The selections on the buffet looked delicious. Everything from breakfast fare to salad and desserts, tempted us to fill our plates to overflowing. Our waiter catered to our every need, making sure our glasses were topped off, and whisking away empty plates to give us plenty of elbowroom. Every so often, he'd ask how we were doing, and if there was anything else he could do for us. Having been to several restaurants where the service was sadly lacking, it was a breath of fresh air, to observe his obvious desire to serve and please his customers. I'm sure you can relate.
In today's culture, the idea of serving others is somewhat foreign. Having grown up in an era with commercial slogans like, "have it your way," and, "because you're worth it," it's easy to see why the focus has shifted to self. To serve, is to meet the requirements or needs of someone, to satisfy. Literally to put oneself in the role of a servant: one who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another.
Think about the King of the universe, Jesus Christ. In order to fulfill the will of His Father, he "...made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross," (Philippians 2:7-8; KJV). I was struck by the thought that Christ was willing to lay aside the majesty that He shared with God, and come to earth to give His life, that I might be redeemed. He endured shame and excruciating pain that I might be freed from my burden of sin. He did all of this for me, and yet I ignore the opportunity to serve Him. Often expecting Him to be a God who serves me.
I'm forced to look at my prayer life. Some days, instead of taking time to praise Him, I find myself rushing into His throne room and pitching all my requests into His lap. Instead of allowing Him to work out the details, I add my two cents on how He should answer each prayer. Can I truly say I desire His will for my life when I'm clearly telling Him what to do? Who am I, that I should expect the God of the universe to cater to my every whim?! After all He's done for me, my proper response is to take my rightful place as His servant. Remembering that it's all about Him and not about me.
Spending time reading His Word clarifies how I can serve Him. "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8). Being honorable and fair when dealing with others. Extending kindness and forgiveness to others even when it's undeserved. Adopting meek and modest behavior toward my fellow man. These characteristics are unnatural, unless I've submitted myself to the power of the Holy Spirit. He enables me to treat others as I ought to, pointing others to Him all the while.
Understanding His unconditional love for me, fuels a passion for Him that motivates me to serve Him willingly. Today, I choose to give Christ first place in my life. And by careful meditation on His Word, instead of expecting my God to serve me, I humbly submit myself to Him, a servant to accomplish His will.
When you evaluate your life, do your actions indicate that you expect God to serve you? What steps are you willing to take to turn the tables and begin serving Him?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for loving me so much that you sent Jesus to die on the cross, to pay my sin debt. After all You've done for me, forgive me for expecting You to serve me. I realize I have the opportunity to serve a great God who deserves all of my praise. Help me to internalize Your Word and submit to Your Holy Spirit, that I might serve You all of my days. In Jesus' name, Amen.