Saturday, April 30, 2011

Serving. . . Right Where You Are At

The content of this post was originally posted on the Rebelution in response to another's post. However, as I have discussed this subject recently with a few friends, I have found most to be asking the same question the young lady asked on the Rebelution. A lot of people struggle with the principle that God has placed them where they are at right now for a very specific reason and that such a place is in the center of God's will. We all envy something out there, some more than others. Most people long for purpose.

As a result, I have felt the need to post my response to this question publically. I have not revised it since I posted in on the Rebelution. I know now that there is so much more I could say on this subject, but, ironically, I believe the simplicity I spoke in this response is the best way to go. Therefore, without further to do, here is some food for thought.

Can you serve God in the place you're at?

The simple answer to this question is yes; we definitely can serve God any where we are placed, in any situation. But, this question contains far more behind it than what we often perceive. Why do we think like this? Why should we even feel bothered to ask such a question? Granted, asking this question can very well be a good exercise, but my challenge is to find out the "why" and not just the "how."

The "how" is a pretty simple answer, seeing as God has given us ample explanation within the pages of the Bible. But the "why" is a much different story. The "why" is different for each and every person. Each and every person will ask this question for a different reason, for a different purpose. And the answer to one person's "why" is often different from the answer to your specific "why." The best way to explain this situation is to tell you a bit about my personal experience in this area.

I have asked this question many times in my life, especially when I was younger. I felt that I was limited in what I was allowed to do, and this limitation sprung the feeling that I could not reach out or do the works that God had called me to do. I saw others doing so much more than I was able to do and often thought "Wow. If only I had the opportunities to serve like they do." What surprised me was God's question in answer to those thoughts: "Why are you comparing your life to others'?" That was a hard-hitting question. What I have come to learn is that the only thing preventing me from becoming all that God wants me to be is myself. I am the one who compares my actions to others; I am the one who compares my situations to others; I am the one who compares my opportunities to others; I am the one who compares my goals to others. But the earth-shattering truth, at least for me, was when I realized that God compares me to no one; that is right, not a single person in the world is compared with me.

So, then the question becomes why do I subject myself to comparing who I am with others if there was no legitimate reason to. The answer? It is rather simple. Basically, I was too concerned about how the world saw me, how others saw me. I was too focused on how much I could display the works of Christ in the obvious way. I was too worried that perhaps my serving was just not as good or not worth it.

However, upon realizing that I was really dwelling in a rather self-centered attitude, that thought process changed drastically. I realized that I was fighting to achieve blessings rather than counting my blessings. I realized that the ways in which I was able to serve meant a great deal to God as long as they were from my heart, a heart that was dedicated to letting Him make me all I could be. I learned that it is not how we serve that matters, but why we serve. Therefore, can I serve God right where I am at? You bet I can! But, I can only truly serve Him if I set my heart and my goals on not how I am serving Him or what I am doing to serve Him, but rather the why and the manner in which I am serving Him.