Friday, November 8, 2013

You Gotta Serve Somebody


And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15

Bob Dylan said it best….”You gotta serve somebody.”  We all serve somebody, and I’m not talking about an employer or our families.  And it is by our own choice who we are serving.  Either we choose to obey God and serve Him, or we choose not to, and in doing so – we serve on the side of satan and all rebellion against God.
In Romans 6:16-19, Paul speaks to the believers in Rome and says, “ Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves SLAVES TO OBEY, YOU ARE THAT ONE’S SLAVES WHO YOU OBEY, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?  But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.  And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

All service has a reward whether it is tangible (such as money) or intangible (such as praise).  The reward for sin is “sin leading to death”, and “uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness”.  The reward for following God and His will is “obedience leading to righteousness” and to become “slaves of righteousness for holiness”. 

He has called us all to “Be holy, for I am holy.”(1 Peter 1:16).  Holiness is the goal.  Being servants of God by taking on His will over our own will, humbling ourselves to be His servant through submission, is the journey to holiness.  But it all boils down to this – choose this day who you will serve.  Then tomorrow, choose again, and the next day, repeat!  Each day, each minute, we are submitting to someone.  It may feel like we’re only submitting to ourselves, but if your will for that moment – that thing you are doing – those words you are saying – doesn’t agree with what God wants from you, you’ve joined the rebellion.  Holiness doesn’t walk the path of rebellion. 

Let me give a prime example, and use this as a point of confession too.  Yesterday and the day before something came about at work where I could be charged for some work that was done badly.  It was not done by me, but I was on the project in which it occurred.  I blew a gasket.  I refused to talk to my boss, who God has placed in authority over me (according to Romans 13:1-2 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is NO AUTHORITY EXCEPT FROM GOD, and the authorities that exist are APPOINTED BY GOD. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”).  Not only did I refuse to talk to my boss, but I continued spouting off my disagreement to everyone who brought the subject up, which just makes everyone feel disgruntled. 

In doing so, I disobeyed God – and I did so with full knowledge of that verse, yet without understanding till today what I was doing wrong.  But today, studying and writing this to you, my friends, God sliced into me with the sword of the Spirit!  It can feel so right when you’re fighting for what is rightfully yours.  But if it’s not God’s will – it’s still wrong.

Today I have to choose who I will serve.  This is hard.  I had to apologize.  Matthew 5:23-24 says “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”  I don’t know if he’s my “brother” as “brother in Christ” or not, but for sure, it’s not God’s will for me to be angry and rebellious against the authority put over me. 

Obedience to God is minute by minute. As He reveals our shortcomings we have to rectify the problem when we can.  This too is serving Him, and it’s hard.  But He never said that serving Him would come easy.  It didn’t for Jesus, so it shouldn’t for me.

The apology has been written and sent even before you see this because this is my offering, my gift to God.  Now I can post this for you to read. 

I said this past Sunday that I was going to start taking His Word more personally instead of looking at it as just a textbook for learning.  Today, I choose to serve Him.

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