Devotional - Serving the Christian way
What we serve
It is very difficult to serve in a Christian way because what makes something Christian is the fact that it is 'of this dispensation'. The Christian serves the God of the Jews, and serves to meet the same needs that have always been there. But while the Christian inevitably deals with the same needs and meets the same challenges as everyone else throughout history, it is the way in which the Christian delivers his service that makes it Christian ministry. The truth is that God created Christianity when He decided to make an agreement with mankind that required nothing of mankind except his loyalty. Everything with which we serve is given by God, beginning with our complete forgiveness and the gift of complete righteousness, and continuing with every ability and resource required for service.
Whereas every other form of service (including service in any religion) would be best accomplished by giving the very best of what we have to offer nturally, in Christian ministry it is actually illegal to serve with anything other than that which we have been given by God - in other words, by God's grace.
The temptation for any ministry is to "do whatever's necessary", meaning that we put our hands to whatever task needs to be done, and do what we can with the talents and skills that we have. The requirement for Christian ministry, on the other hand, is to first receive what we need to serve with from God. We then need to deliver what we've been given, as we've been given it.
How we serve
We also need to do Christian ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than in the power of our natural skill and ability. This is quite difficult, because it means that
- what we bring must be what we are instructed to bring
- what we bring must be PLACED on the alter in faith, expecting the fire of the Holy Spirit to fall on it
Who we represent and how we are resourced
As Christian ministers we are delivering our service in the Name of the Lord and as such the entire service has to be delivered as from a King. What we need, we need to call it in by faith, rather than trying to make it ourselves. We have to become comfortable with using faith as a servant, rather than always seeking to get things done by sweat and hard work. Christian ministry must be delivered from a place of rest - rather than from a tired and flustered soul.
How to receive what we need to give
A Christian minister should be sent. What we give should be what is being sent to the hearers from the Lord. We therefore need to wait in the throne room of the Lord with the attitude: "Here am I, send me".
As we minister, we should not only be expecting the fire, but we should RECOGNIZE it when it comes. Sadly, sometimes the Holy Spirit comes and because we are so intent on being perfect in delivery, we can miss the moment. At that moment, we need to graciously step into a supporting role, and facilitate a focus on the Holy Spirit.