To serve God, we must be filled with the Spirit and have wisdom. He desires and commands our service despite our unworthiness. Live in liberty to serve Him.
Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; (Acts 6:3)
Today’s verse provides encouragement for those believers who somehow think they don’t have what it takes to serve God. In my ministry, I often encounter people who feel so totally unworthy that they struggle to accept even the truth of God’s love for them. They are saved, may even be filled with the spirit, and yet the enemy still has a part of them bound with lies and deceit. So many of these have deep and sincere longing to do God’s work. But their sense of unworthiness or lack of ability or education holds them back from full surrender to the purpose God has for them. Consequently, the struggle in a kind of spiritual ‘no man’s land,’ closed off from that to which He has called them. The continual sense of defeat is a heart-breakingly slow suffering that denies the power and real purpose of God.
We are commanded and created to serve God.
This is the truth I believe God wants to speak into these lives today. He both desires and commands you to serve. If you’re struggling with this, take hold of this fiercely and hold onto it. Settle it in your mind once and for all. To help you with this, take a moment to consider what this really means. Firstly, you were lovingly and personally created by God to serve God. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Everything He makes is good. Your creation was no accident or mistake. God alone has the power to give life, and all that you were created to be was put into you at the moment that He shaped and made you. Life, through the works of the world and the devil and your own responses, has simply bent that out of shape a little.
Then, your good works are already in place. He created you for specific works and those works specifically for you. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). Whatever else the devil and your unworthiness may tell you, the real truth is that you are created to serve God. He has prepared your ministry and set it in place. It’s only waiting for you to take hold of it in faith and joy. Remember that what God creates is good. The service He has for you is tailored for you. No one else can do what He desires you to do. Finally, take hold of the truth that as citizens of heaven, your duty is to serve the King. He never expects more from you than what He has already empowered you to do.
To serve God is despite our unworthiness.
Beloved child of God, if you struggle with the constant weight of unworthiness, let the truth set you free today. The absolute truth is that you are not the only one who is unworthy to serve God. Every believer is as unworthy as you are. There is nothing we can do or say to earn or deserve the privilege of working for Him. Every one of us, but for the grace of God and the saving blood of Jesus, are completely unworthy. That ‘spiritual hero’ you look at and perhaps envy for their service is no different to you and I. Step out of the trap of deception today and grab hold of the liberating truth. Your sin is no different to mine or anyone else’s. In God’s eyes, sin is sin. Romans 3:23 says that for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The other aspect you may struggle with is the sense of inadequacy. You look at your knowledge, experience, and ability and see the lack. The devil is very quick to whisper his little lies and point out your failings. Our lack in ability or capability is never an issue in God’s eyes. In fact, it’s a ‘strength’ rather and a weakness. Let me say that again in a different way. Our weakness are strengths in God’s eyes. See what He has to say on the matter: And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9). We can and must serve God despite our unworthiness. He is glorified when we are weak and dependent on Him.
The real criteria for those who serve God.
Today’s verse spoke deep into my heart this morning. There are those ‘out there’ who really need to hear this truth. I truly believe that He desires to set you free this morning so that you may discover and live your full purpose in Him. Our verse reveals the two things that determine our ‘ability’ to serve God. The lies and deceptions that hold you back are null and void in the light of this truth. The first is the infilling of the Holy Spirit. To serve effectively, we must be filled with the Spirit. There are two purposes in this critical requirement. On one hand, it means we are surrendered, obedient, and teachable. God is able to guide and direct us and we are dependent on Him to fulfil His purposes. We’re not off doing our own thing, presuming in our own strength and ability.
The second purpose is that His strength is able to operate fully. He is able to accomplish through us what we cannot. When we’re all out of self, we’re full of the Spirit. So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6). To be filled with the Spirit is what God desires from His servants. Then, He desires that we have wisdom. This isn’t the wisdom of the world but rather wisdom from God. But once again, it’s not a stumbling block or an excuse not to serve God. Spirit-filled believers who ask will receive wisdom from Him. The Spirit will teach us through the Word. We have what we need when we surrender self and are teachable and willing to obey when the Spirit directs.
Living in liberty to serve God.
I believe God is speaking specifically to people who have lost their way in this. Today brings liberty from the bondages that hold you back. Take hold of the truth shared with you this morning. Make the choice to serve God as He desires and has called you to do. Confess and repent of all the things you have listened to and believed and even spoken over your own life. Then ask Him for a new infilling of the Spirit. Our God is gracious and merciful and quick to act when we come with open and honest hearts. The mistakes and deceptions of the past no longer have the power to keep you bound. Jesus has already dealt with each one on the cross. His name is above all names, and none can stand against Him. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:36).
There is something more to living in the liberty to serve God. Take a moment to list the things that held you back – the lies and deceptions and misunderstandings. Recognise the bondages that kept you from living your purpose. Then, identify the truths in God’s Word that correct these. Living in liberty will be a struggle for a while as you learn to break the wrong habits and thought patterns that controlled your life. Self and the devil will try to pull you back into the place of ineffectiveness. The Word of God must be wielded daily to keep these out. It’s a powerful spiritual truth that when something is removed it must immediately be replaced. When you push out the things of deception you must constantly replace them with truth. If you don’t fill the vacuum with God, self and the devil will fill it for you.
The Spirit is the only way to truly serve God.
Finally, be sure to walk in the Spirit. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, (Ephesians 5:18). The ‘be filled’ here, in Greek, literally means ‘to be continually filled’ rather than a one-time event. To serve God, every believer must be continually filled with the Spirit – topped up and filled to overflowing. We must ask for a new infilling every day. It enables our learning, guides us and reveals God’s will to us, and it empowers us to obey despite our weakness and unworthiness. More than anything, the Spirit will constantly remind you of the truth that breaks your bondages and keeps you free. God desires and commands that you serve Him and gives both Spirit and wisdom to empower you in the impossible. Don’t waste another minute. Take hold of the divine purpose you were created for today.
Lord, forgive me for buying into the lies of the devil and for my own wrong beliefs that have kept me from serving You. Thank You for Your perfect truth that has set me free. Thank You for immeasurable gift of Your precious Holy Spirit and Your promise of supernatural wisdom. Help me to surrender in faith and obedience, to be teachable and to depend only on You. Give me grace to serve You each day and to walk in the good works created for me. Remind me always that I was created for a specific purpose in You.