What is Christian
service according to the mind of God?
It is not our having a
very full program of Christian activities - not
It is not that we are
always busy in what we call "the things of the
It is not the measure
and amount of our activity and busyness - the degree of
our perspiration and enthusiasm in the Kingdom of God.
It is not our schemes -
our enterprises - for the Lord.
Beloved, the test of
all service is this: its motive. Is the motive, from
start to finish, that in all things HE may have the
preeminence - that Christ may be all in all?
You know the
temptations and the fascination of Christian service -
the fascination of being busy... being occupied with many
things... having your programs, schemes, enterprises...
being in it and always at it. There is a peril there, and
that peril has caught multitudes of the Lord's servants:
it is its bringing them into prominence. It has made the
work theirs - it is their work - it is their interests;
and they are the more pleased the more they govern the
thing and run the thing.
No, there is a
difference between going the round of the clock in
Christian service as the mere enjoyment of activity and
of the fascination of it, and of all the advantages and
facilities it provides for ourselves - our flesh and its
gratification - there is a great difference between that
and this: "Christ is all and in all."
Sometimes that end is
achieved by our being put out of action, and that is the
test as to whether we are quite satisfied to be
altogether put out of the work if only the Lord can be
more glorified by our being out. If only He can come into
His own, it does not matter a scrap whether we are seen
or heard. In the grace of God it is somewhere to get when
you are quite content to be put in a corner, to be taken
no notice of, not to be seen... if thereby the Lord Jesus
can come into His own more speedily and fully.
Somehow we have got
caught up into this thing, and we think the Lord Jesus
can come into His own only if we are the instrument. The
rivalries - platform rivalries, pulpit rivalries -
sensitiveness because one is put before another, because
one address is given more attention than another - the
favorable remarks all given in one direction, etc., etc.
- I know all about it.
After all, what were
you after? Winning your audience or winning your
sermon... or winning your Lord? A great difference!
Sometimes the Lord gets
more out of our bad times than we think; and sometimes we
have our good times, and He has not got the most. Therein
is the necessity for our being set aside, our being kept
weak and humble: that He might have the preeminence.
The explanation of
service according to God's thought is just this: what are
you doing it for? Do you want to be in the work - to take
up the work - to be busy? Or is it utterly and only if by
any means He may come into His own? That God's end may be
realized? And if it means that He can be "all and in
all" by our death as well as by our life, have we
come to the place where we can say, "That Christ may
be magnified in this mortal body, whether by life or by
That is the explanation
of service from God's standpoint.