Creflo Dollar - The Pathway to Success - Part 4
A servant in submission to God will now seek to meet the real needs of others or of the person who needs serving. That's a guy who's submitted to God: wanting to meet the needs of others. Servanthood is the condition, or the state, of being a servant to others. You can't be the servant Jesus is talking about if it's just you, and you're never, ever concerned about others. And so servanthood is the condition, or the state, of being a servant to others, of ministry to others rather than service of self. It can't be service of self. You know what grieves the Holy Spirit?
Go to Ephesians chapter 4:28 and 31. You know what grieves the Holy Spirit? Most people think, "Well, sin grieves the Holy Spirit," and it definitely doesn't make God happy, but in context, when it talked about "Grieve not the Holy Spirit," what grieves the Holy Spirit is how we treat one another. What grieves the Holy Spirit is how we how we deal with one another. And to not to deal with others in servanthood, that absolutely grieves the Holy Spirit. Look what he says in 28. He says, "Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth".
Notice, he starts this off by servanthood, you know, serving someone that needs it. Look at verse 29. He says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying" building other people up, "that it may minister grace unto the hearers". Verse 30, check this out: "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption". Now, notice, at the first part of this, it's talking about how you treat one another. "Don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God". It's talking about how we need to serve one another. "And don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God," and then he goes to verse 31. He says, "And let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice". He's talking about "Don't use these things against other people because that grieves the Holy Spirit".
How are you treating other people? How are you serving other people? You're wondering where's the Holy Ghost in your life, and what's happening here? How are you treating one another? Don't grieve the Holy Spirit. You know, this "servanthood," it means "willingly giving of one's self to minister for and to others and to do whatever it takes to accomplish what is best for another person". I mean, this is big-time stuff right here because now you're calling yourself a follower of Christ, and I'm telling you and defining for you what it means to be a follower of Christ, that we're gonna do whatever it takes to accomplish what is best for other people. When was the last time you even allowed God to put somebody else on your mind? But you were so focused on yourself, you couldn't even understand?
You know, I heard a situation, people that don't even live in this country, they live in another nation, and the father was dying of cancer, and the virus hit there and shut everything down, and they didn't have any food to eat, and the father was gonna die unless he got the treatment, and all kinds of things were happening and I heard about the situation, and I wired money to this family, which was an equivalent in their things, was over a million, whatever their money was, but it was more than they'd seen in a while, and it was enough to finish the treatment, enough to correct all of the situations that were going on. That's servanthood. That's servanthood. And there's nothing like showing up to serve somebody, and then they respond in a way that brings tears to your eyes because you were available for God to use to impact somebody's life. That's what servanthood is all about, to impact somebody's life where God is concerned. That's the plan of the Father.
Now listen to this. This is so important what I'm about to say. When serving others and when serving their needs, if the motive, if the goal is to be praised by others for the service that you rendered, then your service is hypocritical. In other words, it's not just serving but it's the motive, what moves you to serve. If your motive for serving other people is praise, appreciation, power, status, then your service is hypocritical, and there's a lot of that going on in the church today, that people are not serving God out of a pure heart. They're serving God, in a sense, for self-love if that makes sense. In other words, that you're so hungry for self-love, you're doing things that have a selfish ending and when that happens, you're servanthood is hypocritical. This type of service is really aimed at serving selfish end or satisfying selfish ends, and usually it's a futile pursuit of somebody's personal significance.
In other words, you're serving because of a life that you don't feel is meaningful, and you're searching for value, and you're searching for meaning in your own life, and so, you see what I'm saying? You start serving people, trying to end your search for significance, and I'm saying even if you serve, trying to, you know, put meaning in your life or trying to find significance... now, significance isn't important, but, just, you don't wanna have the wrong motive there. And so most people go at it for this futile pursuit of personal significance through something to try to get something like praise or power or status. Are you serving to get praise? Are you serving so somebody can see you serving and then give you praise? Or are you serving so somebody can see you serving and then, you know, you get power or privilege or status? If that's the service that you're talking about, this is something that is hypocritical, and it's not the servanthood that Jesus demonstrated or is talking about.
Let me give you an example of this in the Bible. Go to Matthew chapter 20, Matthew chapter 20. There was a situation here where this woman showed up, and she began to worship God, but now we're questioning, "Why are you worshiping God"? We want it to be out of a pure heart, but it wasn't. Matthew chapter 20 and verse 20. And verse 20, says, this: "Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons", and so she showed up with her two sons, "worshiping him", now, you would like to think, "Wow, that's pretty cool". She showed up, and she brought her sons with him, and she was worshiping him. And you wanna believe that, when people do that, that they're doing it out of a pure heart. They're not doing it for, you know, the gain of power and status, and even try to satisfy their significance, and you wonder, "Was something behind this woman's worship"?
