Creflo Dollar - The Pathway to Success - Part 2
There is a blessing when you go down the pathway of servanthood. There is a blessing when you go down the path of servanthood. For those that do this, they will be blessed. They will be happy. They will be prosperous. They will be blessed. God will bless you for doing them. Doing what? Serving, serving, serving. Show me a man that's committed his self to serving the kingdom of God, and I'll show you a man who operates in the blessings of God and in the favor of God, and he is happy, and he is prosperous. But there's just not a lotta people who wanna even receive that message, and I'm telling you it's vital to serve. We'll get into the degree of this servanthood, but I just want to show you these promises that Jesus was saying.
And I don't know about you, but by doing them, you are blessed. Man, I wanna make sure that I am a servant all the time. All the time. And maybe there are some things you need to understand about your anointing and the things that you choose to do. So, Jesus wants these disciples in this verse of Scripture, he wants them to remember that he served humankind, and they should, too. That he served humankind, and they should, too. There's a blessing in it. There's a blessing in it. He served humankind, and they should, too. Now, go to the book of Mark chapter 9. The book of Mark chapter 9 and verse 33 through 35. Mark 9:33-35. Very interesting here. I'm gonna bring up something that we're all familiar with, but I think now I know where it fits and what it means. Verse 33 says, "And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them," 'cause he was asking the disciples. They had a little issue on the way to Capernaum. They were talking amongst themselves, the disciples, "Well, who's the leader of the group"? They said it like this, "Who's the greatest amongst us," okay?
And so, Jesus was getting ready to ask this question, "What were y'all talking about"? like he knew, but he wanted to see if they would bring it up. He says, "What was it that you disputed among yourselves by the way," on the way here to Capernaum? Verse 34, "But they held their peace". In other words, they didn't say nothing. "For by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest". Who should be the greatest, or who should be the leader of them, okay? And verse 35, "So, Jesus sat down, and he called the twelve, and he saith unto them", 'cause he knew that. You know Jesus knows that stuff, all right? And he says, "If any man desires to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all". He says, "Now, you're talking about who's the greatest amongst you, you're talking about who's the leader. You're talking about who's the first". He says, "All right, I'm gonna answer your question. The first one is going to be the last of all because he's the servant of all".
Oh, yeah, yeah, the whole body looks at you, and they're, "Oh, well, you're just a servant". If they understood the power and the blessings of servanthood, they would never, ever, ever refer to it as "just a servant". There's a demeaning type of connotation to how they say things about people. "You're just a servant". And Jesus said, "The guy that wants to be first, the guy that wants to be the greatest amongst you, the guy that wants to be the leader, let him be last, and let him be a servant". See, God's got some wisdom here that will blow your mind. Nobody is working to be last. Nobody even really desires to be a servant. People wanna be seen and heard by folks. They want, again, to be up in front so they can kinda, you know, make it feel like, you know, that they're important, but there's a power and an anointing and a blessing in being the last and being the servant of all.
Now, this is so, so very important. Go to Matthew chapter 19. Matthew chapter 19. I'm debating on whether or not I wanna do the whole bulk of this chapter, because, you know, Jesus is trying to get people to understand servanthood. And in studying this servanthood I kinda reevaluated some things. Not that what you thought or what I thought about these Scriptures are wrong, but I kinda reevaluated some of the things that I saw. And so, I think I will. I think it'll be a blessing if I went through the whole thing. Well, lemme just start off where I wanna be, and then maybe I'll see if I go back there. Look at Matthew chapter 19, and let's look at verse 29 and 30. Matthew 19:29-30. All right, now you're familiar with this. He says in verse 28, let's start at verse 28. "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That you which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel".
So, he's saying to his disciples, he says, "You guys are gonna sit on the throne to judge Israel with God". That's pretty awesome. That's pretty awesome, amen? And he says in verse 29, "And every one that hath forsaken houses, brethren, sister, father, mother, wife, children, lands, for my name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first". Now, why did that come up in there? 'Cause I believe what he's talking about when he says forsaking all this stuff, I believe what he's talking about is are you willing to give up your rights to another and to devote to others' interests rather than your own? I believe that's what that was saying there.
Are you willing to give up your rights to another and to devote to another's interest rather than your own? That's hard in today's society. Everybody is concerned about their own interest, and the Bible prophesies that, what's gonna happen at the end of the day. Are you willing to separate yourself from your own interests? I'm telling you not many people are. Everybody's got a plan. Everybody's got their interests, and they don't understand the way to get your interest to manifest is to be devoted to somebody else's interests. And that's what servanthood, it used to be apprenticeship was big. When I was coming up, it was just a privilege to work for free so you can see how this thing goes together. It was an honor to be able to do that.
