It is normal to think that our service is a means to an end. That if we serve well we will be promoted to a higher level where we do not need to serve, but rule as sons instead. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are called to be sons but to serve as well. The very end goal of our training is to become better servants. Revelation 22:3-5 (the last chapter in the Bible) tells us about our end position and posture in eternity. It says that God’s servants will serve Him there. Our prize in eternity is to gain the privilege of serving the Lord with extraordinary service. It will be a supernatural service. There are different levels of service that we are called to and our happiness and fulfillment are related to these levels of service. People who do not serve will never find the ultimate fulfillment or the fullness of joy that God gives as an inheritance. We were made to serve. I have discovered seven levels of serving. The levels start when we are just a small child and the levels lead us to the place where we serve the Lord with miraculous signs and wonders. Here are the titles I have given to these serving levels. 1. Unalienable Service, 2. Humanitarian Service, 3. Explosive or Spontaneous Service, 4. Christian Service, 5. Prayer Service, 6. Sacrificial Ministry Service, 7. Supernatural Service. Let’s look at these one at a time.
1. Unalienable Service
We know the word unalienable from the Declaration of Independence. It says, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Unalienable means that something cannot be taken away or denied. From birth God gave you a calling and an inclination to serve. This was a gift from your creator and no one, except you, has the right to take it away. Only you can stop the act of serving that is within you. Parents serve children, children serve siblings, students serve classmates, adults serve co-workers and friends. Serving is so natural, it can hardly be stopped. It brings the greatest joy and fulfillment. We were made in God’s image so from every race and religion we are compelled to serve. Serving is so foundational that it often becomes one’s reason to live. Some parents have a crisis when the kids leave home because they have lost their focus of service. It is unalienable.
2. Humanitarian and Military Service
The human desire to serve is so compelling that many people choose service as an occupation. A huge part of the workforce is called the service industry and even the military refers to soldiers as being in the service. In bygone days President J.F. Kennedy initiated a movement called the Peace Corps to enlist young people in humanitarian service to help the needy-poor in developing nations. Thousands of young people signed up. Many doctors, nurses, firemen, policemen, ministers, politicians, scientists and community workers find their way into occupations that serve their fellow man. They want their lives to count for something and they are intrinsically motivated to serve. Every society in the world esteems these serving people for their life of giving. Many take inferior wages and live under rough conditions because they are compelled to serve and they find great satisfaction in their work. We are all grateful for the dedication, care and compassion that flows from the lives of these people.
3. Explosive, Spontaneous Service
This is the stuff that heroes are made of. In an instant, individuals race to serve in desperate situations without calculating the personal danger. Recently, I heard a story of a man who drove by a field and spotted a woman being gored by a bull. The beast was thrusting his horns into the woman and throwing her into the air. Immediately, the man grabbed a metal pipe, hopped the fence, and proceeded to whack the bull in the head with the pipe. The beast let up just long enough for the man to help the woman to her feet and get her over the fence. As he hurried over, he looked behind and the bull was right on his tail. The woman was rushed to the hospital and later the man was asked if he realized that he had put his own life in danger. He replied that he didn’t even think about it. I guess that thousands of people put themselves in harm’s way to serve someone in crisis. Most of them don’t think about it. They don’t see themselves as heroes, just ordinary people helping someone in a pinch. Many will stop to help a stranded motorist, a lost child or a fallen senior. When natural disasters strike, the number of heroic rescues are incredible. The testimonies of extraordinary service are everywhere and often people are thanking God for His help and mercy in the situation. Heroes that serve are more commonplace than we might think.
4. Christian Service
Serve the Lord with gladness. That’s what we read in Psalm100. Most believers want to serve the Lord in their local church. Many understand that serving the Lord is not confined to the four walls of the church. Christian service in witnessing, praying and being an example of the believer in the home, at work and in the community. For some it involves coaching a kids soccer team or mowing a neighbor’s lawn. It is especially important to train our children to serve in church life. They need to take ownership in the Lord’s work and not be takers only.
5. Incense Service
Praying might be too familiar a term to describe this level of service. We could call it ministering unto the Lord. It involves worshipful adoration, exuberant thanksgiving, supplication, praising God, prophetic proclamations and intercessory prayer. The priests of old went into the temple and lit the incense on the altar. In Revelation 5:8 and 8:4 we discover that the incense is the prayers of the saints. As we serve the Lord in this way, He changes us and equips us for supernatural character change and He releases an anointing upon us so that we can serve with spiritual and supernatural authority. See 2Cor. 3:18, 4:1
6. Sacrificial Service
Mature ministers understand the call to sacrifice. The Apostle Paul gave us a picture of sacrificial service in the scriptures.
He said, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” 2Cor. 4:8-12
7. Supernatural Service
Believers are called to be disciples and disciples are called to be ministers. The journey takes us from being natural to being naturally spiritual. In other words the supernatural should be normal as we develop and become mature in our ministry and service to the Lord.
Jesus said, “These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Mk. 16:17-18
All people are called to service. Many even serve in the church but few enter into the incense, sacrifice, or supernatural levels of service.
All seven levels of service belong to you and the more you embrace, the more good you will accomplish. As you move forward along your journey of service, the more you will partner with heaven and complete the fullness of your calling.
All levels of service are wonderful but God is looking for those who will advance His kingdom purpose in the lives of others. Some levels of service will help people while they are on the earth but other levels of service will help people for eternity.
Step out and ask the Lord for increased anointing. Then the Holy Spirit will lead you and equip you for extraordinary service. Be all that you can be; walk with God, serve the Lord with gladness, and change the world.