Our service for Christ must be driven first and foremost by truth--not emotion or will power! I have been reading Spiritual Depression: It's Causes and Cure, by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones. In his chapter, "Mind, Heart And Will," Jones makes a keen observation from Romans 6:17 about the importance of truth. The verse says,But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you (KJV).Here is Jones' comment:
You notice that the point he is concerned to emphasize is the wholeness of the Christian life. It is a life in which one has 'obeyed'--there is the will--'from the heart'--there is the emotion, the sensibility--'the form of doctrine' which came to mind and to the understanding. So that, in describing the Christian the thing he is emphasizing is that there is a wholeness about his life. The whole man is involved, the mind, the heart and the will .... We must always put these things in the right order, and it is Truth first.(D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Spiritual Depression)
Mind, emotion, and will are all important. However, if my service is based only on emotions, my engagement will fluctuate with my emotional tide. If my service is driven solely by will, it will dissolve into a begrudging legalistic duty. But if I am driven by the truth that both the gift and the confidence to exercise it come from God, I will step into the arena and serve God boldly.
This is why believers in Jesus don’t play small when it comes to serving Christ with their spiritual gifts. They understand the truth that God Almighty has assigned us gifts and the confidence to use them.1 This is what Paul means when he refers to the measure of faith in Romans 12:3, For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Jones' writes, "Truly to see the truth means that you are moved by it and that you love it. You cannot help it. If you see truth clearly, you must feel it. Then that in turn leads to this, that your greatest desire will be to practice it and to live it."2
Truth engages the heart, and the heart drives the will. Here is the truth: God has gifted you and He gives you the power to serve. Don't play small!
STAY FOCUSED TODAY: Think about it: You are serving with a God-given gift that comes with the God-given power to use it. What does "Don't play small!" mean for you?
1Everett F. Harrison, The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Romans Through Galatians, page 129.
2D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Spiritual Depression: It's Cause And Cure, Chapter 4.