Encouragement for Today
“Serve or Swerve”
Terry Powell, Friend of Proverbs 31 Ministries
Romans 12:10-11, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (NIV)
There is never a convenient time for the little red “service” indicator light to pop up on the dashboard of the family car. It could mean so many different things, none of which you want to take the time or the energy to deal with. If you are like me, you will get to where you are going, turn the car off, and offer up a quick prayer that the little red annoyance will not reappear when you venture home. No such luck! The red service light is screaming that the engine needs some professional attention.
Do you ever feel the same way? Perhaps, you are experiencing “burn out” from all the commitments at home, church, work and school, leaving your “service” indicator light frantically flashing to get your attention.
Just like pulling your car into the “service” bay for some diagnostics, we all need to take time to evaluate our “service” to see if we are in need of a little tune-up. Possibly, we are a few quarts low on brotherly love, or maybe we are lacking in zeal due to a depleted battery. I don’t know, but sometimes it seems the filter just gets clogged with the “stuff of life” and we lose our spiritual fervor and run out of gas!
When we find ourselves in need of an overhaul, we are left with two options, are we going to serve or swerve? If you add a “w” to serve it becomes swerve, which means, “to veer off, turn sharply or to change direction.” Sometimes it seems, when we lose our heart for serving we can’t help but start swerving! At this point, we may continue being involved in the rigors of daily commitments but the thrill, enjoyment and fulfillment in serving is gone.
Let’s take a few diagnostic moments to address what I will call the four “W’s” of swerving.
1. Want – when what “I” want takes the place of others’ needs.
Psalm 23:1, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” (NIV)
2. Worry – when worry creeps in, we become preoccupied and fearful.
Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will
eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than
food, and the body more important than clothes?” (NIV)
3. Weariness – when fatigue and exhaustion deprive us of the joy of serving.
Galatians 6:9-10, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us
do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.” (NIV)
4. Whining – when constant complaining becomes our primary conversations.
Philippians 2:14, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may
become blameless and pure, children of God.” (NIV)
Allow the four “W’s” of swerving to act as a blinking hazard indicator in your life of service. None of us want to veer off! We want to continue to serve the Lord and one another with spiritual fervor and passion.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, I thank You for the opportunity to serve those You have placed in my life. Refresh me by Your Holy Spirit and fill me with a passion to serve You daily. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Pull up to God’s service station and spend a few minutes evaluating who and where you serve. Sit quietly for 15 minutes. Read your Bible, pray or listen to worship music. Allow the Lord to tune-you up, fill you up and charge you up again!
Have you sensed a veering off, or change in direction of your attitude in serving those you love?
Do you find yourself not satisfied with your life and living “in want?”
Do worry and fear rob you of the joy and fulfillment of serving others?
Are you doing too much? Have you become overcommitted to the point of exhaustion? Can you make some changes to relieve the stress?
Is there a constant flow of complaints and whining coming from your mouth? Are you allowing harsh words to wound those you love?
Philippians 2:5-8, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (NIV)
Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” (NIV)
Joshua 24:15, “…But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord.” (NIV)
Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (NIV)
Psalm 100:2, “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” (KJV)
A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life, by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes
Women Who Do Too Much (audio tape), by Patricia Sprinkle
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst