"You are now serving your blog, your Instagram family, and self comfort...not Me." God did not speak these words to me audibly. However, as I was reading the account where Satan tempted Jesus, It was as if the Lord impressed those very words onto my heart.
When I read how Jesus said I was to serve only Him, I suddenly felt convicted. Something that I had once felt so thankful to use in my service to God was starting to become an idol. My precious Savior was making it clear to my eyes.
THE SLOW DRAIN!
No wonder why posting was becoming a drain. No wonder why taking pictures started to become demanding. No wonder why my quiet-times started to get shorter. No wonder why I was becoming stressed and felt more relieved when my ‘rest’ days were approaching.
Idols make you tired. They make you work, but they don’t satisfy you. They make you think you are getting something in return, but they are lying to you. The very joy and fullness we seek are found in Jesus, the One I was to be serving.
That’s the thing with spiritual idols. They make you think you are serving God when you are really serving things. And actually, we are serving ourselves by seeking the pleasure we want in doing 'the things.' It’s really sad to find out you haven't been worshipping Him only.
However, it is so like our God to point it out to us so that we can repent and turn back to Him again. As I was meditating on this verse, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve Matthew 4:10.’" I found myself stuck at the word SERVE.
“Wait a minute! Serving is what a Christian is supposed to do!” “We are to love God and people, right?” We all know that. When looking at the cross, even a little child can say that Christ-like love is costly. It cost Jesus His life to love us. He willingly laid down His life so that we can have a relationship with Him. That is service like no other.
Not only that, but Jesus served in so many ways as He walked the same earth we walk on. He healed, provided, and loved. Jesus even washed the dirty feet of His disciples. How many of us would willingly wash the dirty feet of someone who has been in the “outside?”
“So, service IS Christ-like!”
Yes, ma'am! It sure is. (By the way...that was me talking to myself because I was asking these questions).
The thing in question is not service, but motive and object.
Why are we serving? Is it to pat ourselves on the back? Do we expect others to notice?
A good indicator is how we act when others DON'T notice. Do we then start acting like spoiled kids? Are we seeking to get approval from God? The approval that Christ sealed on the cross for everyone that is in Him?
If our service is for ourselves and not for God, then we are really worshiping us and that is NOT Christ-like service. It’s no different than the world. We are just using spiritual things instead of worldly things.
What about the object? When we go to serve, where do our eyes land? This is the one that told on me. My eyes were fully on Christ at the start. They were as fixed on Him as a fallen Christian on her way to becoming more like Christ could be.
However, in the routine of things, my affections fell and settled themselves mostly on blogging and Instagramming. Instead of serving God, I was serving blogging and The Gram. Like how in the world did THAT happen?
Slowly, my friend, slowly. I took too many ‘easy’ morning and misguided days. These good things started to shove themselves into the center, and I let it. I stopped becoming bothered by it like I was in the beginning. Instead, I was numb. But hey... serving God!
Only, I wasn’t really serving rightly. I was serving these things and in turn myself. I believe in vulnerability because none of us experience anything alone.
If one person has experienced it, you can bet your pumpkin spice latte somebody else has too! So here is a question for you. Are you doing this in any way?
When Jesus says, “It is written, 'you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve,’" can you say you are worshipping only Him, or do you find some ‘others’ popping their heads up for competition.
It’s so hard to stare at it in its face. But, it doesn't have to stay that way. We have just gotten our focus off. We have the wrong thing on the throne.
God has now given us the opportunity to repent. Repentance isn’t merely saying, “I’m sorry.” I have a lot of nieces and nephews. We make them say ‘sorry.’ Sometimes the only thing repentant about their sorry is the words.
Godly repentance is agreeing with God and His Word about what you have done. It is also an action. We then turn from the sin and back to God. We also agree that Christ’s blood covered it. It is finished!
Because of Jesus, we can keep getting back up! Praise God, sis, because 10,000 times I've failed and I’m not even 30 yrs old yet!
When we identify the idol, mine was the selfish service to other things, then we can take our eyes off of that and place them back on where they belong. Back on Who and What they were made for- JESUS!
When we worship and serve God rightly, our eyes stay on Him. They don’t move on to other things. We don’t serve our jobs, kids, husbands, ministries, and any other thing apart from fixed gazes on Jesus. We have to draw strength from Him daily. Turning our eyes to the thing we are serving don't help, it hurts.
But, what happens when we have our eyes on the things we are serving (especially godly things) is that we don’t have direction. We take our eyes off of our Guide and place them on the things we are supposed to be influencing for His glory! Then our guidance either becomes how we feel, the opinion of others, or what we see other people doing.
GUIDANCE FROM THE SHEPHERD!
Let me just go ahead and tell you how HORRIBLE that is. It’s not how we were created to move about the world. We were made to be led by God. A Shepherd.
Jesus said He laid down His life for His sheep. He protects His sheep. He leaves the 99 to go after the 1 (that would be me roaming)!
We, daughters of the Kings, must keep our eyes upwards. We have no business looking at things for direction. It happens when we start serving the ‘others.’ But, there is always that well worn out way back to God’s mercy seat.
I am so glad God allowed me to see this. Once I turned back, my eyes found it’s resting place and my strength was restored. (I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth Psalm 121:1). That’s real, sis!
“When we lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us, for it is written that the eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout all the earth...When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on earth,” A.W. Tozer
This is what we are after- The taste that only God can give, and what will begin on earth will only last until eternity.
WORSHIP AND SERVE ONLY HIM!
If you were convicted like me, I hope you will fix your eyes and heart on God again. And, if you have not drifted...be careful not to get cozy. Instead, intentionally worship and serve only Him.
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PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW