It is not about us!
Are we oriented toward Service to Self, or Service toward others and Jesus?
Service / Response Modes
God typically asks us to do what seems to be the impossible.
It is His way of stretching us, and making us grow in Him.
According to our abilities, interests and circumstances, God has us serve Him.
1. Joseph – quickly obedient
In the Old Testament, young Joseph was given notice that there was to be a famine in the land of Egypt.
His first action was to not just prepare for himself, and those immediately surrounding him, but for all of Egypt, and all the world around Egypt.
In the end, he saved his very own family, the nation of Israel, by his selfless obedience to God’s command to store up for the famine.
2.. Elijah – too tired
He had just fought with 500 prophets of Baal, and won a great victory.
Exhausted from his battle, he was unable to provide for himself, so YHVH God sent birds with food to feed him.
He was rewarded for his service to God.
3. Jonah – avoidance behavior, panic mode
Jonah was told to go to Nineveh, and tell them to repent.
He hated them, and did not want to go.
The first thing he did was run the other way, until he came to his senses.
He then went, and did what he was told.
3. Poor widow – weak but faithful
There is a story about an old widow and her son who were both dying in a land of famine.
The prophet Elijah came, and asked for her last cake.
In obedience, she offered it to him, and then was provided for by God for the remainder of the famine.
She was rewarded for considering the prophet’s need over her own need.
4.. General – Lazy or uncaring person
This person will not consider the needs of others.
If others are in need, they will ignore them, or claim they have nothing to give, when they actually do have something to give.
They just don’t want to get involved with the lives of others.
As long as their needs are met by God, they are happy enough.
If they are in need themselves, others will have to give up what they have to help them, so they become a burden, rather than an asset.
Lazarus the beggar was too destitute to give. The rich man should have helped him but didn’t.
He did not care about the beggar, who was in real need.
5. Truly destitute – not able
Lazarus the beggar, mentioned above, was too destitute to give.
God cared for him in this life, and the next, he was comforted in the bosom of Abraham.
The lepers had nothing to give. Once healed, there was one who grateful, and returned to thank the Lord for his healing.
This person is truly unable to give of their substance, because they have none.
But even with this type of person, we can see them offering to do something out of gratitude for help they receive.
Where is our focus?
Life presents many challenges and responsibilities.
We either meet those situations with our best efforts, or we fail to meet the challenges.
We either become mature, responsible and independent individuals, capable of being an asset to God and others.
Or we remain immature, irresponsible, and dependent personalities.
It is our choice.
These are perilous times, and those that understand the scenario of the end times know that our world will grow darker, and much worse.
Any situation is really not about us, it is about God, and what He wants us to do, and how He wants us to respond.
We can look to the secular world and learn.
Most jobs are service to others, not service to self.
Human value is determined by how valuable a service is that one can provide.
The spiritual world is not much different in this regard.
While the human soul is always valuable because it is a creation by God, the rewards come when we obey God, and serve Him and others in love.
Jesus taught that the greatest among his apostles would be the servant of them all.
We should pray about what God wants us to do.
Being prepared for life
When we look at the world, preparedness is a virtue.
The American Red Cross is an organization designed to act in an emergency. It is highly organized.
Many churches and ministries area are also ready to come in and help.
When disaster strikes, the needy go to those who have taken the time and trouble, and made personal sacrifices, to prepare for others, as well as for themselves.
The needy do not go to those unprepared.
Sometimes the biggest challenges, battles, and emergencies are spiritual, not physical.
And we should have on ourselves the whole armor of God, or we will experience harm and defeat.
Jesus said the poor would always be with us.
That is a sad statement, because it indicates He knew we would fail at charity – the greatest commandment, which is love.
The needy are exempt from service, unless it is on their hearts to do something.
The bible is full of promises to those who help the poor.
Thoughts about calls to action
If there is a message on my website that is presented as if from God, I first give it proper consideration.
I do not automatically disregard it.
I first look to see if it is reasonable in context, and then I wait to see what happens.
If it requires action, I may act, if the call to action seems reasonable.
Messages are not presented to generate fear, but thoughtfulness, and to give information about present, or future, circumstances.
Understanding a possible future event is wisdom, and gives us the freedom to prepare for it, or pray against it, if it is negative.
Fear or anxiety may be an initial reaction, if the call to action seems overwhelming, but we should eventually respond with reason.
We always have a choice as to how to respond.
Nothing is forced, or insisted upon.
Sometimes, if it is a true word, the call to action may not be for our own benefit, but for the purpose of service to others.
For example, Joseph did not have to spend 7 years harvesting crops and storing food.
He would have been well provided for anyhow, as he already lived in the Pharaoh’s house, and God would have provided for him as the nations starved.
But he knew it would benefit Egypt, and eventually the surrounding nations, including his own family, so he put forth the effort.
If we automatically feel we cannot respond to a call to action, because we think it is just for ourselves, or we are overwhelmed by it, or we want God to take care of us and the problem instead, we will reject the idea, and may miss out on this kind of blessing of doing this service for others.
Showing the love of God to others in need is a great witness, and is an opportunity to grow in the Lord.
You do not have to be a “Joseph” to help others. You can do something small and humble.
Most of what God tells me to do never benefits me directly (sigh, that would be nice…..), but in the long run, it empowers me spiritually.
This is because I have to step outside of myself, and my needs, and consider the trouble, and need that may belong to others.
I am driven by the Lord’s compassion and mercy for those in trouble.
I hope others will consider any call to action as an opportunity to serve others, in Jesus name.
And God will be faithful to care for us, as we serve him.
Famine and drought is already here in the world, and it will get worse and spread.
How will you respond?
The call is not about you…..it is about HIM… YHVH.