I was a young man who was new at learning what walking out your life in Christ meant. When I had sincerely prayed and asked Jesus to be my Lord, the skies did not open and the angels did not sing that I could hear. I did not experience goosebumps or have a vision. I had simply prayed a prayer that I sincerely meant from my heart. I wanted to submit my life to the Lordship of Jesus. Something did happen but I was at a loss for words to adequately describe it. I could only say that suddenly, I knew something had changed. When I woke up the following morning, I felt like I was seeing life through a different set of eyes. And I was! I was seeing life through God’s eyes—through the Holy Spirit living in me.
It was a couple of years later that I felt I had a call of God upon my life to serve Him in ministry. I wanted to know the steps to accomplish that. I wanted to learn how to become a leader for God. I began to pray and ask the Lord what steps to take. Over the next year, the Lord helped me see that serving Him through serving in my church was a critical step. 1 Peter 4:10 (NLT) says, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” The Lord helped me commit to serving which was a miracle in itself. Up to that time, I was the most uncommitted person I knew. I wouldn’t commit to anything. The thought of being committed to serving the Lord was terrifying. But I did it. I committed to volunteering in service at church once a week in facility maintenance and serving with Renee in children’s ministry every other week. I did so even though I thought I might feel more comfortable jumping out of a airplane without a parachute.
What was I doing making a commitment to serve God and who did I think I was thinking that God would call me or use me? I’d get hit with feelings of fear and inadequacy and the devil was there to point out every weakness in my character. My faults were plenty. But in pressing through it, the Holy Spirit would repeatedly remind me, Jesus died for me, God’s grace cleansed me, and He would use me. The Lord would speak to my heart and tell me, If you want to walk out a call and serve and lead others, its important to learn to lead yourself. Making commitments to the things God would lead me to do, produced that within me. I was learning to lead myself through obedience to His leadings in the small things He’d speak to me to change, or to serve Him in.
As I’d press forward in trying to obey God, I’d often have this thought, You can’t serve others or become any kind of leader until you’ve cleaned up every part of your life. I learned over time, that was a lie from the pit of Hell. We aren’t capable of cleaning up ourself. And it doesn’t make sense to wait your entire life to accept responsibility and roles of service or even leadership until you have perfectly learned to lead yourself. No, the Bible teaches us that in the body of Christ, we should be involved in giving our supply to the church. In other words we should serve God and people faithfully and diligently. And as we do, and because we do, we mature and begin to change, mature, and learn how to accept responsibility at higher levels including roles of leadership. God uses this process to help clean us up!
Overcoming selfish tendencies and learning to make personal changes and sacrifices in obedience to God and for the good of others will revolutionize your life. You cannot change from selfish to selfless without God’s admonishment and help! Understanding that your development is a lifelong course will help you overcome the feelings of inadequacy. Be patient. God will complete the good work in you over time! Learning to say Yes to God and accept opportunities and challenges while standing in faith on His promise, “I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need,” will bring you to great places and an exciting life in God. And you will experience the process of growing as a leader!
Philippians 4:13 (NLT) “I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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