Fast For Freedom Day 17 – The Interest of Others #IWFF
This season of lent, follow along with the Fast For Freedom. Participate by sharing, praying, fasting, or giving to raise awareness about global slavery. Download the 40 day devotional for free here. Share your own thoughts and prayers in the comments, and be challenged to take action in the movement for Freedom.
Every time God is teaching us something, he makes sure we get the message loud and clear and from multiple sources. Today’s devotion focuses on Isaiah 1:16-17 but the writer, Kristen Carr, also draws from Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selﬁsh ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.” Which is exactly the scripture that was preached on in my church here in Amsterdam yesterday.
It all goes back to the motivation of our hearts. Not what people see on the outside, not our own vanity or our pride, but out of selfless love for others.
I was challenged on this yesterday in church, and again today reading this devotion. I actually was planning on bringing yesterday’s sermon into my post today, and so I am honestly blown away to see this verse from Philippians included in today’s devotion!
What does it mean to have an attitude that is the same as Jesus Christ?
- He did not consider His position something to be grasped
- He made Himself nothing
- He humbled Himself
- He lowered Himself to our level
- He sacrificed His life
- He led through service to others
Jesus reflected an attitude that is the opposite of this world’s, an attitude that is in direct opposition of the systems of oppression that allow human trafficking to flourish, an attitude that claims authority through humility instead of pride. He set the ultimate example of what it means to serve, to love, and to bless.
The words of our pastor struck a cord in me yesterday when referring to this form of servant leadership. He challenged us to serve despite our opinions of one another, and even more than that, to serve despite the truth about one another. Even when I feel I deserve something more, or that the person I am coming in contact with does not need my love or my time or my blessing. Even when the truth is that they really don’t deserve these things. Still, I am called to serve, and not to do it to look spiritual or good, but to do it because it was what Jesus would have done.
Yesterday I was hit with the weight of my own selfish ambition. I saw the ugliness of my pride. I asked God to search my heart and make it right before Him. I made myself a list of people in my life who I have the opportunity to serve; women in the sex industry, victims of trafficking, my colleagues, my housemates, my friends. Then I asked God to reveal to me how I can ‘look to their interests’. How can I serve them? I know it is a refining process that will take time, but even in taking those few minutes of reflection, I have found new clarity in the move to serve and bless those around me. I encourage you to also take some time to seek God for new revelation around the idea of service, and those we have the opportunity to serve.
The sermon finished off with this: “Nothing is too broken for God to fix, because He is good, and He breaks every chain, and when we get tangled up again, He breaks the chains again.” I love it. Even those relationships we cannot possibly imagine going back to with an attitude of blessing, even those situations that just seem impossible, or those people who don’t want our ‘service’ or our help… Nothing is too broken for God to fix, and we are the tangible extension of His healing and freedom for this world!
To Serve others involves action. Change comes not just from the exciting and uplifting moments that make us feel good, but also from the hard work and dedication of serving those around us, whether we want to or not. If this has challenged you today, then I would encourage you to also take the time to ask God to help you see how you can serve those around you.