I’ve been blessed to serve God in a variety of roles. I’ve been blessed to serve, and I’m compelled to serve. In that compulsion, I’ve wanted my motives to be pure: Am I doing this for God? For others? Or am I doing it for me — is serving just what I do, what I like doing? Even more, and a point of great conviction, am I serving in love? If we’re not serving in love, there’s no point of serving at all:
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 MSG).
Those are sobering words. In wrestling with them, God gave me a picture. I envisioned God filling a silver tray with His amazing provision:
- I pictured the revelation knowledge God gives of His Word, the “ah hah” moments when Scripture comes to life.
- I pictured the times of conviction, the convincing God does as He shows us our sin and then shows us His truth — the way to walk into real life.
- I pictured the peaceful emotions He gives in the midst of turbulent circumstances and the confident assurance we experience, even when we don’t understand the things going on or what steps we should take next.
- I pictured the blessings of watching God move in circumstances — the ones that stop you in your tracks and make you say, “Only God.”
- I pictured the soul-overwhelming experiences of His love, the ones that often occur when we’re in our most unlovable states.
And I thought of the greatest miracle I see Him perform — the times He changes my heart. The times He takes a self-centered woman and gets her out of herself and focused on loving and serving Him and others.
When I stepped back and looked at the “tray” of items God set before me, I saw joy. I saw my joy in knowing and being in relationship with Jesus. I realized that’s it’s ultimately our joy in Jesus that God asks us to serve to others:
God wants us to take from the tray of items He spreads before us and simply serve it to others. He wants us to serve and share with others from all He has “fed” us so they too can have the joy of knowing Jesus. In that joy, we will all reflect the glory of God.
After writing those words in my journal, I sensed God saying: “This is love. This is love for Me and love for those you serve for Me.”
As we first seek Jesus for our joy, we can then share that joy with others. For all of us who want to serve God, who feel compelled to serve God, may we practice Way #47 of 52 Ways to Glorify God:
Share your joy in knowing Jesus with others.
This is why Jesus served. It was the core of all He shared:
“I have made You known to them and will continue to make You known to them in order that the love You have for Me may be in them (felt in their hearts), and that I may be in them.” (John 17:26)
Out of my story and in my search for joy, the Lord led me to write a 12 week Bible study called The Ultimate Joy: A Journey in Intimacy with God. If you’re looking for a small group or personal study, I invite you to check it out.