Being a discussion leader at the community Bible study wasn’t enough to keep me from thinking I needed to do more to serve God. One day when that feeling surfaced from deep inside, I mentally asked the Lord what He wanted me to do. And unexpectedly, He caused my mind to reply, “You’re doing it.” I thought about what I was doing--just being a mom and wife, and putting in the time for a Bible study. That didn’t seem to be enough until I understood those undervalued tasks were important to God.
What does “serving the Lord” mean to you? “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24). In every role you have--spouse, parent, employee or volunteer--God is your ultimate boss. Similar to the parable of the talents, He wants every believer to do their best with what they’re given, and leave the results to Him. That is serving the Lord.
Have you ever thought that your particular Christian service was unimportant or not enough to please God? Don’t believe that lie. God loves and values every person equally. “There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men” (1 Corinthians 12:5-6). Paul explained that the body of the church is made up of many parts and they all need each other. No job is more important than another.
It’s normal to feel a little envious of those who seem to accomplish so much for the Lord. We often view our own contributions as inferior to others. But in God’s eyes, the cook, server, and dishwasher are all equally valued. Serving the Lord isn’t about numbers or recognition, but about one’s attitude and effort. No matter what He calls us to do, we’re to give our best effort because He looks at everyone’s heart and character. When we think about why we serve, what we do becomes less significant if our aim is to please God. But if our goal is to receive praise from men, then we’re no longer glorifying God and there’s no eternal reward for our efforts.
Being a Christian parent is an underrated full-time, long-term mission of nurturing the spiritual aspect of a child’s life. Perhaps I’m not alone in thinking I could have done a better job; yet, my kids are now reading Bible stories to their own children and teaching them how to pray. What is more important than teaching and encouraging your children and grandchildren to have a personal relationship with Jesus?
After moving to Georgia, the Lord allowed me to experience a “desert” season (the opposite of being fruitful). Certain ministries ended and doors were closed to doing something new. Feeling suppressed, I didn’t understand why God was keeping me from getting involved in other activities. But He knew what was about to happen and exactly how much I could handle. He orchestrated my availability to take care of my mother and my own physical issues, and also travel for my children’s marriages and grandchildren’s births. When doors are closed, trust God because He knows what’s ahead.
How are you serving the Lord? If you draw a blank, ask Him to reveal the answer. Like me, maybe you just need a reminder that your menial jobs are actually important to God. Perhaps He may desire an attitude adjustment or motivational change before allowing you to get more involved. And if you’ve been complacent or lazy, pray that the Lord will provide a way to serve Him so you can honor and glorify Him. He’ll answer that prayer, and sometimes quickly. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).