“The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:14,15).
If we belong to Christ, we want to do something for Him. We all want to serve Him if we are really saved. But I suggest to your heart and mine that we will never be able to serve the Lord properly unless these verses get a hold of us.
Motive for Service
When it comes to service for the Lord, or anything in the Christian pathway, it is not he or she who knows the most that walks the best before the Lord, nor even he or she that reads the most, but he who loves the most. Intelligence in divine things does not come through the intellect: it comes through the heart and conscience.
Sometimes, sad to say, we don’t do anything for the Lord, and that is a real problem. We get so occupied with our own interests and ideas and getting ahead in this world that we don’t have any time left for Him. Other times we go ahead and do something because we feel we ought to. Perhaps it will not be done in the right way or for the right reason, and God may not be able to bless it fully. Nevertheless, we can do something for the Lord without really being in communion with Him. But isn’t it better when our service springs from a heart of love because we are in communion with the Lord?
Power for Service
Our verse says, “The love of Christ constraineth us.” You will never do anything for the Lord properly unless it is the love of Christ compelling and controlling you. Oh, you say, “I wish it would constrain me.” Let me use an illustration that is a bit simple, but it makes the point. If I have a magnet in my hand, and a pile of nails across the room, will the nails be drawn to the magnet? No, of course not. What’s wrong? They are too far from the magnet! That is the problem with me, and maybe with you. The magnet is fine, but we need to get closer to it. That is what I want to impress on you and me. When it comes to service for the Lord, we will never serve properly until we are close enough to Him.
When we get close to Him (I say it very humbly, because I don’t pretend to live it out in my own life), we find it is not that difficult to know what He would have us to do. But if we are at a distance from the Source, we may find that the love of Christ doesn’t seem to be compelling or controlling us. Has His love changed? Not at all, but I am too far away. I have allowed things into my life that have put a wall between me and the Lord. Then I say, “I don’t feel the love of Christ constraining me.” The Lord is saying, “I want you closer.”
Restoring to Service
When there comes a time that we aren’t as on fire for the Lord as we used to be, we need to go back and read Matthew 27, or Luke 22, or Mark 14 and 15, or John 19. Read and meditate on those accounts of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. And above all, if there is something that has come between you and the Lord so you don’t feel that warmth and love toward Him, kneel down and ask Him to show you what it is and then ask Him for the grace to remove it. Rest assured that the Lord will show you what it is, because it is His delight to restore you to happy communion with Himself.
—W. J. Prost