The word go was represented in so many things when I was younger. Especially in my thirties, and forties, all things were Go. From work to church to interactions outside of either. There was one period of time when I left the house at 4:40 am to open up a church daycare at 5:00, got off at 1:30 pm, napped, and then went to my church for whatever needed to be done. And on the days the worship team practiced, if there was special music, it was often midnight or after when I got home, took too many ibuprofen for the back and knees, and laid in bed, waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in so I could finally lose some of the pain and get some sleep; to get up again at 4:00 am. That life broke me both physically and emotionally. I thought I could keep up, and I just couldn’t. Even though at that time I worked at a church, eventually moving to their school to teach, even though I worked with youth and kids and taught women’s Bible studies and did worship, and I made an effort to cut back, I was trying to continue because it was what I thought was necessary. God had said GO! and that’s what I was doing. Sadly, looking back, I see a whole lot of “I” going on, and not a lot of “according to Your Will” happening.
Oh, it took years of backing off, then jumping right back in to finally learn that I was not created to serve the way I understood service to be. I had a scripture that hung on my wall for years, my life verses or my mantra? The scripture that was taken down when I got upset things in my life had quit working the way I thought they should. “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’ Luke 17:7-10 (ESV)
In my understanding, I was to do everything I could possibly do, not seeing the deeper meaning in these verses. I had picked out the phrases that fit my own plans. Not seeing the teaching on humility. Not seeing the teaching on my relationship with my Lord Jesus. Not seeing that in serving others I was serving Him and the instructions on how were right there in the words I’d swept over. Not recognizing how easy it is for any of us to let our service deter us from the kind of humility, and strength, that comes in doing what God has given us to do, according to our strengths, our giftings, even our weaknesses. Not recognizing the Lordship so obviously taught in those verses was something we could so easily claim over our own lives. Because of pride, not wanting to believe we are not capable of doing it all; when what He wants is for us to do only what He has shown us to do, sometimes easy, sometimes not, and always with mercy and grace right there.
A servant, or slave, in Biblical times, was not the same as the image we have in our minds today of slavery. The more I study the Bible, the more I discover how true that is in many areas. How understanding the culture and the languages of the times the Bible talks about can help us keep straight the realities of that time when we are tempted to compare them to the realities of our time. God’s truth remains the same. Man’s method of communication, however, can change. No wonder we need the Holy Spirit to guide and teach us.
I’ve learned to go in the way God directs. Sometimes it is in doing a lot of things. He has made me one of those people that are good at a lot of things, but an expert at none. Sometimes His direction is simply to do one thing. I’ve discovered there are seasons in my life, and I can be obedient as His servant to serve in those seasons in a manner He determines. But the end-all is still, GO…
It is His command. We don’t have to doubt, we are able to follow in obedience because Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. Territories are established for the ministry of discipline-making. There is teaching to be done. All while we focus on living the life God commanded us to live. And there is a reward, such a reward, as Jesus has not just said, but declared (behold) that He will always be with us.
” Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)