Jesus told His disciples that they would be blessed if they served. And you will be blessed if you serve, both eternally and presently. Eternally you will receive rewards because of your faithful service. Presently, a supernatural high comes with serving.
Experiencing God overflow out of your life to serve others trumps anything the world has to offer. There is a blessing in serving that cannot be experienced any other way.
For my birthday one year, my staff gave me tickets to opening night of the Miami Heat season. Kaye and I went to the game together. It was an electric atmosphere. The arena was jumping.
The scene was in stark contrast to the Midnight all-stars city league I played in. We were not all-stars, nor did we play at midnight, but we did love to play. Only a few people were in the stands to watch our games, mainly wives graciously watching our attempts to relive our high school glory days. Sometimes players helped prepare the gym by moving equipment off the floor. The refs would show up five minutes before game time.
Yet playing is much better than watching, even on opening night.
Before each game, my adrenaline would be pumping. I’d stretch at home, choose my lucky socks, and mentally prepare for the game. While many would say the games were meaningless, they were not to my teammates or me. We were thrilled to be in the game.
Playing brings a greater high than watching. In the same way, serving always provides a greater blessing than sitting. Unfortunately many Christians forsake the serving high to sit and observe. Statistics tell us that the majority of “Christians” never get in the game. Instead they choose to be spectators to the work of God.
People who opt out of serving remind me of Michal.
Michal is married to David, the king of Israel. Together they live in Jerusalem, and their city is about to change. The ark of the covenant is returning to their city. The ark was a big deal to the Jewish people. It was a big deal period. It was where God and man met (remember the chapter on being a priest). The return of the ark was a significant occasion for the people, both spiritually and nationally.
When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. (2 Sam. 6:13–15 NIV)
This was a huge day. Adrenaline was pumping. People were shouting. Music was bumping. The king was dancing. The atmosphere was electric because the glory of God was coming into their city!
So the entire house of Israel was involved.
Everyone was thrilled to participate with what God was doing. Everyone wanted to contribute. Because David was fanatical about music, tons of people played instruments and sang. The Jewish historian, Josephus, wrote that there were seven choirs assembled before David in the procession. Some carried the ark. Others helped with food preparation and distribution. There were numerous opportunities to serve. And the entire house of Israel was tapped into the joyful celebration.
Everyone except Michal.
As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. (2 Sam. 6:16 NIV)
Michal watched. She observed from a window while others served. She watched, abandoning the opportunity to be a part of something great. Michal was a spiritual moocher. She was going to reap the benefits from God’s presence in her city without contributing.
Michal watched the day happen in the comfort of her home. And her day ended in misery. Bitterness fumed in her heart. Is there not a relationship between bitterness and self-consumption?
Bleacher Christians are miserable people. Because Jesus knows this, He says with confidence, Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
If you do them . . .
Adapted from Identity (2008, B&H Publishing Group)