I’ve been praying for the Lord to give me clarity. Clarity in every aspect of my life. When I first moved to Birmingham last October, I had a “one-year” plan in mind. However, God had lots of other plans that were different than my own, and, while I could not see it at the time, they have been for the better. I started referring to these as “unexpected blessings” in my life since they were not originally plans that I expected during the past year of my life, but blessings that God has sweetly given to me.
One of the areas He has given me clarity on is service. God has given me a different perspective on service within my job, my community, my location, and my time than the perspectives I previously had eight months ago. With service in mind, I want to speak on two different areas of service that I believe go hand in hand:
- Acts of service: this includes us discipling one another, evangelizing to others, and fulfilling a need. Acts of service include a wide variety of things from serving one person in your community to providing resources or giving to organizations overseas.
- Spiritual wellness: this involves the intentional steps you need to take to be refreshed and renewed by Godly leaders, mentors, and resources.
The Lord wants us to know Him. The more we know His characteristics and attributes, the more we can start to have a deeper understanding of God. An understanding that allows us to see God in every aspect of our everyday life. What’s beautiful about this understanding is that it will lead you to desiring to know God more and serve Him more. Not to boast in your own glory but in His. He will guide you to the people, the places, and the needs that you need to serve faithfully, willingly, and eagerly in various seasons throughout your life.
“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” – 1 Peter 5:2-3
How do we serve well? Not only do we need to be intentional in our acts of service, but we need to be mindful of our own spiritual health. Like our physical and mental health, we need to be feeding ourselves spiritually daily.
Jesus served thousands of people during His time in ministry on earth. However, throughout the gospels, we see the Bible point out when and how Jesus spent time alone with the Father. He spent this time to seek counsel and guidance, and He spent this time to be renewed and refreshed. He also found comfort and community in His disciples, while they were being served and taught by Him.
As servants of Christ, we can get burned out if we are not mindful of our own physical, mental, and spiritual needs. We can begin to get so focus on HOW and WHO we are serving, that we get distracted and forget about our own spiritual needs. Providing to those spiritual needs of our own can look like spending time daily with God alone, meeting with a mentor or two that can check in with you, refueling yourself by gaining wisdom from podcasts, books, or sermons. You can also look to join a small group of either people in the same season/age range as you or a multigenerational small group, of women or men older than you that you can seek counsel from.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:16-17
Community is such a gift when we look at it the way God intended for it to be used. God gives community to us so that we can serve others and be served by others to grow in our spiritual walks. I want to encourage you today, if you’re feeling burned out, tired, weary, or exhausted, to find people to help you. Find your people that will pour into you, challenge you, ask you the hard questions, and walk through this season of life with you. I want to encourage you to also spend time with Your Comforter and Your Friend, Jesus, daily. He wants you to draw near to Him.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30