Written By: Adam Dickson
I have been serving in the US Navy now for over 19 years and every time I am out and about anywhere in uniform or use my military ID card for identification, I hear someone say “thank you for your service.” Undoubtedly, many of you have heard this as well throughout your lives in some form or fashion. With Veterans Day coming up, I really wanted to break down what it really means to serve. And by breaking it down I mean for me as a military member and for my family, as our whole family is in service. As I thought about this, I realized service is applicable in whatever aspect of your life you are in… I also realized that I needed to determine where we as believers get our calling to serve. If you Google Bible verses about serving you will find that over and over again the Bible talks about service.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Wow! Isn’t it amazing to think that our Lord and Savior came into this world to serve? It is the truest example of the ultimate service. If He came to serve, shouldn’t we follow His lead and find ways to do so as well in some capacity?
So where are we supposed to serve? This is actually a funny question because currently at our church I am serving in an area where I always told myself: “Nope… never going to do that!! I am not called to serve in children’s ministry… nope… nope.” It wasn’t that I was above the position but I believed that it wasn’t “for me”. I imagine many of you have felt this way in your lives in some way or another. You have probably thought “I don’t want to do that”, or you have had someone say to you “God bless you for doing that because I couldn’t!” Despite what I may or may not have thought, I am now going on one year of serving in children’s church and, while it has been hard some days, I realize God has me right where He wants me. It is simply my responsibility to remain present for the tasks God has before me.
What does it mean to be present? We could go into these tasks half-hearted and grumbling but we would be shunting the potential growth of God’s Kingdom because we are dragging our feet. Who knows what individuals we may impact through our obedience to God’s calling? And if you feel that you are unequipped to complete the task I will tell you something I once heard from a wise friend, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” That tells me that I just need to step out in faith and not be so concerned with the details. And that’s what being present in God’s service means, answering the call and giving it your all. Don’t be half in; don’t be luke warm.
My beautiful wife will tell you that I am a very calculated person. Sometimes maybe a little too calculated. I like to have a plan for every trip, every activity. I like to have every detail planned down to a T so I am not caught off guard. I try to map out my next steps; I analyze, talk it over with my family, pray, analyze some more, and just when I think I am ready to step out in faith….I analyze it just a little bit more so I can make sure I have not missed any minute details. Perhaps I have missed out on opportunities because of my stubbornness. It’s a way that I feel in control of a situation and like God so often does He takes your plans and reveals His plan in a way only He can do. This happens even in service to His Kingdom. God reveals His purpose in our lives over and over. Often times we question God’s purpose because it doesn’t appear to align with what we feel is right. We like to be in control. Therefore, we think we have a better option for our lives.
Sometimes, when dealing with our plans we like to focus on results. Recently, I was in a leadership course where this topic came up: “results, results, results.” I would like to ask a different question. Instead of asking, “What are your results?” I want to know, “What is your infrastructure? The infrastructure of our nation is our power grid, our roads; it’s what serves our communities and it connects us to each other. If your infrastructure is God’s power running through you, His plan for you is already within you and He is using your service to connect you to His people. The Bible tells us we are to be the hands and feet of His church. This is how we are used as His infrastructure to the world. We are the roads, we are the power. If we just tap into God’s power and allow those around us to tap into that same power running through us, the results would be glorious.
This is where faith comes into play.
You may be wondering what this has to do with being thanked for your service. Well, just know that wherever you are serving, (as a mom, in the military, or even in children’s ministry) God is working through your acts of service and through your obedience. No matter how menial your service appears to be, someone is quite possibly going to enter the Kingdom of God because of your service. Everything you do matters when you do it to further God’s Kingdom!!
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
If you feel as if you are serving in an area that doesn’t hold a lot of value, or if you are closing the door on an opportunity to serve that you know God is calling you into, remember nothing that furthers the Kingdom of God is pointless. It matters more than you will ever know. You may never see the fruit of your faithfulness, but you can have confidence that if you plant a seed and it is watered with Christ’s living water, it will grow.
In honor of all that you are doing to serve those around you, thank you for your service. Thank you for your dedication in your job, as a wife, as a mother, as a Sunday school teacher, or any other role God currently has you in. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I, for one, know I would not be as successful as I am in my life without my wife and the many hands and feet that are there supporting my family while I am deployed or away.
Things to ponder:
* Where is an area of your life where you are closing the door for service because you feel unequipped? Scared? Just don’t feel like it?
* This week, I challenge you step out on faith and believe God’s promises for your life. Don’t let your hesitation and worries prevent you from serving in God’s army.
Written By: Adam Dickson