The importance of serving God runs through Christianity like a river winds through a flourishing land. Just as a river feeds, waters, cleanses, and shapes everything near its path, so does service to God nourish and shape those nearest to the followers doing the serving. The river doesn’t do this for its own sake, it simply does it because it is filled with life giving, moving water. It is a conduit that channels that flow to wherever it wishes to go. The channel is carved by the water. It is not in charge. The water is.
The same is true for the man or woman serving God. As you relinquish your will to the will of Christ, and allow him to flow through you, the more selfless you become. In fact, you can’t truly serve him fully and be selfish, otherwise, you would be serving yourself, and not God. When you are truly serving him, you are not in charge. He is. You realize that it isn’t you that he needs, because he doesn’t really need anything. After all, it is God who gives us life, and breath, and everything (Acts 17:24-25). It is in him that we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28). And when we live in the flow of his presence and power, we ultimately impact the world around us. We nourish it. It is shaped through us because of what is coursing through us, and flowing out of us.
Consider Peter’s wisdom. He instructs us to use our gifts to serve one another as a means of stewarding God’s grace (1 Peter 4:10). Such service is powered by the strength that God supplies, and not our own (1 Peter 4:11). We are the selfless river channel through which he flows. With our gifts, we water others. This in turn, creates a natural gratitude in those who have been touched by that service. This gratitude glorifies God (1 Peter 4:11). So in our selfless service to others, we end up serving both them and God. Their gratitude may then prompt them to serve God, starting a new cycle of selfless service.
Where are you serving? Is your service selfish in any way? Are you following your will, or Gods? Is your river channel flowing, or is it dammed up? Is it in God that you have your life, and movement, and being? Or is it something or someone else? Who are you touching with your gifts and service?