Isn't that sad that you can't just know that people will worship God out of a pure heart, that most of the time, people are doing somethin', and they have the wrong motive? They have a selfish end to what they're doing. They say, "worshiping him", and watch this, and here's the other part, "and desiring a certain thing of him", oh, wow, so your worship is not really pure. You're worshiping him because you desire something from him. We have to even correct our lives as Christians. Are we always doing something because we're wanting something from him? The only reason we give is because we're trying to get something from him? The only reason we pray, we're trying to get something from him? The only reason we come to church, we're trying to get something from him?
I mean, we still think his name is Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy 'cause we keep saying "Gimme, gimme, gimme," and our motives are not right, and that's not the right heart of a servant and so, "And he said unto her, 'What wilt thou?'" "What do you want? Now I know that you're not worshiping me for the reason to just magnify my name and make big of me, but what do you want"? he says. "And she saith unto him, 'Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.'" She she's worshiping him, serving him, for power, for rank, for status, in the kingdom of God, and if you read on down here, "But Jesus answered and said, 'You know not what you ask. Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' And they say unto him, 'We are able,' verse 23, and he saith unto them, 'You shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I'm baptized with, but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give'", I thought about that. He said, "but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared for of my Father".
You know what he's saying? Jesus says, "I can't do this. This is my Father that can do this. I can't, because I'm his servant. I'm his servant". So, you know, "God is the one to decide that. I can't do this, 'cause I'm God's servant". Man, that really just got me to thinking about my motives. My motives, why I do what I do, and I call it "servanthood". Why I do what I do, I call it "servanthood". You know, when I lift my hands and worship, and I call it I'm "serving God," and, you know, I go, and I minister, and I pass food out, and it's always why I do what I do. And I discovered that, most of the time, people are pursuing value and meaning, significance, that "Maybe I will be more significant in the eyes of other people if through servanthood I can get these things recognized in my life". And so here's a point I want you to get: Servanthood was God's plan to produce great blessings to the world and to the church. And you can see, if we would do it right, it will produce great blessings to the world and to the church.
Now, as I say that, I think about... we're in Matthew 20. Move down to verse 28, and check this out because this kind of gave me a picture of, What if Jesus would allow himself to have the same motives that a lot of people have? And what if Jesus showed up to be served rather than to serve? And look at verse 28. He says, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to or to serve, but he came to minister, he came to serve", watch this, "and to give his life a ransom for many". So listen to me carefully. He came to serve by giving his life as the payment, the ransom, the sin offering for many.
See, Jesus is the sin offering for the whole world so that everybody could escape the consequences of living under the law and not being able to do what the law said. Had Jesus come to be served, and not to serve, we would've never been redeemed. We would've never been reconciled. We would've never been delivered and forgiven of all of sins if he came to be served. He came to serve and to give his life for a ransom. I'm so glad that he had the heart of a servant, and as a result of Jesus coming to serve with no bad motives, no self-motives, the whole world was blessed because of that. I hope you're getting this because what matters to Jesus is servanthood, and servanthood should matter to all of us. This is not an old-fashioned doctrine. It is an identity that, if we take on right with right motives, it will be the pathway to success in our lives.
Now, let's look at some, just, some things that make up this servanthood and just check some things out. First of all, I noticed something in Scripture that we all know of and one I've read for years. In Matthew chapter 6, in 24, let's look at this. This caught my attention when it talked about serving and then having the right motives, but in Matthew chapter 6:24, he said, "No man can serve two masters". Now, this is interesting. "No man can serve two masters, for by serving two masters, either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he'll hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. You cannot serve God and mammon". To serve God, it has to be selfless. To serve mammon, it's gonna be selfish.
Now, we've got to understand mammon in order to understand what he's talking about not to serve. Well, you know, he's telling us, "You can't serve two masters". And so we need to now know what not to serve. And obviously, people are gonna say, "Well, I know I should serve God". And my deal is, well, why are you serving mammon? I would say that maybe over 85% of people in the world are serving mammon and say they're serving God, but it's not true. Let me show you what I'm talking about. When mammon becomes master, it controls our values. It controls our priorities. It controls our pursuit rather than God controlling our priorities and all those things, and when you allow mammon to control your life, and when you allow mammon to control where you go, control your values, mammon now controls your priorities, mammon now controls your pursuit, rather than God, when you turn that kind of control over to mammon, that's evil.
Now, go to 1 Timothy chapter 6:10. I wanna put this together because you now have to understand mammon. Now, verse 10, days, "For the love of money is the root of all evil", now, listen to me carefully, "which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and they pierced themselves through with many sorrows". Now, look at the first part of this verse. The love of money is when you trust money more than you trust God. The love of money is not having money 'cause, if the love of money, see, the Bible says, "The love of money is the root of all evil". If money by itself was the love of money, then everybody would have the root of all evil. The people that have the root of all evil are people who have the love of money. "The love of money is the root of all evil". In other words, you trust it. You allow it to control you.
