A friend of mine sent me a passage from a book called “Celebration of Discipline, Special Anniversary Edition: The Path To Spiritual Growth” by Richard J. Foster. In it, the author discusses the difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a servant. When I read that, my first thought was, “Isn’t that really the same thing?” However, as I read it, it’s clear they are two different things. A person who chooses to serve picks the person, the time and place. We are in charge during serving, but when we choose to be a servant, we give all that up. We give up the right to choose who, when, where and how. We don’t have a problem serving. We have a problem being servants.
In Isaiah 6, he says that in the year King Uzziah died, he saw the Lord. God was sitting on the throne and the train of His robes filled the Temple. When Isaiah saw that, he felt the holiness of God and immediately saw his sin. Am angel brought a piece of coal to cleanse his lips. Then God spoke up. Verse 8 says, “Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?’ I said, ‘Here I am. Send me’” (NLT). God then sent Isaiah. He told him exactly what to say and who to tell it to. Isaiah chose to be a servant in this instance. He put himself in a place to be God’s servant.
When you look at the start of that chapter, it really helps us see how what the difference is between serving and being a servant. When we are a servant, God is on the throne of our life and we are at His mercy for what He wants to do. It’s the equivalent of getting out of the driver’s seat and letting Him drive. When we serve, we are still on the throne of our life and in the driver’s seat making the decisions. We may seek His guidance on where to serve, what to say and who to help, but we still have the option to decline. God is looking for people who will choose to be servants, submitting themselves to Him. Have you been serving God or have you truly given up your rights? If you’re looking to get to that next level in your walk with God, get off the throne and let God sit there. You will find true freedom, a closer relationship with God and fully fulfill your calling.