Read with me, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:1-4
God has been reminding me lately that every area He has called me to, He has not necessarily called me to lead. One of the biggest misgivings in ministry is the notion that when we are called, we automatically lead in that area. It is not necessarily true that you will be the head of the spear in your particular field, more often than not He calls us to serve. ‘Serve,’ a little word met with much apprehension, the needle that readily deflates the most eager, an effective prompt to humble and reposition us. How often do we claim it an honor to serve God, while confidently assuming our “yes” positions us in front, at the top, visible and strong?
I love how He gently comes and reposition my focus on the small things by calling me to serve Him in the secret first, there where no-one sees and hears. Here God would put on display the secret thoughts of my heart, the things I hold dear and cherish, the things I hide and keep secret, things I value and desire to keep. It is usually during these secret conversations that He reminds me that others come first. It is not just about me, my calling, my word. Here He recently recalled that serving involves empowering and assisting others, to come in alignment with His word over their lives. Serving involves covering people, promoting their ideas, preserving their platforms. Serving can mean that when I have the perfect opportunity to gossip with valid true info, I refrain. Serving is the opposite of promoting myself. Serving is not enduring a certain amount of time in ministry in order to carve out a platform for myself. Serving is inherently selfless. It is laying down our own wants, desires, and opinions for His. What is His opinion of the other person?
I want to draw your attention to the story of Obadiah ( you can read it in 1 Kings 18), who hid a hundred prophets from Jezebel. Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife was killing off the prophets of God, but Obadiah hid them, fed them, and kept them safe from her. In Kings 18 we read that Obadiah revered the Lord greatly, and therefore protected the people of God, risking his own career and life. It hit me hard that love and reverence for God made this man protect His people. It has stirred a prayer in my heart to be reminded to protect others, to cover them, to host them. The love of God will make us servants of men. Our own pride has no place in the Kingdom of God. What would you look like if you took thought to promote someone else today? What would the conversation sound like if you had to promote someone in front of others? Would it sound different than your usual dialogue? We honor God by honoring each other, we show our love for Him by loving one another. I want to ask you today, do you still know what the interest of your neighbor is? Are you invested in their promotion? Are you in a state of mind to facilitate their protection? Are we still hosting the presence of God in the secret thoughts of our hearts just like Obadiah protected His presence by covering God’s people in shelter and safety. We serve by sheltering others’ hearts. When the presence of God, who resides in others, becomes of value to us it becomes an enjoyable task to protect their reputations, their callings, their platforms.
The one thing that I am constantly reminded of in this season is this, “It is not only about me.” IT is imperative that we live the life God called us to, it is imperative we realize that we have value and get to absolutely walk in effective salvation, but keeping in mind that our mission should be to bring about unity in the body. Every decision, every act, every mission should be to serve the King in wonder, spurred on by Love.
Pray with me, “ Thank you God for calling me, thank you for calling others alongside me. It is an honor to serve in Your Kingdom. Remind me of your love, show me ways to host and shelter others. I want to dedicate attention to You, to what You are busy doing in others and for others. I lay my life down to serve You and your people.”