6 But now that we have been fully released from the power of the law, we are dead to what once controlled us. And our lives are no longer motivated by the obsolete way of following the written code, so that now we may serve God by living in the freshness of a new life in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 7:6, The Passion Translation
Serving God with an eye to earn favour is called works. Serving God with a heart of love is called worship. You can tell the difference between a worker and a worshipper. A worker is not a worshipper but does everything out of misguided zeal and mixed motive, believing their sacrifice of service to the church is greater than their obedience to God. A worshipper, however, is a worker who worships FIRST, and then does everything out of obedience to God’s leading.
Both the worker and the worshipper can put a lot of time, energy and resources in their service to God, but one is always under stress but the other is always energised by rest. The worker goes about doing more and more but with less and less excitement. The worshipper is not about doing more, but doing more of what matters to God. While outwardly it appears both are serving, the distinct difference lies in whether they are counting on God as their source and supply in whatever they do.
If you are only doing things to please your flesh and not to honour God through obedience, it is easy to get disappointed, discouraged and completely demoralised when you see little return on your efforts. This is why we see so many burnouts and conflicts in the church.
You serve not because you want to be accepted by God. It is because you are already accepted in the beloved—that is why you serve. Until you catch hold of this reality, you will struggle with serving God because the fear of failure and lack of instant success will keep you from maturing as a son or a daughter of God. Instead, you will rely on or look for constant motivation and reminder to serve God because you are not inspired by the revelation of your identity and destiny in Christ.
As revealed by the Apostle Paul, because you are saved by grace, you should not serve out of obedience or obligation to an obsolete Law of Moses, which was a system of rewards and punishments. Rather, you serve out of the overflow of your relationship with the Lord, knowing He graces you with His Spirit to move in and through you to do everything by His power.
Am I a worker or am I a worshipper?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.