As believers of Christ we ought to be in a position to thank Him for calling us to deliver His will. Jesus calls each one for salvation and then to put them into His service. While there is joy in being saved, there is glory in serving Him. Serving Him gives the assurance of belonging to the heavenly Kingdom. Being saved and yet, not serving Him in His will deprives us of the glory stored for us. Our salvation gives joy that has wisdom to exercise our love toward Christ and serve Him. It is only those who continually apply that wisdom in life that will serve Him in the way He desires. This then will place us in a position to thank Him. So, Paul said, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service” (1 Tim. 1:12).
If Christians are not serving Christ in His will, it is for one or two reasons. They were not truly saved, i.e. they were never set free by the truth of Jesus or, the most common among the saved, they have neglected the joy that came from the love Christ showed toward them. In the case of the former, there is no hope left unless they come to the truth. In the case of the latter, there is still eternal life; and if they remember His love and exercise the wisdom in the joy of being saved, He will call them to His service. They will see glory. They will come to thank Him, because they see and receive the things of God. The most important thing for Christians is to never neglect their joy of being saved. And, the only way to it is to continually thank Him through prayer. When this activity does not cease in them, He will provide the perfect opportunity to serve Him in His will. This means, as Paul said, He will consider them faithful and strengthen them putting them to His service. He will give His Spirit to guide them to His desires. The Spirit will lead them to the nature of His desires from the Word.
Believers that do not serve Him in His strength and trustworthiness are missing a great life. They will only be left with a life that is common to all people on this earth. They miss experiencing eternal peace, the calmness needed in any circumstance, the confidence in life’s ebbs, delighting in the Lord’s presence, making wise decisions, the provisions of the Lord, the sufferings and the overcoming of them; furthermore, they miss being the light to people, i.e. they cannot direct them to the right way. Missing all these implies missing the glory Christ has set for them. The reason many Christians choose to ignore serving Him is they assume it obstructs their success in life; they think it is burdensome. But this is far from the truth. They are the ones always wishing immediate solution to every problem and need. Yet, an immediate solution is only a temporary resolve. Whereas the solution that Christ offers is one that is permanent and fantastic. It never loses its shine. It is one that He made sure would satisfy His people without fail. For this reason, it is very vital we believers first aim to serve Him according to His will. Then, He will use us in fantastic ways, even as He did with His people before. And John said, “So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, ‘Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey’” (Rev. 10:9).
Let the wisdom in the joy of being saved continue in you and you will rejoice in your specific service to Christ. The path to your life will be established. John was a man whom Christ chose for a specific purpose. His life was never easy beginning from the time he left everything for Him. He did not choose the success of his trade or the assumption of it to obstruct him from serving Him. When he was saved, he knew how to utilize the wisdom the joy in his salvation offered. Even when he wrote the book of Revelation he was not in the most comfortable of situations. He was a banished to the Isle of Patmos. The only thing he retained in him was the joy of being saved. And, see how Christ used him! He Himself led him to that which he did. But do know that serving Him will be both as sweet as honey and bitter. This will not make our life worse than the many that choose to live apart from serving Him. Rather, it will make our life much better by the strength He provides. When He sees that we are faithful enough to serve Him, oh, He will not miss the opportunity. Though John was in suffering by persecution, Christ called him to serve Him and rewarded him glory to overcome it; the glory was the penning of the His wisdom. And his service, i.e. prophesying, brought and continues to bring comfort to many in Christ. As believers what should matter to us is the glory that Christ offers. If our hope and desire is for it, we will have the life to thank Him for it. Life, as long as we live in the flesh, will never be easy. Jesus never said it is going to be easy. Yet, He did say that the one who serves Him will surely have life.
So, what shall we choose: to ignore serving Him with the assumption of missing a successful life or rejoice in serving Him with the knowledge that He will establish the path to our life? In the latter there will be no disappointment. No matter what career you have Jesus is able to strengthen you to serve Him through it. He will let you do it from your willingness to obtain glory. For your service to Him began from your ability to continually rejoice in your salvation. Once He gave you His will to serve Him you rejoiced knowing it is as honey in your mouth. But you will also see the bitterness in it or the difficulty in serving Him, because of things you must believe and say concerning Him. And as you see that He made you able for them, you will not waver. The outcome is magnificent. You will fulfill His Word that said, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (1 Cor. 14:1).
Serving Christ is always in the Spirit and of the Spirit. Though we use our bodies to carry out various works for Him, it is the work of the Spirit upon our spirit that controls them. And though we use material things to serve Him, it is by the administration of the Spirit in our spirit. When Paul says to pursue love, it is a definitive requirement to serve Christ in the Spirit. Pursuing love does not imply setting aside spiritual gifts, but rather includes them. Now for him to choose prophesying over all gifts is suggesting the requirement of Christ in all believers. It is for the well being of the church. Christians should always look for the well being of their fellow Christians. It is a law of Christ. Then, what better way is there to fulfill it than to possess the gift of prophesying? Prophecy edifies. It pours out wisdom bringing relief to those who are in suffering, with anxiousness, sorrows and grief by revealing the will of Christ. It affirms good works, negates those that are otherwise and gives the right ways through declaring the will of Christ. It also helps us find encouragement concerning ourselves.
All spiritual gifts will have their place in the church depending on the need of Christ. They are for serving Him. Through them you serve Him having known His will for you. But if you are able to prophesy, you will be all the more useful to the church. Christ will use you to encourage believers to serve Him. For some you will be a source of inspiration to remember His love toward them that they serve Him to see glory. So, always desire to serve Him by the wisdom in the joy of being saved and you will have a serious desire for spiritual gifts. This lets you abide in God’s law, which is life from Christ’s viewpoint. “Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY’’” (Luke 4:8).
There should be nothing else in us other than the above viewpoint. It shows the zest in us. So, Jesus also said, “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (John 3:21). See, if you practice the truth that has been set before you, you will come to the Light, which is Jesus; for to practice the truth is the wisdom in the joy of being saved. And, you know the outcome of it. You do not manifest for Christ anything of yourself, but only those fashioned in God. It will be difficult for men to oppose you and if some oppose, their enmity to the gospel will become evident. This is the power of your deeds wrought in God. And it is because of your service to Christ according to His will. It surpasses all fear and negligence and yields glory. So, Paul had to say this to the Corinthians. “Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?” (1 Cor. 6:2).
As your primary aim in life is to serve Christ, Christ prepares you and strengthens you for judging the world. The upshot of it is that you will have the gifts of the Spirit to deliver solutions for problems among believers. And because you should judge the world, your deeds are wrought in God to serve Christ. You will be able to thank Him. This is life from Christ’s viewpoint to which you have been called. It will receive glory “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).