Now, listen to me very carefully now: Mammon is not money. Mammon is the spirit, or the influence, behind money that tries to move you to trust money more than you trust God. The reason why it refers to it as "mammon," because there was a false God by that name and the influence of that, so please understand what he's saying. You can't serve God and Satan, who will influence you to trust money more than God. Let's define "mammon". Let's spend time with that just for a moment. "Mammon" is a spirit. It is an attitude. It is an influence that tells us that, if we have money, we do not need God. That's the spirit behind that, that if you have money, you do not need God. Mammon says, "Buy and keep," while God says, "Sow and reap". Mammon says, "cheat and steal," while God says, "give and receive".
So the entire system of mammon is in opposition to God's way of doing things, which is why it is so dangerous to get caught up in mammon traps because if you get caught up in a mammon trap where at any time the spirit behind money convinces you, you don't need God, convinces you not to want God, you'll find your life under the control of mammon, in some cases, don't even know it. For example, God's trying to get you to Tennessee to do a job, to do a ministry, and you're sayin', "I'm not going". And then, they turn around and offered you, you know, 300,000 more dollars, and you say, "I'm going. I believe this is right". What happened? It wasn't enough, God couldn't move you, but the spirit behind money could move you. Are you finding that you can be moved more by money because you think that you can trust money more than you trust God? Money can give you a house, but it can't give you a home. Money can give you medicine but not healing. Money might even buy you a friend, but it won't be able to buy you loyalty. False loyalty.
Ladies and gentlemen, please listen to me. You cannot serve God and then serve Satan, who will try to convince you that, if you have money, you don't need God. And money, to Satan, is his anointing. Like God has anointing, Satan's anointing is money, and if you don't know how to control it, then Satan, through money, will control you. So who are you serving? Will you serve God with money, or will you allow the spirit of mammon to influence you to say, "I don't need God, all I need is money"? I tell you, your motives are everything. Why you do what you do, it's everything. The purpose of serving others is to set them free to love and serve God, wow. The purpose of serving others is to set them free to love and serve God, not to make them our servants. Listen to this now. Listen to this. Not to make them our servants or to serve our wants or to serve our needs.
We are all responsible to serve one another, everybody. We're responsible for serving one another but never in order to be served or to satisfy our immature cravings. That's not what that is. That's not what that is. You have somebody to serve you, you know, because of your cravings and to satisfy your individual craving. No, no, no, we're all supposed to serve one another, and the purpose of it is to set people free to love and serve God. And so, if that's not the objective of any service that you're providing for somebody to set 'em free to love and to serve God, it's hypocritical. Or if you're taking advantage of people who desire to serve you in some capacity but, you know, you want to be served, that's just the problem.
You want to be served, you know, to fulfill your own cravings. That's a problem. That's not the intent or the purpose of it. The intent was to bless the world. The intent was to bless the body of Christ. It was to set people free so they can love and serve others because, when they see you serving them out of love and right motives, they see your God. You become that living epistle that people begin to look at and say, "My goodness, if their God is like anywhere, if your God is any way like you, I want your God. I want your God". And you can tell 'em that our Jesus came in this form. Our Jesus came in this form so that he could serve.
That's why Jesus was washing feet so he could say, "I want y'all to do the same thing," not wash feet. "I want you to serve humanity, and I want you to do like you see me doin', and I'm gonna use your service to other people, and they're gonna see this epistle that they can see in your life that they may not be reading in the Bible, and they're gonna say, 'Where's your God?' And then you can talk to 'em because they're like, 'Where's your God?'" We missed it on that, but praise God, we're getting it back, amen?
Look at this element of servanthood, Matthew chapter 23, verse 11 and 12. This determines greatness. We're trying to find greatness in all the wrong ways. This determines greatness, in Matthew 23, verses 11 and 12. Greatness in God's kingdom is never to be found in position or power. Greatness in God's kingdom is never to be found in praise and the opinions of men. Greatness in God's kingdom is found in the servant-like service of others. That's greatness in the kingdom of God. It's not found in power. It's not found in the opinions of other people. It's found in the service-like service to other people. Look at Matthew 23, verse 11 and 12, and verse 11 says this: "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant, and whosoever shall exalt himself", now, this is important because this is what the world, the world chooses this way, "and whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased," or brought down, "and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted," or brought forth.
I mean, notice what he says: "If you choose the world's way and the world's path of success, you may arrive there only to be brought down," wow, wow. That's not God's intent is God wants us to rule and reign in life, but that can happen if you choose the path of the selfish. You have to understand that greatness in the kingdom is never found in position, never found in power, never found in even the opinions of men. You work so hard to get the opinions of men. You've been trapped by the pride of life, and everything about you is just trying to do something to make yourself seem important in somebody else's eyes, especially in the time of social media right now, "Whatever I can do to make myself feel important, and I wanna be an influencer by any mean, even if I have to be an influencer by doing foolish things". And so a fool has influence by doing foolish things. That's the pride of life. Whatever it takes for me to gain some kind of importance in the eyes of other people, and that's never gonna make you great.