Yesterday’s blog got me thinking about another Bible College student. This young man had balked at his assigned school duty for the semester: pot washer. When asked why, he said “Why, it’s beneath my dignity!” This student had much to learn about a heart of servanthood.
In Numbers 16 we read of the rebellion of Moses’ cousin Korah. Korah had gathered together a mob to oppose Moses’ leadership. To them Moses replied,
“Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? … but now you are trying to get the priesthood too.” (v.9,10).
In the end God destroyed them by a strange and powerful earthquake (v. 31,32).
Korah, it seems, was interested in advancement in the service of God, not in submission to the servant of God, Moses. This ambition revealed Korah’s true heart — a heart of pride that felt it knew better than God, better than the plague-sending, sea-parting, miracle-working Almighty! Korah paid dearly for his mistake but thankfully his offspring took the lesson of their parentage to heart. Years later the “sons of Korah” wrote
“I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” (Psalm 84:10).
Do you want to do something great for the Lord of which you can be proud? Sounds noble enough at first thought. But just when did you want to feel that pride?… relish in that service? Better indeed it would be to take the attitude of the unworthy servant, and to say as Christ outlined, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” (Luke 17:10).
Then what joy it might be if indeed you were to hear Him say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant…” (Matt. 25:23). Yet, even if He did not, you would experience no bitterness – even though you may have “borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day” (Matt. 20:12)… for you sought no reward, no commendation, other that to see the glory of Christ magnified!
That is the true servant heart — a heart that seeks no “dignity” for itself… a heart that recognizes it is but a part of one grand creation – A “living stone” in the Church of the Living God, the Bride and Body of Christ.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Rom. 12:3-5).
There is no room for prideful ambition in the Kingdom of God. Rather,
“…each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.” (1 Cor. 7:17).
Any service the Lord opens up to you is a privilege… a ministry… whether it’s door-keeping, or scrubbing pots in a Bible College.
Is a sense of personal “dignity” getting in the way of you receiving a humble service assignment from the Lord? If it is, then it’s the “dignity” that must go, not the service.
“Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).