Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Might Be a Kook If ... The Virtue of Servanthood

A surfer pursues the “ultimate stoke.” It’s not possible to conjure up when there will be waves, the size of the wave, the frequency of the wave sets, the shape of the wave, or the direction of the surf break. Following the week’s oceanographic swell report becomes an obsession for surfers. And, when the waves come, they set everything aside to paddle out.

There are some surfers who travel the world to pursue the perfect wave.

To ride a wave, a surfer, like a disciple, has to submit himself to the will of the master – it’s similar to being prepared at any time, in any situation to give an answer for the hope we have within (1 Peter 3:5).

Let’s remember Kooks surf for the wrong reasons:

  • to bring about recognition, acceptance, and significance or,
  • to bring about personal pleasure and joy

Riding God’s wave is to understand our lives are not our own. We were bought at a price (1 Corinthians ). As disciples we understand our personal happiness and comfort are not to be our source of joy. Service delights in eternal gain not earthly treasure.

I have come to learn, when I seek to serve myself, I nullify my capacity to live as a disciple. My source of humility, compassion, faithfulness, obedience and holiness come from abiding and trusting in Almighty God (Isaiah 30:15) not in bringing recognition, acceptance, and significance to myself.

Just as riding a wave, I want to serve the living God of the Bible not bring glory to my name. But, in order to maintain this position on His “wave” I must come before Him with a humble and contrite spirit (Isaiah 66:2).

I believe it’s necessary to always consider my motives. Otherwise, it’s way too easy to be drawn in to the worldly “Kook” model to serve in order to gain (1) position, (2) control, (3) praise, (4) acceptance, (5) possession, (6) power, or (7) prestige.

As I study the scriptures, it becomes clear to me a servant leader has the mandate to equip others to go and make disciples. This is not an easy task. Why you ask? Truth told people often prefer security and comfort over service and sacrifice.
If eternal gain is truly what we set our aim for then, we freely relinquish comfort, security, recognition, and reward for God’s purposes. Jesus asks us to serve, to love, and to forgive. We offer our time, talents, and treasures for kingdom purposes – freely, joyfully not out of religious duty or obligation.

Why you ask?

As heirs to the kingdom of heaven all of our needs are met. When we align our ambition, motivation, and purposes to God’s we lack nothing, we want nothing other than to represent Him as an ambassador (2 Corinthians ). We like the Apostle Paul will count everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:8).

Honestly, there is no call to sacrifice as a servant leader unless there is greater reward. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). When we desire to know Him and be like Him then, dying to self is glorious (Luke ).

Servant leadership starts by knowing what Jesus knew (John 13:3):

(1)   We come from God.
(2)   By His Spirit We have been given everything under heaven.
(3)   We will return to God.

This series on the virtues of discipleship can be summed up simply. We find our lives when we loose our self-centeredness (Matthew ). It is the “ultimate stoke” to relinquish control and trust God to be the center. The wave He calls us to ride is far beyond anything we could imagine in our own attainments.


Anonymous said...

Nice post! The summary in the last paragraph is so awesome. That we find our lives when we loose our self-centeredness and replace it with God-centeredness. We all serve someone or something. However, only in following Him do we find real life.

(like the new look. It's easier for me to read.)