I remember, as a student in my senior year, I had the privilege to coach in spring football. I had an opportunity to be around them to see what they were doing, and then, finally, I got an opportunity to spend a couple of weeks doing it myself. It was awesome, it's like you feel confidence because, you know, I had to put away my interest and serve somebody else's interest, and then that puts me ahead. And I think that's what he's talking about, servanthood. 'Cause he brings this thing up again. He says many that are first are gonna be last, and I believe the ones that are first that are gonna end up being last are those who decided to go down another pathway. You got there first, but it doesn't last long because you'll be replaced with the person who was last. Oh, my God, I've seen it over and over again. I've seen someone that was in first place replaced with somebody in last place, 'cause there's something about this power of servanthood.
Being in last place or being the servant is a guaranteed way to be in first place. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. And some of you just need to live long enough so you can see this work out. See, the thing about a servant is you have to have patience, 'cause this thing doesn't happen overnight. I know the guy who's our CEO right now, Brother Vernon, served this ministry for 20 years or more, and he is now the CEO of this ministry. It didn't come overnight, but here's the thing about it: he served in ministry for 20 years, is the CEO of the ministry right now, and he's still serving. You can't stop him, because you have to understand it didn't happen overnight, but it is an assured promotion that's working hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month. It's an assured thing, and it's something that when you arrive there, God uses all of those days and years and hours to have prepared you for being first. But a lotta people don't wanna do that. They think that the Internet is here, so now anybody can do something.
Now let's just get on the Internet, do dah-dah-dah. You can, but you can only go so far because your character is your ceiling, and there are lots of things you neglect because you refuse to serve somebody. That's why I say the team of one will never be successful a long time. You're gonna have to stand on somebody's shoulders. You're gonna have to serve somebody to really get ahold of what all that means, and so I believe that's what Jesus was talking about here. He's talking about, "But many that are first shall be last". Think of that, think about those who are the first, and then all of a sudden the last gonna end up being the first. Wow. That's awesome. That's awesome, amen?
Lemme show you something. This is so important. Serving others is the very essence of ministry. You know, people always talking about wanna be in ministry. Serving others is the very essence of ministry. You don't wanna be in ministry if you don't have the attitude of servanthood. If only thing you're interested in is the paycheck, you're the first on your way to be last, to be replaced by who was last. I'm telling you it just works that way. It's like circumstances come along and cause these things to happen, but here's one thing I do know: serving others is the very essence of ministry. I mean, in my own life I served extremely. I was at a Baptist church, and I decided, "I'm, you know, I'm going to serve the kingdom of God, and I'm gonna serve the kingdom of God with whatever abilities I have".
And I knew how to clean up 'cause I worked with my grandparents in the summertime. They had a cleaning business, and I knew how to do that, so I went to work. I looked at the building, and I thought the building needed to be cleaned and just some detail things need to happen. And I started off by cleaning all the bathrooms with a toothbrush and some baking soda, and got on my knees and would scrub that tile and would shine everything up, and just whatever I had to do. I cut the grass. I did all kinds of things. I pulled carpet up from the cement, whatever I could do to serve, and I did it with joy. I did it with joy. I was the last. I was at the last, man, and sometimes I've been in situations where I was the only person there to do those kinda things.
And then, something happened where the pastor had to go in to get a hernia operation, so there needed to be a pastor who would take over at that time. And I was in the ministry at that time, "serving," That's what it means. And he called me in the office one day. He says, "I'm going to get an operation, and I'd like for you to oversee the church while I'm gone". And I'm like, "What, me? Me? Why me"? He says, "'Cause I can trust you". See, there's something about servanthood that allows you to gain the attention of others to show you favor, and now, this was a very interesting time because I knew how people were. They'll try to take you and put you in places where you don't belong. I knew I was standing in his stead, and so I asked him, I said, "Could I preach in your robe? And I wanna preach everything that you preach. I'm not up there trying to make my point, because I'm standing in your stead. I am standing as a servant. I am serving you," this is a servant.
Now that I have a robe on and preaching in the pulpit, I'm still a servant. I'm the servant, and I wanted to make sure the congregation knew I was the servant, and I served in that capacity to make sure that things were healthy and just the way he left it. I'm a servant. See, the attitude of the servant is so important, and you've got to understand this principle, that serving others is the very essence of ministry. Now, let me say something that's very strong here. Your anointing is not for you, but it's for others. Your anointing is not for you, but it's for others.
Look at 1 Corinthians 12, verse 7 in the King James and then the NLT. 1 Corinthians chapter 12:7 talks about the gifts of the Spirit or these different anointings that would come, and he says, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man," what? "To profit withal". "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit all". Now look at this in the NLT. He talks about that "a spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other". "A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other".
You got to understand that your anointing is not given to you. Every one of us have been given an anointing to do something. Every one of us, and this chapter happens to talk about it, has been given anointing to do something, but with all of the anointings and the abilities that you have, the intent was never to be self-serving with that anointing. That anointing for helps, that anointing to sing, that anointing to preach, that anointing to serve, that anointing to administrate, that anointing, none of that anointing is to be monetized or used for your own self-issues. It's supposed to be for somebody else. My anointing is not for me. My anointing is for somebody else. Right now, this anointing is not for me. My anointing to teach the gospel is for you. Your anointing to sing is for somebody else. That's the thing that's all been all messed up.
Long time ago, the record companies used to go in the church to try to find out what was going on in the church, and then they put 'em on vinyl records. Preaching used to be on vinyl records. You gotta understand what anointing do you carry but you're not carrying to somebody else? You're just only carrying it for you. You figure out a way. God gave it to you. You didn't gift yourself. You didn't anoint yourself. You didn't call yourself. You didn't equip yourself. God equipped every man so we can serve one another. He gave every person an anointing so we can serve one another, and we are now living in a generation and a time that that's the last thing on somebody's mind, to serve somebody. "I ain't serving nobody unless you gonna pay me. I ain't serving nobody unless you gonna do something for me".
See, you gotta understand the path to what you're looking for comes through servanthood, but you won't serve. I know people who are paid artists and do stuff, but, man, when it comes to their church, they're there the whole time. I know a woman right now who was at the very beginning of Hillsong, got it really moving and rocking and rolling, man, and just did it because that was her anointing and service to God. And God promoted them to another level of servanthood in ministry. I'm telling you what I know, and I know there are some, "Oh, I don't wanna hear that. Oh, this isn't the '60s, you know? This is 2021. Don't nobody do that like that no more". So, you know, what you're saying is we don't pay attention to the Word anymore. That you got a new filter, you have a new philosophy, and you're viewing the world through your filter and through your worldly philosophies, and you have now deemed that this truth is no longer valid. And that's why you are where you are: tired, sweating, frustrated, suffering with emotional rejections, 'cause you're working hard to try to do it your way. And God has already given you access to that way.
What a Word this morning from Taffi. God's given you access to greatness, access to leadership, access to be the head. And you know what? You won't go down that road. You won't go down that path. Ain't never served nobody in your life. All you want is to be served. And if that's you, if you're the kinda person that all you ever want is to be served, you are a person that I guarantee, I don't know when, but you're gonna end up being the last. You're gonna end up being the last. Isn't it sad that you've seen great and awesome people, they were up front, they were number one in their game, and then you looked at the end of it they were the last? They're the last now. You don't hear about 'em no more. You don't know what's going on with them no more. They're the last because they refused to acknowledge this pathway of success, which is servanthood. Servanthood is the pathway of success, amen?
So, your anointing is not for you. I constantly remind myself my anointing is not for me, so I don't need to be getting around being sad and, "Oh, I'm so tired and, oh, don't nobody love me. Won't nobody acknowledge me and nobody won't validate me. And, oh, this and that, and, oh, they didn't choose me to get the award, and, oh, they didn't recognize me". Are you kidding? That's baby talk. This anointing is to serve the kingdom of God. This anointing is to serve the gospel of God. This anointing is to serve the sick, the brokenhearted, the torment, the demon-possessed. And there's somebody in this earth that God has equipped with an anointing to remove the burden and destroy the yoke, but you won't use it. You're so busy beating yourself up because the pride of life has taken over and you're more concerned about being seen as important. And you have an anointing to use for the kingdom, to use for the kingdom.
Oh, my God, I wanna meet Jesus as a servant, not as somebody that think he was all that. I wanna meet him as a servant. That when I see Jesus I bow down, and I'm like, "I'm your humble servant, Lord". And I want him to be able to grab me by the arms and pick me up from my knees, 'cause I know I'm gonna fall out, and say, "My good and faithful," watch this, "servant". He's expecting servants when that time comes. "My good and faithful servant, well done. You've been faithful of a few. Now I'm gonna make you ruler over many". Look who gets that, the servant. And some people may leave the earth last, but when they get to heaven they won't be last. And it's not just going to heaven in order to see that promotion. You can see it here now if we'll learn the power of and the pathway of servanthood.
Look at Colossians chapter 3, verse 23 and 24. Colossians 3:23-24. Let's look at it in the King James first and then in the NLT. He says, "And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men". You know how important that is? Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men. Verse 24, he says, "Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Jesus Christ". Basically, what he's saying, whatever you do, do it as a service to him. Now, are you gonna be able to say that? If you look at what you're doing, can you say, "This is a service to God," or is it just a service to you? Look at Colossians 3:23-24 in the NLT now. "Let's serve others by serving Christ". Let's serve others by serving Christ. Look what he says, he says, "Work willingly at whatever you do," so this is so important. "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people". So, he says work willingly as though you're working for the Lord rather than other people.