The Servant of God

We are called as servants.

Therefore whoever wishes to be made God’s dwelling-place, should strive to make himself humble and peaceable, that he may be known to be God’s servant, not by his greed for talk and pliability of mien, but by the reality of his lowliness; for goodness of heart requires no false unction of talk.

  - Columbanus, Sermon II, Irish, 7th century[1]

ORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
    And works righteousness,
    And speaks the truth in his heart;
who does not backbite with his tongue,
    Nor does evil to his neighbor…

  - Psalm 15.1-3

They in whom the Lord has come to dwell cannot help but be transformed by that divine invasion. The Spirit of God is at work within us to make us willing and able to know and do the pleasure of God (Phil. 2.13). It is the work of God’s Spirit within us to transform us increasingly into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3.12-18), and He is able to do that work exceedingly abundantly above anything we’ve ever dared to ask or think (Eph. 3.20).

Jesus came as a Servant, to die to Himself so that others could know the love of God (Phil. 2.5-11). He will also so affect our hearts and minds, and we too will take up the towel and basin as our daily tools of the trade (Jn. 13.1-15).

In the world it’s all about me – “I, Me, Mine,” as the Beatles once sang. We live in what Christopher Lasch described as a “culture of narcissism” in which, as Robert Ringer put it, everyone is at all times “looking out for Number 1.” Every situation, every role or relationship is, for the self-absorbed, an arena in which to garner the spotlight and be the focus of everyone else’s attention and energy. That doesn’t mean there is no love or caring or giving from such people; the grace of God reaches even to these, restraining and even overriding their meaner intentions with gestures of genuine love. It’s simply that the overriding motif for their lives is to serve the interests of self.

Among the followers of Christ, this must not be the case. True humility and peaceableness require that we seek the good of others, and make ourselves lower than others for the purpose of lifting them up. This was one of the attributes of those Celtic peregrini which made their message of love so powerful. They lived as servants – of one another and the people around them – and this made vivid for those who heard them the reality of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection.

If we would dwell with God and be recognized as belonging in His holy court, then we must take up the lifestyle of our Savior and follow in His footsteps, keeping His commandments (Jn. 15.7-10) and seeking what is best for others and how we may serve them.

This begins in prayer and seeking the Lord in His Word. As we search the Scriptures and wait on the Lord in prayer, let us be alert to any insights, counsel, or guidance which can direct us into the path of loving service for others. Picture in your mind how this Word from the Lord can work out in your Personal Mission Field. Then commit that insight and the particular people you expect to meet each day to the Lord, asking Him, by His Spirit, to make you willing and able to fulfill your calling as a servant.

The court of the Lord is populated by ready, willing, and joyful servants, eager to do His good and perfect will. Right and true living will find us serving others in the Name of Jesus, so that they might see in us the One Whose sacrifice and love serves their deepest and most eternal needs.

Abide in the Lord, then go from His presence to serve the people to whom He sends you each day.

For Reflection
1. Whom are the people God is sending you to serve today? Pray that you will be ready and able to do so.

2. How can believers encourage one another to more consistent lives of serving others?

Psalm 101.1, 2 (Jesus, I Come: Out of My Bondage, Sorrow, and Night)
I will of lovingkindness now sing –
Praise to You, Lord! Praise to You, Lord!
Justice and mercy, Lord, let me bring –
Praise to You, holy Lord!
I will the blameless way ever heed;
No worthless thing my eyes shall impede.
When will You come and care for my need?
Praise to You, holy Lord!

Make me more of a servant today, O Lord. Show me how I can encourage the people in my life as I…

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T. M. Moore
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Walker, p. 71.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore