We will always be at some stages of beginning, and no one will ever be able to say, “I’ve arrived,” but taking even baby steps forward will increase your maturity. Walking in the light through interaction, love, accountability and the power of the Holy Spirit are foundational building blocks. Once in place, God wants to take you into full-time service for Him. Are you ready for the next step? It will cost you everything…it is the example provided by Jesus himself…the life of a servant.
Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. (From New International Version)
The next step in your growth will be to walk in the footsteps of the Master…to be a servant…every day…to be as a drink offering, poured out…to be a “living sacrifice.”
Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Amplified Bible
This is nothing grand, and the pay is lousy. You will receive zero notoriety, and at times the hours are grueling. There is a great deal of variety in this lowly but anointed role. One day you may find yourself sharing revelatory truth, the next day scrubbing toilets…but it won’t matter, because you will know with an absolute resolve you are nothing more, and nothing less, than an unprofitable servant! Your only concern is that you obey the voice of the Good Shepherd, and obey his commands.
Luke 17:7-10 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and sit down to eat'? But will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink'? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'" NKJV
Ouch! Do you see my point here? God wants you…all of you…nothing less. You will get no thanks, no applaud, but there will be the satisfaction deep inside your heart that you have done His will, and not your own.
Sure, you’ll make mistakes, and it is the road less traveled. Your pastor can’t get you there, a ministry can’t show you how, a two-part, three-part, or ten-part series of sermon tapes can’t produce it in you, and no one cannot teach you how to do it, except by example. This must be something you do as the ultimate expression of your love for Jesus…it is individual obedience to His commandments. Jesus said:
John 14:15 “If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.” Amplified Bible
Take this commandment from the Lord, embrace it, and listen for and obey His word and His voice daily. Every day is an adventure, an opportunity to love, to do justice, to show mercy. If you love Jesus, the Lord is asking you the same question he asked Peter nearly 2000 years ago:
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
16 Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.”
(from New International Version)
Athena, do you want to love Jesus MORE than the other disciples, more than these with whom you fellowship? If the answer is “Yes” then Jesus is saying to you, “Feed my lambs.”
Athena, do you TRULY love Jesus? Then He is saying to you, "Take care of my sheep."
Do you want to love Jesus as a friend? If the answer is “Yes” Athena, Jesus is calling you, "Feed my sheep.”
There may be areas of your life that God has unveiled, and brought into the light…impurity, selfishness, idolatry, pride, fear of man, man pleasing, and love of money. To KEEP these areas out of your life, you need to replace them with the whole armor of God.
Impurity cannot exist when all you care for is listening to the Master’s voice, and you will have no desire to imbue the world’s smut. Being a servant is the exact opposite of selfishness…it is self-LESS-ness.
Pride goes out the window when you make yourself vulnerable. Fear of man is continually put to the test until you are dead to self, because a servant must please Jesus, and obedience takes precedent over the fear of man.
Man-pleasing is what exists within the hierarchy of most church societies; people “give” to be noticed by men; they have their reward in full; the true servant doesn’t care to be recognized, just to obey; one is the Pharisee whose large tithe is noticed by leadership, the other is the widow who gives her tiny “mite” which is all she owns.
What of the love of money? You cannot love what you insist on giving away every time Jesus beckons you to meet a need.
I pray the Lord will continue to guide, to shepherd, and take you down the path He walked…the servant’s path…the road less traveled…
John 13:14-17 "If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” NAS