Preparing to Serve

Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it; and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.” (Judges 6:25, 26 NKJV)

Gideon had an encounter with the Angel of The Lord where he was called to deliver Israel from the Midianites. On the same night The Lord instructed him to tear down the altar of Baal, cut down the wooden image, build an altar to The Lord, and make a sacrifice. These instructions helped to prepare Gideon for spiritual service. Here are some thoughts on how we can apply them today.

Make some sacrifices.
Here in the south football is a big part of our culture. There are some Christians who are so devoted to football they are rarely available to serve on Friday nights, Saturdays, or Sunday afternoons. This devotion borders on idolatry. In order for someone like this to truly serve, they will have to sacrifice some time for God instead of sacrificing it all for football. If all of our time, talents, and treasure are tied to other things we won’t have anything to contribute to serving The Lord.

Be authentic.
Our world is full of false images like the one Gideon cut down. Some of us portray false images as we try to “fake it til we make it”. Unfortunately, when we do this for too long we just end up deceiving ourselves. God isn’t fooled by inauthentic service and neither are the people we serve. Just like you can tell if your waiter is really interested in serving you, others can see through our false pretenses and tell if we’re sincere in our service.

Be intentional about bringing God glory.
Gideon was told to build the altar of God in the “proper arrangement”. In a nation that was lost and turned away from God, it was critical that the altar and the sacrifices were an intentional testimony for God. Before we set out to do an act of service we need to be intentional about how we will honor God. Otherwise we could feed the homeless but never share our faith. We could clothe the naked and fail to express God’s love to them. People will receive our goods but God won’t get the glory. So be strategic, intentional, and missional in service.

Serving God is an honor, privilege, and responsibility. It requires sacrifice, authenticity, and intentionality. Pray that God will lead you to make the right sacrifices to prepare yourself for service.

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