Do We Serve God, or Does He Serve Us?
It is interesting to think Biblically of the question above. We are inclined to think of ‘God serving us’ as heretical. But what do the Scriptures teach?
We often hear people saying they are retiring or giving up their job, in order to serve God. We all know what they mean and such decisions are to be highly commended. The Scriptures teach “You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve” (Luke 4:8).
However, there is another side to the question that is not considered enough. It is the problem of not letting God serve us. Mark tells us “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mar 10:45). As someone else has said ‘God is not looking for people to work for Him, so much as He is looking for people who will let Him work for them’.
It is possible for us to belittle God, as if He were needy of our service. The Scriptures teach that pride is one of the great sins of the human race. It is our pride that prevents us from confessing our sin in the first place, and then it is pride that keeps us from coming to Christ for grace and mercy. Our attitude is, we will not have this Man to reign over us. We want to have a part in the glory – but God will not share His glory with another.
In the parable of the ‘Expectant Steward’ waiting for the return of his Master, Jesus commended the servant who waited until the Master came back and then was told to sit down and he would be served and attended to by the Master. It was the Master’s pleasure to serve the servant. The parable teaches that it is God’s glory to serve sinners.
When we focus too much on our unworthiness, we are inclined to forget the joy of the Father in redeeming and blessing His children. God’s heart overflows with love and kindness to the needy - and He enjoys dispensing that love to them because it brings glory to His Name. God is never more glorified than when He is saving and giving grace to sinners. “The Lord is good to all. And His tender mercies are over all His works” (Ps 145:9). Sometimes our pride will not allow us to even think that God is being exceedingly good to us. We sometimes resent the idea that we need such grace and mercy.
It is because God delights in giving us good things, that He enjoys hearing us pray to Him. Prayer creates an opportunity for God to be glorified in answering that prayer.