I grew up in church and have been used to serving God in church. I have seen my family serve in church, and even my friends. But without really having a relationship with Jesus Christ, eventually serving in church will feel like an obligation rather than having joy in the heart. This happens when we serve God for the wrong reasons. This happens when we think God needs our service, because the reality is God doesn’t really need our service. Paul was very clear when he said in Acts 17:24-25
24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.
Sometimes we feel God needs us. Sometimes we think that he needs us for his kingdom to expand and grow. But that is far from the truth! God’s word will never return to Him empty, it will accomplish its purpose even without you. God does not need you.
But if God does not need my service, then why is he commanding us to serve?
There can be a lot of answers to this question, but Psalm 50:8-14 gives us a good picture of why we are to serve and what God wants from us.
8 “I do not reprove you for your sacrifices,
And your burnt offerings are continually before Me.
9 “I shall take no young bull out of your house
Nor male goats out of your folds.
10 “For every beast of the forest is Mine,
The cattle on a thousand hills.
11 “I know every bird of the mountains,
And everything that moves in the field is Mine.
12 “If I were hungry I would not tell you,
For the world is Mine, and all it contains.
13 “Shall I eat the flesh of bulls
Or drink the blood of male goats?
14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving
And pay your vows to the Most High;
What God wants from us is to serve him from a thankful heart. We are to serve God not because He needs us. We are to serve God because we know what He has done for us. Our service should be because we want to worship him – it comes from a thankful heart.
I hope this gently reminds those who serve in any ministry that, before you do what you need to do, you ask yourself first “Why am I doing this?” Are you serving Him because you love Him? Or are you serving Him because you are becoming proud thinking the ministry won’t survive without you?
Remember, God opposes the proud but gives grace to humble. May we always live a life of humility as we serve our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory forever – not us.