Service

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 8
As To Work For The Lord.-The simple inquiry, and what is recorded in the first utterance of Paul to our Lord, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" is the duty and expression of every one distinctly awakened to the claim Christ has on him. This inquiry cannot be too earnestly instituted, or the reply to it too rigidly attended to. The inquiry is the offspring of a soul sensible that the Lord has entire- and full claims on it, without the knowledge which authorizes it. The soul feels, "I am taken out of the world, and I am given to Christ; and hence I look to Him for my place and occupation in future in it." If we are given to Christ " out of the world," it is evident that it is He alone who has the right to deter- mine our way and course in the world.
I could not say, if I believe that I am really given to Him "out of the world," that I have any right to re-occupy any place or engagement which I had previously held in the world. True, He does not require, or permit me to infringe on any legal bond under which I was held before I was given to Him; but excepting where the rights of others would be compromised I am Christ's bondsman. Vested legal rights are not to be compromised because of my being given to Christ-but I am Christ's bondsman, and necessarily if I am, both from duty and inclination, my inquiry ought to be, " Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"
The more I own and realize the relationship which now exists through grace between us, the more simply and continuously will this be my whole heart's cry to Him. Now, if it is, I will; of course, accede to Christ, and attend to whatever He may intimate to me, and this only. That is, the heart true to Him and devotedly making this request will wait on Him for guidance and counsel, and would find no real satisfaction in being anywhere, or doing anything which was not according to His mind. Our place, and our occupation here, would be only determined by the pleasure of Him whose we are, and whom we serve; and any departure from the tie or rule of this relationship would sensibly interfere with the mutual satisfaction therein known. There would be a break in on, and a disturbance of, the true orders of life and the—blessings connected with it. Nothing so simple, and nothing so important in oar walk down here! I belong to Christ, and I find it my happiness, and His pleasure, to do nothing but as He desires and instructs me. I live where He likes, and I do what He likes. If we did this, there would be no mistakes on one side or the other.
But we do make mistakes on both sides-on one side at one time, and on another side at another time. At one time we plan work for ourselves, and at another time we do none at all. Now, the first is the most difficult to deal with, simply because the counterfeit deceives one • and hence, while it is comparatively easy to convict the idle or slothful, it. is not easy to convince the Martha that she is unwisely occupied. The work seems so right and necessary that it appears -almost impossible that there could be any flaw in it. Nothing so deceives and leads astray, as the conscience working at a distance from Christ. For instance, if I feel in my conscience that I ought to be Christ's servant—(true enough; I am His bondsman) -but if I am not near Him, if I am not in His confidence, and I begin to do something to satisfy my conscience, there is no doubt I am doing it legally, not as simply unto Him. It is to make myself easy and satisfied. Where this is the case I do not consult what He would like me to do, but I do what I think best to be done. It is not His pleasure guides me, it is my own mind, as to what is suitable and proper. It may be quite necessary, as Martha's service, but Martha was evidently thinking of the services which were incumbent on her to render, and not governed by the pleasure of Christ. Here it is where we so often fail; undertaking to serve, where it is in -a degree creditable to ourselves or incumbent on us. We say we ought to do this, and forthwith we undertake it, and we get disappointed (if we are true hearted) because we have not the acknowledgment of His pleasure.
How can He acknowledge what we have undertaken and done to satisfy our own conscience, and to please ourselves therein? It is evident that when I am occupied, with services, however useful and necessary, which I have undertaken of myself, feeling they devolved upon me, that I must lose the sense of His pleasure; sitting at His feet, Mary-like, is lost and neglected. There is no growth of soul in Christ; self is in the service from beginning to end. It is most blessed to work for Christ. It is fruit bearing. But if my work engrosses me more than Christ then it is a damage to me, and I am not working for Him. " Without me ye can do nothing." If I am really working for Christ, I am acquiring from Christ, and growing up into Him. Sitting at His feet is the natural posture of my soul. Wherever you find any one serving without sitting at His feet, you may be assured they are Martha-like. When they are sitting at His feet, learning His-word, they will not be behind in true and pleasing service. If you begin with serving (as many do. now-a-days) you will never sit at His feet; whereas if you begin with sitting you will soon serve wisely, well, and acceptably. The serving quiets the conscience, and the sitting is overlooked and neglected. The enemy gains an advantage; for it is at the sitting the conscience is more enlightened, and the pleasure and mind of the Master are better known, and hence there is damage done, and loss sustained by the soul where service pre-occupies.one to the exclusion of sitting at His feet, or where it is most prominent.
I never met with any one making service prominent who—knew what it was to sit at His feet; but, thank God, I know indefatigable workers who enjoy sitting at His feet above any service, and it is clear that they who sit most at His feat must be most competent to serve and most in His confidence, which, after all, is the clue to all efficient service.