Saturday, June 19, 2010

Service and Submission

Twice in the last week I have received the same lesson from God. The first time it came from an article titled “Tyranny of the Urgent” by Charles E. Hummel in our bible study for life group (from the Navigators Colossians 2:7 series on discipleship-“Growing Strong in God’s Family”). To summarize, this article was about how we “let the urgent things crowd out the important”. I’ll just list some of the things I underlined:

“Yet Jesus’ life was never feverish; he had time for people. He spent hours talking to the Samaritan women, yet when his brothers wanted him to go to Judea he replied ‘my time has not yet come’.”

“He prayerfully waited for his Father’s instructions and the strength to follow them. He discerned the Father’s will day by day in a life of prayer. Jesus’ prayerful waiting for God’s instructions freed Him from the tyranny of the urgent. It gave him a sense of direction, set a steady pace, and enabled Him to do every task God assigned.”

“It is not God who loads us until we bend or crack . . . these come from our inner compulsions coupled with the pressure of circumstance.”

“Frenetic service for God can become an escape from God. If a Christian is too busy to stop, take spiritual inventory, and received his assignments from God, he becomes a slave to the tyranny of the urgent. He may work day and night to achieve much that seems significant to himself and others, but he will not finish the work the work God has for him to do.”

The second time, this same lesson came from a devotional I read this morning by Oswald Chambers.

“We consider what we do in the way of Christian work as service, yet Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to Him, not what we do for Him.”

“Our Lord’s primary obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of people— the saving of people was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father.”

I can easily overwhelm myself with service and shepherding. So many times I have come to the LORD with a list of people my heart longs for to be saved and freed from sin, Satan, and death. I have asked the LORD how I could possibly shepherd and evangelize all of these people. To which He responds, you don’t have to “save” all of these people. You just need to be an instrument for me to work through. I will save, just obey me when I ask. I love the message in both of these articles/devotionals. Jesus’ served and guided others, but submitted first to the will of the Father. He did only what His father asked and that is where His sufficiency came from.

Are you there? Feeling overwhelmed? Burdened for the needs of others? Not knowing where to start/stop? I’m there. I thank God that I can come to Him in prayer for discernment, wisdom, and peace about my part. My job is simply to listen and obey . . .

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

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