If you have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, your time on earth has become much more precious. Your salvation is not the end of your duty, but the beginning of a responsibility toward God. Every believer is a servant of the Lord in his or her own capacity. The Lord gives to each a talent and each one is to thrive in it. By the calling the Lord gives we each serve Him. Therefore, it is important to know what His calling is to us. He specifically desires we serve Him in a certain capacity. And then He takes the responsibility of supplying all we need. In the days when Jesus was ministering on earth, people served Him in different capacities. They were all called by God for it.
Often as believers we tend to relax knowing we are saved and safe in Christ. But Jesus desires more from us. He wants others to have the same security we have in Him. If it were not for those who led us to Him, we would not have the sense of being forever secure in Him. By being intimate with Him, we can clearly see His desire. Hence, the Spirit in Paul spoke to Timothy saying, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1). It is not a mere charge, but a serious order. The reason is evident from His words. Christ Jesus is going to judge the living and the dead. We, who were saved in Him, have all escaped His judgment. And God desires the same for many, if possible all. Once judgment commences there is no escape. The living unsaved and the unsaved dead will face judgment.
Just as the Spirit of Christ charged Timothy, He charges all of us to serve the Lord. The way to carry it out is to serve the gospel as God appointed to us. You do not have to be talented, super educated or with high IQ levels. You do not have to be rich or poor. You just have to be obedient to His call. There is His call to be saved and there is His call to execute His specific purpose to us. If you thought the first call is all there is to have and keep, you are missing a great relationship with the Lord; you are missing His works, supplies, gifts, blessings and rewards that come with serving Him. You miss the role of true and faithful servant. You miss the sufferings where Christ is yet to suffer. In other words, you miss Him suffering with you.
Consider the following essentials and you will see the Lord come to you with a specific purpose, if He had not already come.
- When you are saved, you are chosen “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure” (1 Pet. 1:2). God foreknew you to obey Jesus and be cleansed with His blood. If this purpose of God has not ceased in you, the Lord will come to you with a specific purpose. You can even begin looking forward to it. He will reveal it to you from the Word. Your obedience to God will help you realize your intimacy with Him. With it you can measure your obedience and expect the Lord to come to you. The sign for it is the grace and peace you have been receiving in the fullest measure.
- The Spirit reveals what God wants for every believer that wishes to serve Him. “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” (3:16). Whatever it is you are in need of the Father will grant you according to His riches. In other words, He gives you the things that are perfectly suitable and sufficient to serve Him; they include spiritual and material things. As you desire to serve Him by faith, He who sees your zeal will give you a purpose. For the sake of that purpose He supplies you. Because of His perfect timing in providing you, you are convinced in the Spirit that they are from Him. The Spirit that convinces you strengthens your inner man with power to fulfill His purpose.
- You must be switched on to suffer for the Lord’s sake. In suffering there is great accomplishment for the Lord. When your heart is ready to serve Him at any cost, He will lead you to the cross bearing His name. It is your desire to serve Him that allows Him to take you through the valleys. You will walk alone, i.e. nothing on this earth will accompany you. Yet, in your lone walk the Lord will always be by your side. One of the intrinsic qualities of those suffering is engaging in humility throughout their serving the Lord. We see it in the apostle Paul when he said, “serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews” (Acts 20:19). Remember, suffering in the Lord’s will is the only way to fulfill His purpose to you. Yes, it is painful, but the rewards in this life and the life to come outweigh the pain. You will rejoice in the days to come.
- In order that your salvation bears perfect responsibility toward the Lord you must understand the Scriptures. It is fundamental to fulfilling His purpose to you. Everything He has planned and desired for you as well as the wisdom needed is hidden in the Word. Your understanding of it unfolds them to you. Here is when you begin to understand. “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). Unless the Lord is satisfied with your attitude and mindset toward Him, He does not reveal His secrets to you. He must trust you to handle His guidance. That trust comes by continually obeying Him, letting your inner man be strengthened and your willingness to suffer.
- You must be willing to sacrifice any or all for the Lord’s sake. “As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, ‘Follow Me!’ And he got up and followed Him” (Mark 2:14). Sometimes He may not ask you to sacrifice everything at once and yet, He will require sacrifices from you along the way. Whether it is time, riches or lifestyle, you must be willing to sacrifice. Such sacrifices many do not wish to make. Sacrifices produce suffering, but the result is joy and glory. God has called you for them by salvation. But if you’ve realized this truth and turn away from His calling, you are rejecting a perfect relationship with the One who can supply you all things and more. Reflect on what happened when Matthew got up and followed Jesus. It did not yield dishonor and failure, but joy and victory.
- This last point is just as important as the rest in serving the Lord. Never fashion your own ways with your thoughts. It opposes everything the Lord expects of you. Failure and shame befriends you. “What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, or an image, a teacher of falsehood? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork when he fashions speechless idols” (Hab. 2:18). Your ways lack the substance to please Him.