What Kind of Servant Are You?

The way I see it, there are two kinds of servants.  The first is best defined by an online dictionary as a person who performs duties for others."  This is typically the definition that comes to our minds when we think of a servant--someone who performs duties for others.  In this respect, the lord of the house issues a list of tasks that the servant must complete during a specific period of time.  Then, the lord goes about his business and leaves the servant to accomplish the duties that were set forth.  Occasionally, the lord will stop in to check on the progress of the servant, but it is very rare that the lord would "lower himself" in any way to actually help or work alongside the servant.  The relationship is simple.  The lord gives the orders.  The servant follows them.

This is not the kind of servant the Lord calls us to be.  You see, the Lord doesn't want us to simply work for Him.  He wants us to work with Him.  He does not give us order and then expect us to perform those tasks on our own.  He knows we can't.  In fact, He tells us as much in John 15:5 when He says, I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  Nothing!  Without Christ, we simply cannot follow out the orders of our Lord.  And it makes sense that the Lord would not ask us to do something that He knows we can't do.

A servant of the Lord is not one who performs duties for others; he is one that performs duties with God.  Or to put it even better, a servant of the Lord is one who allows the Lord to work through him.  He is a tool for the Master's use--nothing more, nothing less.  Yes, he has tasks that he has been called to do, but in contrast to the first definition of a servant, the Lord doesn't give us duties to perform and then leave us alone to do them.  If He's called us to do them that means He's prepared to do them through us.  He doesn't go about His own business and leave us to figure out how to do what He's called us to do, yet so many times we act as if that's exactly what He's done.

So often, in our desire to "serve" the Lord, we adhere to that first definition of "servant."  We get our marching orders, then go off to battle with our own weapons and in our own strength.  And we wonder why we fail and grow weary.  We can't figure out why the tasks God has called us to seem so impossible.  After all, we're trying to obey.  We're trying to serve.  But alas, we have a warped sense of what it means to serve God.

I have no idea what God has called you to do.  I do know, however, that He does not expect you to accomplish any task on your own.  He desires to work through you each and every day to accomplish His work.  As His servant, you are to abide in Him, surrender your will to His and allow His desires to become your desires.  You are a glove, designed for the Master's hand.  Alone you have no strength and little usefulness, but when you allow the Master to place His hand within your willing vessel, His great work can be done.  That's what it means to be a servant of God.  Please don't feel you need to simply get your orders and run with them.  That's not what God wants.  He wants to work within you and alongside you in each and every way.

So I ask you, what kind of servant are you?

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. - Mark 16:20 (emphasis mine)