Standing For God— The Hardship of Service

Standing For God— The Hardship of Service

Jan 24, 2013

Standing For God— The Hardship of Service

by Executive Director Rob Appel


In his book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers responds to the passage found in 2 Corinthians 12:15, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.” Chambers’ response is called, “The Destitution of Service”—

Natural human love expects something in return. But Paul is saying, “It doesn’t really matter to me whether you love me or not. I am willing to be completely destitute anyway; willing to be poverty-stricken, not just for your sakes, but also that I may be able to get you to God.” “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor…” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

       And Paul’s idea of service was the same as our Lord’s. He did not care how high the cost was to himself—he would gladly pay it. It was a joyful thing to Paul. The institutional church’s idea of a servant of God is not at all like Jesus Christ’s idea. His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of others. Jesus Christ actually “out-socialized” the socialists. He said that in His kingdom the greatest one would be the servant of all.

       The real test of a saint is not one’s willingness to preach the Gospel, but one’s willingness to do something like washing the disciples’ feet—that is, being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation but count as everything to God. It was Paul’s delight to spend his life for God’s interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost.


We must take seriously Paul’s statement, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me!” This must be our cry of faith as well!

Whatever we cling to or feel called to do out of self-service, that has become our stumbling block. We must give up with joy anything that has taken our attention off Him, in order for us to become all that Christ wants to give us.

Today, the message of submission has been so watered down that people take it to mean something completely different. We seem to have the idea that surrendering everything is a “concept” and not a reality.

In order to be Jesus’ disciples, we must deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him. However, people seem to skip over that first part about denying ourselves!

Question: “But what do you mean Rob? I have to deny what?”

Answer: “Umm, everything!

Question: “To deny ourselves, what does that mean? Deny ourselves of what? Answer: “Umm, EVERYTHING! Every sin, every desire, every dream, every want, and every circumstance.”


It is no longer how we want it, but it’s how God wants it! And it doesn’t end there. Not only can we go through what God asks us to go through (those times where we surrender and submit to His will), but we can also go through this with true joy and peace. It all depends on our attitude in our heads and our hearts.

This is not joy or peace from ourselves or our circumstances, but true joy and peace that only comes through Jesus in our lives. When every circumstance pulls against us, when everything seems to be wrong, we can still have True Joy and Peace!

Oswald Chambers summed it up this way, “But the apostle Paul had no conditions or reservations. Paul focused his life on Jesus Christ’s idea of a New Testament saint; that is, not one who merely proclaims the gospel, but one who becomes broken bread and poured-out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for the sake of others.”

       Does that describe you? I pray that it does!


Next month: Be Faithful to the Ministry You Receive

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