Which Comes First?
Have you ever asked yourself which comes first, love because you serve Him, or service because you love Him?
I was brought up to feel that I was loved and accepted only if I was a good girl and behaved as such. Yes, you guessed it…the harder I tried, the more I misbehaved and the more rebellious I became. Consequently, I truly began to dislike the person that I was becoming. To make up for that, I tried to please people in order to be accepted by them, and I failed miserably.
I came to know Jesus when I was fifteen, and by the time I was nineteen I had a great dark hole in my heart that needed to be filled with His love. Therefore, I decided to go to Bible school. I thought:” maybe Jesus would love me more if I did such a thing”. And if I then became a missionary, He would really be pleased with me and He would truly love me, and perhaps I could accept myself better.
I did not realize in those days that the greatest competitor of love for Jesus is service. In my book, serving God came before loving God. I did not realize that the aim of God was not to do something for Him, but to have Him as my satisfaction and love. It took me many years to learn this and to be healed from my former mindset. This was and still is a long process and it continues for all of us to be an unending journey, until we are with Him and become like Him in glory.
We need to be greatly aware of anything that competes with loving Him. We are not here on earth to work for God by service for Him firstly. However, we may be used by God through service as we love Him with a devotion that comes from His own heart.
Service in His Kingdom is but the overflow of our love for Him and an echo of our identification with God’s nature. When we serve out of our love for Him, it becomes a natural part of our lives. Jesus Himself served with great humility; it flowed from His inner being like a living stream of water. It was His nature to serve, because He had heard the love- call of His Father.
God Himself has imparted His divine nature in us so we can serve Him without being noticed by anybody, without fanfare or praise from man. His specialty is to bless us with Himself, and that is more than enough.
Sometimes this is a long process with a lot of pressure and discipline from Him, but eventually we become like diamonds. We have metamorphosed from a piece of coal into a beautiful diamond that can shine His love and be of service to others coming from His love and not our work.