serving vs. volunteering

Chris and I were talking this afternoon about our response to certain ministry opportunities that God has brought our way.  In all honesty, it has been hard for us to jump back into serving.  We are probably pretty cautious right now, and trying to get back on our feet.

But in this phrase, “jump back into serving”, lies an untruth that God is addressing.  Am I really serving?  Or am I just volunteering?

A volunteer is one that gets to choose when and how she undertakes a certain task.  If she doesn’t “prefer” a certain ministry at church, or doesn’t feel comfortable, or any number of reasons that one could come up with, she has the freedom to say no.

A servant is one that does the will of her master.  It doesn’t matter if she is tired, feels incompetent, doesn’t understand or is “too busy”.  When her master asks her to perform a certain task, her duty is to carry it out.  Some might say “but God gifts us to do certain tasks, and I’m not gifted in that area”.  And my answer would be “I can trust that God is going to ask me to carry out the tasks He has gifted me to do.  If He is asking, it’s because He has given me what I need to carry it out.”

And I can do this with a completely confident heart.  My master will never ask me to do something that doesn’t line up with His Word.  My master will never ask me to do something that will harm me.  It might be difficult or uncomfortable, but I am safe in His arms.  Always.  And on top of this, He is not only my Master, but a loving Father.  Which means that he gives me times of respite, He cares for my well-being and I can trust that He knows exactly what I need.

I think that finding the balance between doing it all, whether God has called me to or not, and finding a multitude of reasons not to be involved in opportunities that I become aware of, can be a difficult thing.  BUT, if I truly trust Him, I will also trust that He will give me discernment to tell these apart.

If I can trust Him for salvation, then surely I can trust Him in these matters.  And if I want to truly call Him Master, that makes me His servant.

And this means that every opportunity that comes up is not mine to sort through, choose what I want and reject what I’m not interested in.  It does mean that when God says “please take care of this for me”, my response should be “I would love to”.

If I have to choose between the ease of being a volunteer or a lifetime of servitude to the God of the Universe, I will choose being a servant.  I think that it is a decision that I will have to make every single day.  Maybe multiple times a day, but it is my heart, and I want Him to hold me to it.

[On an completely different note, I am 12 days into my Isagenix Cleanse.  I believe that I am still going through a lot of detox.  Which doesn’t surprise me with some of the medications that I am on/have been on for many years.  But, I am off my sleep aids, I am one of my prescription medications and I have a lot more energy in the morning.  Once I discovered that I wasn’t eating enough protein and changed that, my headaches are easing up and my mid-afternoon slumps aren’t so “slumpy”.  I have continued to learn a lot about how lack of magnesium affects the body and the importance of a correct pH balance for good health.  It is fascinating and I really do love learning about all this.]


Author: Nichole

There are so many things about life that I want to share with my children, and this is simply my way to collect everything in one place.

2 thoughts on “serving vs. volunteering”

  1. My one question would be “how do you know that what you are being asked is what God is asking you to do?” I often feel overwhelmed with how many requests I get to help out or serve. There is no possible way to say yes to every request. I don’t believe God wants me stretched so thin outside the home that I cannot serve my family. How do you discern?

    1. I completely agree that it is not a good thing to say yes to every single request. If you are like me, it is harder to say no than to say yes. I just added a post j(how do I know?) about the thought processes that I go through when confronted with these decisions. : )

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