From a definitively Christian point of view I have never understood the concept of serving God. It’s just odd, that’s all. Let me raise some of the issues I’ve face when I consider serving God.
1. Just what does it look like? More likely than not it actually means serving other people.
2. The very idea of serving God makes no sense. I mean, really, what does the Lord God of the universe need in our service? He created everything, maintains everything, and honors those who honor (fear) Him. He certainly does not need our service. It’s not logical.
3. It makes more logical sense that He instead is calling to us to love Him. Of course, this raises a tricky question. If I were to ask you how you feel when you love your mother, father, wife, husband, or children, you could identify the shape of that feeling—what it “feels” like. In contrast, I would doubt you could identify the shape of your love for God. What does it feel like? What words describe the powerful emotional bond you have with the God Who made you? Get my drift?
More than likely, God has called us to love Him and to serve one another. Whether that service entails missional work abroad or in our own godless culture, in gathering basic food for the poor, the homeless, the destitute, it may or may not be reflective of our love for God. It may be a simple, humanitarian, act of love for humanity. If it is to last it will have to have a greater strength underlying it. For genuine Christians that underpinning is their deep love for God.
We are called to “love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind…, and then our neighbor as ourselves.” But the service we express toward Him should more properly be directed toward our fellow man (read, everybody). The inverse is, of course, true; that if we love those around us we also serve God’s purposes on this planet. But this is not simply splitting hairs. We are called to love our God, and that is something that goes beyond the cerebral, beyond the linear-sequential explanations of Truth or theology. It is an emotion. Does emotion have a place in your love for God?
Emotion is an aspect of our faith that we dare not leave at the door of a mental understanding of Christian salvation. It is an integral part of the whole package of faith, “heart, soul, & mind.” Passion has never been a mental motivation; it must rise from the heart.
In the future may you grow in your faith where you truly learn to love God with your whole heart, body, and mind. And may that love be exhibited and amplified in your service to the rest of this world.
For what it’s worth,