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A Servant of God

by

Terri Buchanan

            What does it mean to be a servant of God? Does it mean that I pray before I eat? Does it mean I go to church each Sabbath or attend AY? Does it mean I read my Bible each morning or most mornings? Does it mean that I pray before bedtime????

            The Pathfinder Pledge says, “I will be a servant of God.” We have heard this phrase many times and have said the pledge ourselves but have we ever stopped to think of what it really means to be a servant of God? I have often wondered if I was good enough to serve God. I have wondered about what a good servant looks like. I look around at the pastors, elders, deacons, and deaconesses in church and think, are they really serving God? I see flaws in them that make me wonder why God picked them to serve Him. You and I have seen the craziness of church people. Everyone has their own way of doing things and their thoughts on how things should be done.

            Along with the people that serve God, there are those that come to church but always skate out of serving in some capacity. Some people are the “I’m 2” people – meaning when you call them to serve (think nominating committee) they always say things like, “I’m 2 busy” or “I’m 2 overloaded” or “I’m 2 tired.” There are the “I would” folks – meaning “I would but …(fill in anything you want here).” Some spread the word to anyone who will listen that, “It’s not possible” – meaning they do not trust that God can do anything. In Matthew 19:26 Jesus says, “…With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” All Adventurers in our club memorize Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

From the above paragraph, we see that there are many ways not to serve God and there are many excuses used to not do a good job of serving God. The Bible contains several examples of how to not serve God and some outstanding examples of serving God to the fullest.

Moses was a servant of God. Moses lived with Pharaoh for 40 years, in the desert as a shepherd for 40 years, and then in the wilderness with the Israelites for 40 years. The Israelites questioned everything God gave them or did for them. They saw God’s signs and worshipped when they were in awe of his power but they had lived so long in the influence of Egypt that they did not know God. I have often thought about why Moses would go through everything he went through. He served God through thick, thicker, and thickest circumstances. There was no thin in his life. After all, he did not have the New Testament and he did not have the knowledge that Jesus had died for his sins. All he had was a hope from Genesis 3:15 when God pronounced Satan’s punishment for his sins, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.” Could Moses at any time have had the thought that there was nothing after his death, nothing to look forward to? Maybe. Even those that grow up in the knowledge of heaven and God will at times wonder if there is anything more. Moses never gave up and he was faithful in all things.

God instructed Moses to talk to Pharaoh and he obediently talked to Pharaoh. God instructed Moses to prepare the Israelites for the Passover and he prepared them. God instructed Moses to lead the Israelites into the wilderness and Moses led them. God instructed Moses to divide the Red Sea and the children of Israel crossed over on dry land. Whatever Moses was instructed to do during the next 40 years, he did so without complaint. Even when he had occasion to complain to God because of the unbelief and stubbornness of the Israelites, he instead pray for them and interceded for them before God. Moses’ heart was truly humble. He spent his life serving and never being served. His life was one of deep dedication. Was he qualified to serve God? Yes, God qualified him. God prepared him and God directed him.

David was a shepherd boy. He was the youngest of his brothers and made to do the jobs in the family that his proud brothers did not want to do. His brothers gave him a hard time when he volunteered to face Goliath. They did not see that God had been preparing David with a humble heart throughout his childhood to meet the greatest challenge of Israel. How did David serve God? By being humble and realizing that he needed God’s help every step of the way. David relied on God in every battle. He asked God for direction before he made a move. When he was older and perhaps feeling proud, he made mistakes. But he quickly repented as soon as the mistake was pointed out to him and he realized his proudness. He accepted God’s punishment as just when his young son died for his sin of adultery. David accepted God’s punishment as just when God sent a plague after he decided to count the Israelites to see how mighty he was. David then humbled his heart and drew close to God.

Jesus called 12 disciples to serve God. When we study the men chosen to serve as disciples, we find that they are not studied men of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were fishermen, tradesmen, and a tax collector. We study in college today under professors that are degreed and are experts in their chosen fields. When a person is not educated in a certain field we often disqualify their ability to be an effective teacher. Jesus’ disciples were not experts at the things of God. The one thing they did possess was a trust in God and they were solidly founded in the Jewish faith. They did not study at the temple but they studied in the outdoors while God prepared them ahead of time to serve him. They sat at Jesus’ feet and learned of the kingdom of God and its ways. They did not fully understand everything as seen when Peter denied Jesus and when James and John desired to be first in the kingdom. Therefore, through these experiences of making mistakes and not fully understanding at first, the disciples gained a greater understanding than would have otherwise been possible. They learned to humble themselves before God.

When you consider these three examples from the Bible of godly, humble men and their beginnings, do you now think that you are not qualified to serve God? You cannot qualify yourself to serve him. God has to qualify you. There is a quote that is heard from time to time that says, “God does not call the qualified; He qualifies the called.” God has a work to do in each of us and if we have a desire to serve Him and a humble heart, we can do great things. I am capable of serving through Christ who strengthens me. (Emphasis added on serving, Philippians 4:13) In today’s world, we are taught to strive to be the best at everything we do and that makes it very hard to submit our will to God. God desires us to submit to him. David was a great leader when he submitted every move he made to God. We can be great leaders too if we learn to follow God in a humble way. All it takes is giving over of our lives to God. We can serve God in any capacity if we trust Him to provide the needed skills. We should never say no to an assignment God gives us. If we do say no, it is saying that we do not believe God can do what he promises to do. Remembering Philippians 4:13, remembering Moses dividing the Red Sea, remembering David defeating a giant, and remembering the disciples preaching and baptizing 3000 people in one day, is anything impossible for God? I will close with this thought – Matthew 19:26, “… With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”


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