© 2020 Nsovo Mabasa / Harvest City Church

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

When it comes to following and serving the Lord, the right, the power and the privilege to decide has been left in our hands by God. We are not forced or bound like slaves to do anything we do not want to do; however, we are advised to do so for our own benefit and the benefit of others. We are called to be servants (someone who provides an important service or performs certain duties) and to do so wholeheartedly (with earnest devotion or complete commitment).

Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing. (Psalm 100:2)

What does it mean to serve?

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. (Galatians 1:10)

As children of God we ought to serve Him with whatever gifts He has blessed us with and, just like children who want to please their parents, we should be determined to excel in every area that we may be placed in. This will require serious commitment, time and consistent work. If you are a worship leader for instance, you need to spend time rehearsing, seeking the Lord and spending time at His feet. Excellence will be your aim: not to show off, but because you understand the importance of your role which is for the benefit of his people. The key thing to remember is that we are not working to please man – not the pastor, not the leaders, not even your parents or friends – everything we do is for the glory of the Master, the one whom we have freely chosen to serve.

The work of a faithful servant adds value and weight to the master’s name. In fact, the master gets glory from his servant’s work (for example, people give great reviews for a brand/company because they received good service from its staff and then become loyal customers). So it is in the house of the Lord. By serving God with all our hearts people will be blessed and He will get the glory.

How does one serve God wholeheartedly?

1. Through prayer

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)

Only God (through the Holy Spirit) can fill the void that people have in their lives. This emptiness is caused by a lack of fulfilment that comes from not understanding their personal purpose (which I believe is a secret as we are all uniquely created to fulfil specific purposes). Today, people all over the world are searching for their purpose through self-help materials such as meditation, life coaches, etc. We as Christians find this answer as we seek and pray to God, our maker.

The 2020 pandemic has made more people understand that the church is actually not a building but the people, and now more than ever, the world needs men and women who will commit themselves to earnestly pray.

2. Through giving

Giving is the evidence of God’s love in us and if we truly understand His everlasting love for us, we will become generous just like He is.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10)

As a tither you have a tither’s benefits – the devourer is rebuked in your life. These benefits are not just financial but also your health, your peace, your family, etc. Knowing that you are not robbing God gives you the confidence to claim your benefits because you have a right to.

3. Through faith

Faith is the foundation of the Christian life. We have good evidence to trust that what we believe is true and it is that very truth that has set us free. He has given all of us the same measure of faith, but as individuals we have to purposefully put in the work to increase this measure (study faith, speak in faith to situations in your life, act in faith) for it is impossible to please God without faith.

4. Through your role

For parents, you ‘train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Proverbs 26:6)

Children don’t have to be biologically yours for you to guide them. When you are committed to your assigned role you go beyond. When I was little, my mother set up a Christian kid’s club and children from the neighbourhood came over to our house once a week to be taught the Bible. It’s still running today, and over the years we have seen many souls saved and lives transformed for the better. The best thing about a strong foundation is that it lasts and holds firmly. She has laid many of those, over and over, and for me that is total commitment to your role.

5. Through your passion or calling

Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose.” (Luke 13:32)

Jesus really set a great example for us all. He knew He had a purpose to fulfil and a timeframe to accomplish it by and He was determined to do exactly what He was sent to do, despite the threats and all kinds of attacks that He faced. For us today, threats come in different forms and sometimes we tend to be threats to ourselves. One big threat (and a block to being doers of the Word) is the fear of the unknown. What will people think of me? What will people say? How will they receive the message? All of these are known battles that can be dealt with by action and by speaking the opposite. If we don’t do our part, who will? Not everyone will like you – even Jesus, the Son of God, was hated by many – but if God approves that’s all that matters.

Your calling or that good thing that God puts inside of you is not meant to be a burden but is meant to bring freedom, joy and peace in your life. Just think about a time you felt the push to do something and, when you did, there was an inexplicable joy and peace that came over you. That is what our purpose is meant to accomplish in us and for as long as we ignore that which we are meant to do we will not be truly satisfied.

Unlike Jesus, we do not know how long we have to accomplish our mission hence it is very important to act now. Serve God now.