especially when dealing with the solicitation of Christian ministries in need of human resources. Yet it is vital to God’s maturing process that both our “yes” and “no” are founded on being presently and progressively influenced by God’s good pleasure, so that we may have the confidence that what we are doing is indeed from His heart.
Ministries today are much more likely to herd, drive, and corral their membership into a service project than they are to mentor them into a process of serving God’s good pleasure. People of the modern day church serve everything, including their own interest, all the while alleging they are serving God.
Service to God should be compelled from committed hearts being given to God, and hence our strength being utilized by Him to complete His will on earth. Therefore we are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NASB). We must first discern if God possesses our hearts before we can determine if our strength is actually in service to Him. We cannot serve Him in spirit if He has not first conquered our soul.
Borrowing a word from the computer world, Christians today are “hyper-linked” into helping by a server, programming how, when, who, and why they are to serve. Even setting forth the parameters as to when that service is to end and the scope of influence they are to have. Most of this service has not been sought after, much less thought of, by the individual. Nor can the person honestly say God moved upon them to serve in this manner. Most simply assume serving to be something good and something that must be pleasing to God.
Spiritual compulsion, however, appears to be something rare among those given to service. People left to their own devices do not seem to emerge with a passion placed on their souls by God to address the needs of the body of Christ. They seem content to wait to be given some project to do. Such a mind-set is void of acknowledging God’s working in His people through their giftedness, while urging them to put their spiritual hand to His plow in order to plant His kingdom. Christian service seems to be governed more by the desires of the earthly church than by the will our Heavenly Father.
Compulsion in service to the Divine considers the relational connection that exists between God and His children, testifying to the fact of God completing His job in our lives by saving us, sustaining us, and being our benefactor.
The work of the cross enables us to inherit the riches of Christ if we accept His work on our behalf. “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3 NASB). His coffers overflow with abundant provision sufficient for every need, as we are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. A divine treasure spills over with inexhaustible wealth awaiting acquisition, and as God’s children we are heirs to His vast treasure. A closer look at 2 Peter 1 gives a definitive outline of the work that has already been done and the treasures that await those who diligently seek Him. Truly God is our Savior, sustainer, and benefactor.
Service is a treasure to God when we are returning to Him that which has been smelted from the precious ore of His grace forged by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Service is a precious offering of worship to God only if it is a living out of the life of Jesus Christ living within us.
Come now, let us then ask the disturbing questions that should trouble our hearts with the trauma of truth. What is the real reason we serve? Do we give from the compulsion of a soul in love with our Lord that cannot be squelched? Can we say that our service is, in essence, living out the good pleasure of our Lord, in a life well lived for Jesus?
(excerpts included from Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis)