I do not know about you my friend, but life at times can be wearisome.  Even ministry (even in God) at times can be very tiring.  It seems the more we go and the more we press toward the goals established by God and us the more we seem to perish within ourselves and outwardly.  Oddly, the older I get the less assured of myself I am, the less my health seems to support me, and the less I seem to know of God.  Paul in 2 Corinthians shares these words in his second letter to the Church at Corinth, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”  (2 Corinthians 4:16)  Paul’s words are very telling to the struggles we face and how these struggles affect us.  Paul’s word reveals the possibility of us fainting at these daunting struggles as “our outward man perish.” If you have never experienced this in your life my friend you have something in God to look forward to.  This thought of not wanting to perish has always been a driving force in man’s psyche.  All throughout the Bible we read about man’s understanding of his mortality and his great desire not wanting to perish from the earth.  We see this strongly represented in the Psalms, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. 14For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 15As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”  (Psalms 103:13-16)  Yes, God knows our frame and we know that God knows our frame.  And we know that God knows we are dust and our days are as grass: as a flower of the field.  Knowing God knows us is the only real hope we can truly rest in.  Not even knowing we know God, but knowing God knows us.  Do you see the difference? At the heart of this knowing is a basic simplistic truth of God that we must never over look and never forget which is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes which ends with these words, “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. 12And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:11-14)  Amazingly these verses do not talk about all of the good works of God that drain our strength, all of the good things we do for God nor does it talk about all of the hard work we must endure to be able to walk in the truth of these verses. All we must do, according to Solomon, is to “Fear God and keep his commandments:” everything else we do is above and beyond what God expects of us.  Never forget the best we can ever do for God is to do what He expects of us and that is all we need to do.  God never asks us to do something He knows we are not able to do.  He knows us, He built us, and He knows what we can do.  Now do not get out there in the realm of faith and expect God to give you power to do something He does not want you to do.  God knows what we can do and He knows how He has built us; real faith operates in God by aligning with what God knows and wants, not what we know and want.  Knowing this we do not have to struggle with the expectations of ourselves and others which will always get in the way and always get us into great trouble with God. Serving the Lord is easy we make it hard by heaping to ourselves ministry and unrealistic expectations that confuse and compound our relationship with God and others.  We make serving the Lord so difficult, but do not feel too bad the 70 Disciples the Lord sent out made the same mistake.  In Luke we read, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”  (Luke 10:17-20) They got all spiritual on Jesus, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name” but, Jesus calmed them down and handled their zealousness and told them, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”   Boys (no girls in the 70 Disciples) do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but that your names are written in heaven.  How simple how plain, but how to the heart of the issue. Serving God is not hard all we have to do is love Him and do what He has asked us to do.  All of the ministry, miracles healings, all of the care, financing, and feeding of the local bodies around the world will take care of themselves.  God does not need us to do all of these things, but God needs us to be obedient to him.  I learned this lesson one day while in India.  The crowd was huge maybe 400,000 and I thought I had to lay hands on the sick, but I could not reach them I was positioned on the stage too high up.  In a way I was happy, because praying for people like this often teaches people to not go to God, but to man for answers.  But God saved me and spoke, I do not need to lay hands on the sick He is the one that does the healing all I need to do is pray.     

Serving the Lord is just loving God and keeping His commandants.  Jesus shared the same thing in the Book of Matthew as did the Preacher in Ecclesiastes.  One day a lawyer asked Him, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love (Strong’s #26 agape, dedicated yourself towards) the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love (Strong’s #25 agapao; to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of) thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  (Matthew 22:36-40)  Now do not miss the point here in all of this goodness.  Jesus said there are some folks you are to be fond of (Strong’s #25) and there are some folks (Strong’s #26) you are to dedicate yourself towards. The first command is unto God and we must love (Strong’s #26) Him “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” the fearing of Him in Ecclesiastes 12:13.  What a job! Loving Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind (if we do this it will kill us no wonder we will faint and our outward man will perish), but this is the commandment we must follow to be obedient to God.  That is okay because this is God’s idea.  Remember God is not trying to make us happy He is trying to kill our sinful, fleshly, nature so He can conform us into His image.  And the second commandment is to love (be fond of) our neighbour as our self.  Now this is a lot easier to do, who does not like themselves?  If you are not fond of yourself you will never be able to love (dedicate yourself ) God.  We were made in His image right?  For us to see no value in ourselves is an open rebuke to God, it is no wonder the world wants to kill babies in the womb they say babies are not created in the image of God they are just a blob of tissue we will take care of things, oh how foolish.  Now on the other hand we must not get too carried away in thinking we are special, because if we do God has measures to take care of this wrong thinking.  One of the greatest areas of danger in God is for Christians to think more highly of themselves than they should.

Strange as it may seem the more I go in God the less I know of God.  The things I thought I knew and was convinced of (to the death) now I am not so sure about.  Now I am not talking about my salvation that issue is settled for all eternity, but what I am talking about is what I have heard, seen, and touched of God.  And if we really have a walk with the Lord what we know and believe (seen, touched, and heard) must give way to even greater revelation and ever increasing experiences.  All truth is progressive and mysterious.  Now this is a critical point if we desire to understand the truth of the word of God. Knowing the beginning will never lead us to the end of understanding unless we follow hard after the many veins of truth that accompany our lives.  For us to be able to come to the end of all understanding we will first have to come not to know all truth, but come to know the creator of all truth.  What is more important the fruit or the tree? Many Christians strive to know all truth (we see this in all of the denominations and religions of the world), but it is much better to know the creator of all truth.  We desire to taste of the fruits of God, but it is much better we eat the tree that produces the fruit; then our lives can be a tree that produces Gods fruit.  And as we come to know the creator of all truth we will quickly learn we know nothing at all.  The depth and vastness of God always leaves us with more questions than answers, but at the same time deep within our heart and soul burns with a sublime yearning to know more and more of the creator.  This simple yearning is at the heart of just serving God.  No pressure to perform, no pressure to do things to see God glorified.  You would not believe the number of times in Africa I was asked if I wanted them to stage a miracle.  What crowds we would have the next day.  A white man has come and has laid hands on an African and they were healed, what offerings we would get.  What a sad, unholy way of thinking – I was shocked and dismayed. When we just serve God the pressure is on God.  All of the going and doing is His idea.  It is His responsibility to look after His word not ours’ our job is to just serve God.

Just serving God is, “the whole duty of man” as the Preacher said in the Book of Ecclesiastes.  I think one of the greatest benefits of just serving the Lord is the rest to our heart we discover.  Paul ended 2 Corinthians 4:16 with these words, “yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”  He began this verse by talking about how the outward man daily perishes and it will just serve God long enough, but he ends with the secret of being able to just serve the Lord, we must day-by-day be renewed in the inward man by God. What peace we find, oh to just serve the Lord, oh what strength we find, oh to serve the Lord.  And when it is time to be gathered unto Him, oh what joy we will find because we have just served the Lord.