Elijah Ministries

Free to Serve or Service through Guilt?


Mike Kovach

I have met many people who refuse to return to their church because they feel inadequate, or they fear being put on the spoton the spot because they were unable to meet the service requirements placed on them by their church leaders. Others simply refuse to return because of all the talk of service instead of worship, they feel as if their expected to perform and produce a product. A church is not a business where model missionaries are spun off the assembly line at 100 per hour. Church is not suppose to be a business of people, but people seeking the business of God.

Many churches today preach service to God far beyond requirements set by God. As a result, many believers have decided that they are not capable of service and maybe, not saved as a result of their lack of service. How absurd this is if accepted by the local church. If you have been truly saved, you are saved for ever. No man can take that gift away from you, and if your service is being a joy to others, or an inspiration to co-workers and friends, God bless you because you are doing the will of the Father. You are being a service of His and a satisfaction to Him.

A practice of constantly telling the congregation that their duty is to serve the Lord has gone too far! To far because we are not called to serve but to be a service for God. Any organization that requires you to do more that Christ, you need to leave and pray that they return to their first love.

Even the great commission has been miss-represented and turned into a mechanism for guilt. You see, the literal translation of the great commission is not what we have been told, "go ye into all the world." Actually, it should read "as you are going, make disciples of all nations." This means that we are being a service of God; the former means we serve the Lord by our work and effort. There is a place for this type of service, but not in the context of being a service of His. We are not to compete in service when that service competes for our loyalty to God.

In John 20:28 "Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord My God."

Oswald Chambers in one of his lectures given at an English Bible College and in YMCA huts in Egypt had this to say about that passage:

"Give Me to drink." How many of us are set upon Jesus Christ slaking our thirst when we ought to be satisfying Him? We should be pouring out now, spending to the last limit, not drawing on Him to satisfy us. "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me"--that means a life of unsullied, uncompromising and unbridled devotion to the Lord Jesus, a satisfaction to Him wherever He places us.

Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him. It is easier to serve than to be drunk to the dregs. The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him. We are not sent to battle for God, but to be used by God in His battling. Are we being more devoted to service then to Jesus Christ?"

Never feel guilty because you do not measure up to denominational/non-denominational expectations. When you help someone without planning, when you give because of your compassion, when you pray without effort or request, when you simply talk with God like you would yourself or your own father, and when you see others in need and help them meet that need, at your own expense, you are being a service of Him.

There is never failure with God, only men and their ideas of Him fail. They use every conceivable method to convince people that they must do this or that t please God. As a result, many are reminded that they cannot meet Gods expectations. By doing this, you are robed of your joyful fellowship with God.

There are two types of service that I'm addressing here:

Service One to Another

This type of service is what we do to strengthen each other and to teach one another. This is where the gifts of the Holy Spirit come in. "For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. Eph. 4:12" This has very little to do with serving God, and we have taken our duties to one another as a sign that we are righteous in our service to God. I believe that entire congregations, denominations and non-denominations as well have been built on this idea--on a service that is designed for each other.

These are our family traits, things that distinguish us as different from the rest of mankind. Different because it is done through love and none of it through our own ambitions and desires. Yes, these things are a Christian work, they are what help us to function as a family.

Jesus gave us many examples of this service in taking care of his followers and those who came to hear Him He clothed them, fed them, prayed for them, protected them, and taught them. However, this was not serving God, He served God by being a satisfaction to Him, through obedience and death. He done this by doing what God asked him to dobeing a witness of God to us.
Being a Service for God
So what exactly is a service to God or being a satisfaction to Him? Paul tells us what this is in his second epistle to the Corinthians. In chapter three he states in vs. 1-9:

" 1 Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? or need we, as do some, epistles of commendation to you or from you? 2 Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men; 3 being made manifest that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables that are hearts of flesh. 4 And such confidence have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God; Comparing the old covenant with the new 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.7 But if the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look stedfastly upon the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which glory was passing away: 8 how shall not rather the ministration of the spirit be with glory? 9 For if the ministration of condemnation hath glory, much rather doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory." (ASV)

A service to God and a satisfaction to Him does not mean doing something for Him. It means obeying him in love, no matter the cost, it is for His glory and not ours. When we accept God on His terms as Paul and others did, we no longer seek to do, do, and do; no, we become doers of the Word because we are a satisfaction to Him and the doing is His.

God bless all of you who are a satisfaction to Him in being a service of Him .

For more on this subject, see Part II!

©January 1997 Mike Kovach
Christian Underground Journal

Michael Kovach is editor and publisher of the Christian Underground Journal. He can be reached at "gehrig-kovach@worldnet.att.net".

Return to Articles

If you have any comments or questions, let us know by sending an email message to "comments@elijah.ministries.com".

 Copyright © - 1997, All Rights Reserved. Elijah Ministries, Charlotte, NC