Where’s My Place of Service?
…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1, NKJV)
You know the sermon because you have heard it so many times –
- “You have a place of service in the God’s plan,” or
- “God wants to use your life to do great things,” or
- “As a child of God, a true believer, you have a place to serve.”
Okay. So you accept the premise….
God saved me… not just from sin but for service.
…but what service? What place? What purpose? The question nags and festers inside you. Or you ignore it and get on with your life. After all, you serve God by being just who you are (whatever that means).
Could there be something specific God has for you to do?
I believe God has calling for you. I believe the call of God is in three levels:
- A call to be with Christ. (Top priority!)
- A call to become more like Christ.
- A call to serve others with Christ.
All three work together. Christ is at work in the world, the world he wants you to serve. As you service, with deep service from the heart, you become more like Christ. So how do you get started serving others in the name of Jesus?
Here are a few actions – spiritual disciplines if you like – that will get you started.
FIRST, offer to serve someone.
You can’t do everything, but do something. While you are waiting for the Lord to reveal the “grand thing” you are suppose to do, do something. Help someone along the journey. Smile a little more. Say a good word. Volunteer to help at church. Befriend a neighbor. Just do something. You just might hear a whisper from the heavenly Father in your soul.
SECOND, write it down.
Before you serve, as you serve, or after you serve, write it down. Make it a blog. Keep it private. Share with a friend. Put it on a blog. That’s your choice. But writing is a spiritual exercise. Write as a prayer, a praise, a report, or just a list of thoughts on the page. In your writings, you may discern an undertone from the Holy Spirit.
THIRD, read about ministry.
There are great books. Try Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World, by Bob Goff or The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? by Richard Stearns. And, read the stories of Jesus in the Gospels. Read the story and place yourself in the action. Imagine being there. You just may hear a word from Heaven.
FOURTH, pay attention to what brings you life in Christ.
Find out what keeps you alive in Christ Jesus and do that. What the world needs is YOU, full of the Life of Christ. (Enough said on that one.)
FIFTH, run away from home (for a little while).
Get out of your comfortable setting. Join a group that is going to minister in the next town, the next state or across the world. Did you know that every founder of the faith – I am talking about Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses – had to leave home before they could become the people God needed them to be to fulfill his purpose for them? So figure it out – How can you get out of town and do something for God? On the journey, you may find a deeper relationship with Jesus.
SIXTH, talk to someone you trust.
Jesus said, “Where two or three gather in my name, I am there…” Finding a ministry is not a solo sport; it is a group project! (Think about it.) You need someone to help you, to listen for God with you. Together, you talk about three things: a) report the service and ministry you are trying, b) celebrate what God is doing, and c) sort out the problems and questions. God speaks through others (when they least expect it).
SEVENTH, keep God the center of all.
Your life is a living sacrifice. The problem with a living sacrifice is that it has a tendency to crawl off the altar…. Keep God in the middle of all things. Here is the promise of Scripture from Romans 12:1-2 (From the Message):
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what God wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Copyright 2014 © Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.