Lately, I’ve felt God prompting me to discuss subjects that I’m not all that interested in addressing. These are topics that aren’t fun or glamorous. They’re not ones that you’re likely to see on a bumper sticker or a beautifully curated Instagram post. He’s been impressing upon me the responsibility I have to devote my life to humbly serving others.
I’m sure you understand my desire to talk about literally anything else.
But, because God keeps going there, I thought it would be great to have a candid conversation about what these words practically mean for us.
As I’ve been turning this topic over with the Lord, He took me to an unexpected place: Hebrews 11, which is affectionately called “The Hall of Faith.” Most of the time, when I talk about faith, I’m focused on making the unseen seen. I concentrate on what I’m believing for, in faith, that doesn’t match up with my current reality. I center on the character of God and the brilliant future He has planned for His bride.
Rarely do I connect the dots between humility, serving, and faith. But I believe there is a strong connection there.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”Hebrews 11:6 NIV
What Does Humbly Serving Another Person Require?
I don’t know about you, but humbly serving another person requires a lot of faith from me. Especially if that person has hurt me in the past, is rude to me in the present, or just irritates me. I require a double dose of faith to humbly (and joyfully) serve those folks. But I believe that when we serve others in humility and faith, God is pleased. Humble servanthood is the definition of imitating Christ, and I can only imagine how the Father cheers us on in those moments.I don’t know about you, but humbly serving another person requires a lot of faith from me. – Sarah J Callen Click To Tweet
Philippians 2 gives us some insight into the life of Christ and I think this passage gives us a challenging example of how God is calling and empowering us to live.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross!”Philippians 2:3-8 NIV
What Jesus Did To Restore Our Destroyed Relationship With God
Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, was a humble servant. He willingly emptied Himself to restore our destroyed relationship with God and each other. There wasn’t a selfish bone in Jesus’s body or a drop of pride within Him. I simply cannot fathom what that’s like.
The truth is that I am incredibly self-focused, and I can be prideful. I can get so caught up in my own world and my own needs that I forget everyone else around me. My dreams and goals can take priority over everything else in my life. All these tendencies are the ways of the world and are the opposite of how Christ lived.What did Jesus do to restore our relationship with God? Click To Tweet
I believe God is exposing the areas where we have lived like the world and He’s inviting us to a new level of faith.
This isn’t a particularly fun topic, but I do believe that it is the expansive, life-giving invitation from God for the church today. I believe that true freedom is found in the emptying of ourselves and the picking up of the humble submission of Christ. It’s not easy, but God is pleased when we follow in His footsteps and bring the Kingdom to earth by serving others.
If you are reading this and feel worn out and weary from serving unnoticed for months, years, or decades, I just want to say “thank you.” Thank you for, in faith, bringing the Kingdom of God to your family, work, church, and community. I honor you for the path of faith that you have pioneered for those around you, for the acts you have done in faith are not in vain.
A Prayer For Us
I pray that each of us—whether we’re great at humbly serving or we fight it with every fiber of our being—find a new joy in submitting to God and practically loving those around us. I pray that we are all able to draw nearer to Christ as we take part in His humility. And, finally, I believe that as we take up this mantle of humble servanthood, our faith will increase to new levels.
Maybe the faith to move mountains that Jesus referenced (see Matthew 17:20-21) doesn’t just come from shouting, singing, or gathering more information. Perhaps, that mountain-moving faith comes through the path of humble service of God and others.
I’m not sure, but I’m willing to walk this path to find out. What about you?