[b]Traits of a True Servant of God[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
"Behold My Servant whom I uphold." (Isaiah 42:1) A true servant of God is one who is upheld by God, not by money or by an organization or any human agency. The Lord is the One Who should uphold us at all times. Men may give us gifts. But we must never depend on men or money. The word "uphold" refers to that which we are dependent on. We must be dependent on the Lord alone. It is when we come to the place of helplessness that God puts His Spirit on us.
Isaiah 42:2,3: "He will not cry out or raise His voice in the streets." This is quoted as referring to Jesus in Matthew 12:18 where it goes on to say, "He will not make His voice heard in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break." That means that the Lord will never discourage anyone who has made a mess of his life but will encourage him and heal him. The Lord will not put out the wick of a candle that is about to die. On the other hand, He will blow it into a flame. God is interested in helping weak believers who have failed. He is interested in helping those who are discouraged and depressed and to lift their spirits. A true servant of the Lord will always have a similar ministry of encouragement, lifting the spirits of those who are depressed and discouraged and who feel hopeless and are fed up with life. Let us all seek for such a ministry because people need it everywhere.
Isaiah 42:5-8: The Lord tells us: "I have called you in righteousness. I have called you to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon." This is a great ministry. But remember one thing always: "The Lord says, 'I will never give My glory to another.'" (v.8). We must never take any glory to ourselves in our ministry. To take the credit or the glory to ourselves is a very, very serious crime. It is worse than stealing money. God may bless you and your ministry and use you mightily. But He will never give His glory to anyone. Once you start touching the glory of God you will destroy yourself, like many servants of the Lord have been destroyed. Once you start promoting yourself before people, drawing people to yourself instead of to the Lord, and taking credit for what God did, you are on very dangerous ground. This is how thousands have lost God's anointing on their lives.
Isaiah 42:19,20: "Who is blind but My Servant? Who is deaf like My Messenger? Who is so blind as the One who is at peace with Me totally, so blind as the Servant of the Lord?" This looks like a puzzling verse, especially since it refers clearly to Jesus (as we can see from verse 1). What does it mean? It means that a true servant of God will be blind and deaf to many things that he sees and hears around him. He sees many things, but he doesn't observe them (v.20). He doesn't go around looking for sin in others. He doesn't go around listening to people in order to catch them in something they said. The Pharisees were like that - always waiting to catch Jesus in something He said in order to accuse him. Many Christians are unfortunately like that too - always waiting to accuse someone in something he said very often because they are jealous of his ministry. Don't be like them. Be deaf and blind to many things that you hear and see around you. Did you hear that someone made a false accusation against you? If you were deaf you would not have heard it. Be " deaf " then! Isn't it good for a servant of the Lord to be "blind" to attractive women? You have eyes, but you don't see. You are "blind"! You have ears, but you don't hear! Because you do not judge by what your eyes see or what your ears hear. This is how Jesus lived and this is how we must live too (Isa.11:3).
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon