This originally was posted on our church website as the devo of the week…by a couple of hours.
Oswald Chambers is my Yoda and Obi Wan combined in terms of spiritual mentors. So why is there a picture of Iron Man? I’ll get to that in a minute…but I read My Utmost For His Highest every year. Every year I find something new and challenging. It’s been the single most life changing book I’ve read other than Scripture itself. There are lots of times I find stuff I don’t like. But that is altogether different. Jesus says a lot of things I don’t like…doesn’t make them untrue.
I read this on Monday and it’s challenging me… Here’s what Oz said…
Service is the overflow which pours from a life filled with love and devotion. But strictly speaking, there is no call to that. Service is what I bring to the relationship and is the reflection of my identification with the nature of God. Emphasis mine.
Here they are – the two opposing thoughts of how and why we should serve standing in tension with each other. The first thought is that we need to be changed first, have “it” together before we serve so that we aren’t hypocrites. The other thought is we serve because it’s only through serving that we are changed and eventually we will have “it” together.
Oz is saying — and I agree with him — BOTH are true. Our service is what we bring to God – mess and all – AND it’s the result of WHAT He is doing inside of us. And God uses it all to make us more like Jesus.
Hence, Ironman. Tony Starks is a mess but he serves anyway. And through his serving, he becomes a hero – both as Ironman and eventually as a man. He serves because he knows he OUGHT to and he sees something that needs to change. Both in the world and in himself. He knows he’s a mess but he serves anyway and it’s through serving that the change starts to happen. Not all at once. It’s in stages. It’s a process. But his setbacks aren’t excuses to stop serving.
It’s easy to see the parallels, right? The call to SERVE ALL is both an opportunity to change the world, worship, make a difference AND be changed, transformed, and challenged. And you don’t have to have “it” all together. That’s the beauty of Jesus. He’ll take our pieces, our mess and use it. For the good of others as well as ourselves.
It will be impossible for us to become who God wants us to be without serving. IMPOSSIBLE. So any thought of getting good BEFORE we serve, it’s not just a pipe dream. It’s a lie from the enemy to keep us from serving, to keep us from experiencing the life change God has for us and it keeps so many potentially awesome servants of God on the sideline.
To steal another quote from Oswald – Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step.
Time to fire up the suit and start serving…