One of the amazing and often puzzling things about the Christian life is titles. Moses, an outstanding leader who led 600,000 men plus women and children out of slavery in Egypt, through the wilderness and up to entering the Promised Land, was called the servant of God. Abraham was called the friend of God. These are not lofty supreme titles, on the contrary they are humble and, unless viewed from God’s perspective, rather bland. I think our culture thinks oh, well anyone can be a servant and a friend. No big deal. But that is not how God views it.
But dear ones, they are actually the two best titles that, as believers, we can all achieve. Moses learned to serve the Lord His whole life. Jochebed (his mom) and Amram (his dad) must have done something very right during the few years they had direct access to raising Moses. They installed an identity that did not disappear when he moved into the palace. It is true that he had lessons to learn about how to be a leader in overcoming his insecurities and fears, but he did it! Granted, it was not always easy for him, but he learned and grew. We can too.
Can you say out loud, right now, ‘I, (Martha) am a servant of God’? How does that sound to your ears? Good? Bad? Difficult? Maybe elevate it to ‘I, (Martha) am a servant of the Most High God’? I will listen and obey. I choose to serve Him. Did you put your name in? Did you say it out loud? Now what? Whew ok, that’s good. I can do that. I can serve Him. He is loving, faithful and patient. But then He begins by asking us to serve others. People we may think don’t deserve our service. People who may have hurt us. People who don’t act lovely or much less appreciative. Then it begins to be a bit more difficult. Reality sets in. Serving can be hard. Moses served when the people rebelled against him. He served when they turned their backs on the True God and made false idols. He served when they did not trust God enough to enter the Promised Land, and it cost Moses forty years of leading them in the wilderness. He did not stop serving them.
Luke 22 sets the scene of the Last Supper. Jesus is sharing difficult things about betrayal and suffering. The disciples (his close friends) began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, In this world kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves. (Luke 22:24-27)
Our culture disdains servants. It is imperative to change this perspective. How do you treat those who serve you? The servers, baristas, receptionists at the doctor’s office—do you see them as beneath you? Or do you respect their position and honor them as they serve you? If you struggle in this area, ask the Lord to help you. It will also help you in your service to Him.
We must become learners. We must learn that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. Yesterday I felt prompted to make a phone call, even though I knew I did not have all the information I needed to give the individual. I struggled a bit, but as I obeyed, I discovered the phone call was an answer to prayer for that person. God gave me the words he needed to hear, outside of the topic I called him about. Simple obedience left us both blessed. We must learn to put the Master’s voice above our own thoughts and our own ways. Difficult, but doable. Servants must set themselves to be learners. Learn about those He has asked you to serve. Hear their hearts and learn to trust Him in the process. Are you ready to serve those He asks you to serve the way He asks you to do it? No matter who they are? No matter their situation? Are you ready to serve your children? Your spouse? Your employees? Your employer? You church? With great attitudes? Get ready to learn some lessons, but also be ready to reap much fruit.
Father, I ask you to teach us about what it means to be a servant. Help us trust that serving you, no matter how difficult, yields much fruit. As we serve others, I thank you that we will be examples of the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity. (I Timothy4:12) That you will help us not think more highly of ourselves than we ought, but we will see ourselves as you see us. I thank you for raising up servants that represent You and Your Kingdom well, in Jesus Name Amen