“I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.” Psalm 119:125 (NIV)
Are you serving God or are you expecting God to serve you? Before giving a quick answer, let’s take a moment to consider what it really means to serve God. It’s not simply doing good things in the name of the Lord, but putting His purposes above our own. Viewing God as our Master changes our expectations of Him, and pledging our lives to His service changes how we view ourselves. The psalmist shows us how to live with a servant’s perspective.
Throughout this chapter the writer has dealt with “oppressors;” people who spread lies in order to destroy his life and reputation. Yet he continued to do “what is righteous and just” (v121). As God’s servants, our responses and reactions reflect on our Master. So, we do what is right even when others mistreat us.
That attitude is the result of looking to the Master for our “well-being” and waiting for Him to act (vv122-124). Don’t mistake God making you wait with Him not caring. He always deals with us from a heart of love—pure love. So even when we cannot see it, He is working. And His greatest work is often during periods of waiting, as we learn to totally depend upon Him.
Pure love doesn’t give us everything we want. Some of our desires will eventually be harmful, and some don’t align with the Master’s purpose. Many professing believers walk away from God and church because He didn’t do what they asked or expected. But a servant doesn’t say, “I’ll serve you if you do this or that.” God is our Lord and Master, not a genie granting wishes.
That’s why it’s crucial to align our thoughts and desires with His “decrees and statutes” (vv124-125). The Bible promises that God “will give you the desires of your heart.” That promise hinges upon whether you “Delight yourself in the Lord; commit your way to the Lord; trust in him” (Psalm 37:4-5 NIV). In other words, our desires are God’s desires. We stop asking for things out of selfish or wrong motives (James 4:3). As a result, we leave the consequences of serving God up to Him and keep walking along the path He lays out (vv126-128).
Are you serving God, or are you trying to do good things in exchange for Him serving you? Believers are meant to serve a higher purpose—God’s purpose. So, bow to Him in genuine humility and say, “I am your servant; help me to understand your ways.”