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In 1976, when God called me back into missions from the pastorate, one of my first excuses for not moving ahead in obedience was my pulpit. After all, I argued, this church is obviously being blessed, and “God needs me here.”
How foolish! We have to learn that God doesn’t need us anywhere. He is not helpless!
Regrettably today, too few volunteers are ready to do the work of the Gospel. Almost every day we have a missionary conference on how to win the world to Christ—but the work remains undone because we don’t have men and women with servant-hearts who will go out and lose their personal identities in getting the work done.
Unless we are willing to see ourselves unknown, unrecognized and working behind the scenes, there is no hope for our spiritual service ever to bear real fruit in the economy of God.
Jesus said that “the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister” (Matthew 20:28). And we are to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
Individual believers, Christian churches and missions that refuse to recognize servanthood are traitors to the cause of Christ and do untold harm. Sadly, there are many Christians in our day for whom the New Testament concept of servanthood remains a mystery: “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:27).
Education, family background, talent, beauty, voice, riches and intelligence mean absolutely nothing to God. He doesn’t need our abilities any more than He needs our money.
How sad it is that many talented believers go along for years looking good on the outside, but remaining absolutely useless to the Lord. It is quite possible to be doing the Lord’s work and still not to have entered into servanthood. And so enormous efforts, studies, plans and labor are extended—all uselessly because they cannot stand up to the fires of judgment.
How tragic! And what a contrast from the Spirit-filled service of a surrendered Christian servant. When you really commit yourself to God, He commits Himself to you. Lives are changed. Souls are saved. People are healed in body and spirit. God gives fruit, and the fruit remains.