The Bible enjoins us to serve God. “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;” (Rom 12:11). The Thessalonians, we are told, “turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God.” But if I serve God, what does that entail?
It means serving God with all my heart and soul.
There’s nothing half-hearted, lukewarm, or indifferent about my service. It’s “all in” for God. “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 10:12). Play-acting is excluded.
It means to serve with a willing mind.
David pointed this out to his son Solomon before his death. “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever” (1 Chr 28:9). It’s not reluctant service, or grudgingly doing it out of a sense of duty. Service to God is done with a willing mind.
It means to serve with humility.
One of the great servants of God was the apostle Paul. In speaking to the elders of Ephesus he said, “You yourselves know how I lived among you all the time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which befell me through the plots of the Jews” (Acts 20:18-19). Arrogance has no place in or out of the pulpit. Service to God must be characterized by genuine humility.
It means to serve with gladness.
The psalmist said, “Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (Psa 100:2). True service to God is a challenge for me. What about you?
John Gibson – adapted