Seven Questions Every Potential Servant of God Should Ask
The Following article is excerpted from The Work Book: What We Do Matters to God. Sometimes peoples’ hearts are stirred to serve God, but they don’t really know what to do or how to begin. I hope the following provides some good insights relative to this vital issue.
Question: I’d like to begin serving God in a more focused and specific way. How do I begin “working for God”?
Answer: Here are seven questions each of us can ask ourselves to help us begin serving God and working more effectively for Him.
1. What is my level of spiritual consecration?
Are you 100% sold-out to Jesus? Are you willing to sacrifice your comfort and convenience for someone else’s benefit? Is there anything you’re not willing to do for Jesus? Is there anything that you feel would be beneath you? In days gone by, it was not uncommon to hear people at the altar praying and dedicating their lives to God. A common, heartfelt prayer was, “God, I’ll go where You want me to go. I’ll do what You want me to do. I’ll say what You want me to say.” Serving becomes easier when you’ve totally and completely surrendered all of your heart and life to God. Consecration was clearly modeled for us in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed, “Not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
2. What is my attitude toward serving?
Many will say they want to be like Jesus, but have they really considered what being like Him entails? Jesus communicated plainly what it means to have “a kingdom attitude.” Matthew 20:26–28 says, “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”
3. What is my level of availability?
A person can have all the ability in the world, but it will avail nothing if he or she does not have availability. I understand that people are busy, but have we become so busy that we have no time to serve God? We speak of giving God the first portion of our income, and that is good, but wouldn’t it be outstanding if all of God’s people gave Him a good portion of their time as well? Make it a priority to order your life in such a way that you can give God ample time in worship and in work. Make “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33) a reality in your priorities and in the way you schedule your life.
4. Am I willing to work?
As I’ve endeavored to communicate throughout this book, “work” is not an unspiritual word. Serving God isn’t simply sitting around, having warm, fuzzy feelings and thinking about holy things. God calls us to work. Paul said, “I labor [unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me” (Colossians 1:29, AMP). Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). People will never see our good works unless we actually work!
5. What do I do well?
God has given each of us certain skills, aptitudes, and gifts. It’s not this book’s purpose to attempt to delineate between natural abilities and spiritual gifts but let me simply propose that we use whatever abilities and resources we have for the glory of God and for the betterment of others. A pastor told me about a man who came to him, wanting to preach in his church. The pastor had never met this man and didn’t know him at all.
While he did not need help in the pulpit (nor would he have entrusted the pulpit to someone he did not know), the pastor discovered that this man was also an electrician and let him know that they had a major project underway and that the church needed a skilled electrician. Fortunately, the man was gracious enough to lend his natural skills to the church, and he did an excellent job serving the church through that avenue. God can use your natural skills for His glory.
6. What are the needs and opportunities around me?
Some Christians struggle because they don’t feel like they have a specific leading or a direct word from God regarding what they’re supposed to do. Others feel that if they are to do something significant for God, it must be something that is far away and spectacular. John Burroughs said, “The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.” If you don’t know what to do, find someone who is doing something for God and simply begin to help them. Ask your pastor or someone at your church what you can do to serve. Specific direction may come later, but you’re being helpful and productive in the meantime. Jesus said, “If you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:12). In short, bloom where you’re planted.
7. Am I willing to take initiative?
Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Be a person who is eager to help others. Don’t wait for someone to ask you to serve; proactively look for and embrace the things that need to be done. Albert Hubert said, “Parties who want milk should not seat themselves on a stool in the middle of the field and hope that the cow will back up to them.” Don’t be afraid to start with small things. If you see a piece of trash on the ground that needs to be picked up, pick it up. Lean into action, not away from it. Embrace responsibility; don’t shun it. Act, and believe that God will bless the work of your hands. If there is something more specialized or more targeted that God wants you to do, He will certainly lead you to it and open the appropriate doors in due time.