Inspiration

Serve Out of Design, Not Duty

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"Be honest in your estimate of yourselves." (Romans 12:3 NLT)

Most people these days are moving so fast that they don't have time to listen to their heart any more.

The Bible says that God wants you to listen to your heart. He wants you to look at what you're made to do, and then you'll know what he wants you to do. But you've got to slow down.

Alabama used to sing this song: "I'm in a hurry to get things done. I rush and rush until life's no fun. All I really got to do is live and die, but I'm in a hurry and don't know why. Can't be late. I leave in plenty of time, shaking hands with the clock. I can't stop. I'm on a roll, and I'm ready to rock. I hear a voice that says I'm running behind. I better pick up my pace. It's a race, and there ain't no room for someone in second place."

That describes most people today in America. They're speeding with no direction. But God wants you to slow down and listen to your heart. Romans 12:3 says, "Be honest in your estimate of yourselves" (NLT). What I suggest you do is get alone with God and ask these questions: "What do I love to do? What do I dream of doing? What fascinates me? What can I talk about, think about, and study all day and not get bored? Where have I been most effective in my life?"

I once baptized an 80-year-old woman after a service at Saddleback Church. She wanted to be a small group host. That's pretty cool - an 80-year-old small group host! She said, "I just wish I learned years ago that we serve God out of our design, not out of duty."

I wish everybody could learn that truth. That's what SHAPE - your spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences - is all about.  We serve God out of our design and the way he shaped us. We serve God not out of duty but because we love him. Because when you do what he wired you to do, it brings glory to him.

That's the way to live. Don't serve God out of force or design or guilt. Serve him out of delight and gratitude. Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you've been given - in other words, what God put you on Earth to do.

Talk It Over

  • What has been your motivation to serve in ministry?
  • How did that motivation affect your attitude toward ministry?
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