Thursday, February 25, 2016

Serving the Lord

"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,
 giving thanks through Him to God the Father."
-- Colossians 3:17

Already this year, things are looking a little different in my life, which is never a bad thing. I think one of the most important things that I've come to realize is how important it is to listen to the Lord in times of struggle or change and to be attentive to what He has to say about your life. One aspect that has really changed for me is how I view serving the Lord, and what that looks like when applied to my life. I have to say, I honestly hadn't given a ton of thought to this idea of serving the Lord in so many different ways, so I was thrilled when this particular day of my devotional that I was reading was solely about this topic. The devotional I recently read was titled, “Passion: the Bright Light of Glory” by Louis Giglio. It was really compelling and only ten days long. I highly recommend checking it out, because it really opened my eyes to a lot of things, especially this topic of serving the Lord.

The devotional started out by breaking down a common misconception, even one that I had struggled with, about serving God. This misconception is that in order to serve God, you must have a place in the church ministry, or another organized ministry, with a title of a "leader", otherwise you are simply a member of the regular, secular world. Of course, this can be the case, and often times is a wonderful way to get involved and serve God, and it has proven to be a wonderful opportunity in the past for me. However, I found that as a busy college student, this can be really challenging, leaving you to feel like you aren’t pleasing God or giving your life up for Him. (Which isn’t the case!)

The devotional goes on to bring light to the way we should view serving God. To a certain extent, God doesn’t care so much about what we do, it’s more about our heart behind it. Your heart, your drive, and desire to show the love of Christ is the most important thing when it comes to serving Him, not your place in an organized ministry. As long as your passions behind what you do align with Christ, then you are serving Him correctly. 

One thing that really hit home when I was studying this topic was the reminder that God made every single one of us unique. (Kind of obvious, but stay with me). Because of this, we all have unique passions, desires, gifts, and aptitudes. God doesn’t give us all the same desires, which means that the way we serve Him is probably going to look different for different people. But, since we are followers of Christ, we all have the same calling – to make Christ known in all that we do. SO, the way I serve God is going to differ and might not be the way that others serve God. And that's okay!

I think it is more important to focus on the why of being a Christ-follower. Here’s a quote from the devo that really resonated with me (and is now written in my planner for a daily reminder!)

“If the why behind everything we do is ‘I love Jesus more than anything and want Him to be known in my life above everything’ then we are free to pursue the passions God has placed in our hearts”.

I think that is quite possibly one of the most liberating things I have ever read! Our passions and loves can be a way to serve the Lord. We can serve Him in anything and everything we do each day because God wouldn’t give us the passions and desires He does if He didn’t intend for us to take them and run after that purpose and desire. However, this can get kind of confusing, because I think, how do I serve God while being a student, or doing my laundry, or going to work? The answer is kind of simple, which I love. Not every action we do or perform has to be explicitly about God. However, your life, and the way you present yourself, does.

So for me, in my life, I decided to look at my day to day life and give some examples of how I serve God in what I do. By writing this post, and sharing my ideas and my faith, I am serving God. By showing God's light through all the things I love, including blogging, I am serving Him! By showing kindness to my friends and my roommates, I am serving God and making Him known. By going to class, holding the doors, smiling at strangers, and going out of my way to talk to people I want to get to know, I am showing the love of Christ and serving in this way. By being positive and uplifting to those around me, even when life gets hard, I am serving the Lord. We have to live in a way that shows God to others. If we show the love of Christ in our heart through the ups and downs of life, through the struggles and the victories we represent a Jesus-like life, then we are serving Him and showing Him in all that we do.

One more quote that I also put in my planner to remind myself daily of my purpose and service to God:

“You have a talent for a reason – to serve the world, bring hope to others, and make the world a better place that reflects the wonders of God.”

So with that being said, it is an important reminder to not get too caught up in what you are doing to serve God. Often times I find myself struggling when I think about my life being given up for Christ. But, sometimes it doesn’t have to be a complicated thing. If I go to class, talk to my friends, work hard, and live my life in a way that’s reflective of Christ’s love, grace, and compassion, that is serving God and that’s what I’m living for. 

What are your thoughts? Please leave them in a comment below, I would love to hear what you have to say!

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