Creflo Dollar - The Pathway to Success - Part 8
There's a fifth consequence for the absence of servanthood in your life. Number five, the absence of a servant's heart leads to playing power games, or spiritual king of the mountain. Power games, you know, when everybody wants to be served, and there's an absence of servanthood, then it's all about who's the boss, who's the king. It actually goes back to what the disciples were doing. Who's the greatest amongst us? And see, this leads to bitterness. When you get in a situation where you're playing power games, you're throwing people under the bus, you literally invite politics into the church and you begin to play politics in the church. And all that does, it's gonna lead to the same division that they're having politically. This will lead to bitterness. It's gonna lead to contention, and it's gonna lead to division in the body of Christ.
And, you know, when you invite those same kind of spirits in and there's not a heart to serve, everybody wants to be the chief. I mean you got too many cooks in the kitchen. And basically, the cook that's in the kitchen should be the cook in the kitchen because he's anointed to serve as the cook in the kitchen. 'Cause he can't be a leader without being a servant. Please get that. You are a rotten leader if your leadership is not defined by your servanthood. And so, what happens when there's an absence of servanthood, you play the game, who's the king of the hill today? You play the game of, you know, who has, who has the power today?
And so, Christian, listen, when you're just talking about Christian love, Christian love means putting the other person first, seeking the other person's well-being regardless of what it costs us, even if it calls for us to play the second fiddle. Even if we have to be the one to play the second fiddle, you know, for the sake of not allowing division to come in, not allowing contention to come in, not allowing bitterness to come in. And first thing I want you to think about, when you see division, strife, bitterness, all of that comes in because there's an absence, there's an absence of servanthood. I mean, glory to God. You know, the pride of life, you talking about the flesh or worldly things, the pride of life is one of them. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The pride of life is interesting because the pride of life is the individual who's working so hard to be important in society, working so hard to be important.
And I tell you in the name of Jesus, bless God, we're gonna, we're gonna be servants of the kingdom and servants of one another, and not be a part of this division. And hey, if I gotta play the second fiddle, I would rather play the second fiddle for the sake of what God wants to do in the kingdom, then to be bucking for position, power, and rank. Again, if it has a flesh or a selfish ending, your service is hypocritical anyway, all right? Number six, number six, the absence of a servant's heart is really the absence of humility, or it could be the presence of pride. The absence of a servant heart is really the absence of humility, or it could be the presence of pride.
Let me show you this in 1 Peter chapter 5, and verse 5 because, you know, you have to walk in humility in order to be someone with a servant attitude. You remember what it was said of Jesus in Philippians chapter 2, that he became the form of a servant and he humbled his self. You have to humble yourself to servanthood, amen. And humility is about being willing to submit to what God said. That's what it means. It's like, he says he gives grace to the humble, and then he turns right around and say, "So cast your care on him because he cares for you". Basically he says, if you cast your care on him because he cares for you, you are a humble person. But now if you keep your care instead of casting it on him, you are a prideful person. And so, when there's an absence of servanthood, then it's going to be an absence of humility or the presence of pride.
Look what he says in verse 5, "Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea," and that's something you have to submit to do. You may be, you know, your attitude might be, "Well, I've got more than he has, and I'm more qualified than he has". You have to humble yourself and submit yourself. He said unto the elder, "Yea, all of you be subject one to another". Look there, and be clothed with what? "Humility, for God resisteth the proud, but he gives grace to the humble". He gives grace to the humble. Praise God. Let's look at one more, and I want to move on to something else. Number seven, the inability to lead others in the things of Christ because of one's own self seeking hypocrisy.
Okay, so here's the deal. Here's what happens when the servanthood heart is not available in your life, you will have an inability to lead others. Let's start with that. I have seen people who were in leadership positions, but they were not servants to God, the kingdom, and other people. They just wanted to be served. And so, what happens is your inability to lead others in the things of Christ because you're self seeking, you're self seeking. And when you're self seeking, then your leadership is hypocrisy anyway. This is so important. This is so very important. An inability to lead others in the things of Christ is a result of an absence of servanthood. Inability, I mean, you've got all the degrees, you've got the Six Sigma that, and the nine sigma that, and you don't understand you're missing the most important characteristic of leadership. And that's learning how to serve, submitting to serve God, the kingdom, and serve other people. And what happens is that self-seeking attitude, eventually it will reveal that your leadership and your servanthood is just riddled with hypocrisy.
Now, hopefully, maybe, just maybe, that convinced some of you to say, "You know what, I don't want this absent in my life. I don't want this absent. If anything, I want to make sure that I have that servanthood heart. I want to make sure I have it because it matters to Jesus. And if it matters to Jesus, then it should matter to me. And so, how do I develop it"? Let's get some answers. Now, how do I develop this servant's heart? You know, first thing I'm gonna say is like with everything, man, we gotta trust God. Like with everything, we're gonna have to believe God in this area, lean on him and rely on him to help bring us to this place that we may have avoided for most of our Christian life. But how do we develop a servant's heart? Number one, I just said it and we just saw the Scripture, but I'll say it again, this is how you develop it. Number one, you gotta humble yourself in the form of a servant. You have to humble yourself in the form of a servant.
Let's go look at this Scripture again in Philippians chapter 2, verses 5 through 9. Philippians chapter 2, verses 5 through 9. Are you willing to submit yourself to the form of a servant like Jesus did? Because that's basically what's gonna have to happen. In verse 5 he says, "Let this mind, or attitude be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus". Notice, he's talking about us. "Let this same attitude that's in Jesus, let this same mind or attitude be in you, which is in Christ Jesus". Verse 6, "Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God". And verse 7 says, "But he made himself of no reputation, took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men". Verse 8, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also have highly exalted him".
Look at what he did. And so, God highly exalted him. Same thing happens to you when you submit and humble yourself to the form of a serpent... not a serpent, but a... dear God, some people have submitted themself to the form of a serpent. But when you submit yourself to the form of the servant, God will highly exalt you. He'll lift you up. "Wherefore God also highly exalts him, and giveth him a name which is above every name". This is what I'm saying, that servanthood is a pathway to being highly exalted. Servanthood is a pathway where when God lifts you up, others will ask questions and say, "How did this happen"? And you'll say, "Because I took the pathway of a servant". I started off last, and he made me first. I started off low, and he exalted me high.
Now, the road to successful leadership is paved with the solid concrete of humility or humbling yourself by serving others. The road to successful leadership, you're interested in successful leadership, not just wearing a title, not just being a leader by title? But if you're interested in successful leadership, that's paved with the solid concrete of humble service to others. You will not be able to keep a person who has humbled himself to serve other people, you will not be able to keep them from promotion. You will not be able to keep them from success. You keep your eye, keep your eye on people. Now, somebody says, "Well, I got my eye on this person. They've been serving forever, ain't nothing happened". Maybe their servanthood is hypocritical. Maybe they don't have the right motive in their servant, because I'm telling you, this is going to happen bar none, take it to the bank, this is the road that leads to the fulfilling of dreams and your success like never before, amen.
Number two, here's the second way to develop a servant's heart. Number two, seek to serve men, thus you follow Jesus. Seek to serve men, thus you follow Jesus. Well, several cases here; we see Mark chapter 10 in our key verse of Scripture, Mark 10:45, where that is true. But then also Luke 22:27. Let's flip there, Luke 22:27. You want to develop the servant's heart, seek to serve men. You see, that's what Jesus did. He served his disciples. He showed them. He gave them a demonstration. In fact, when he gave them an example he says, "Do you understand what you have seen? Do you understand why I did what I did unto you"? Seek to serve men, thus follow Jesus.
There's some people that don't serve anybody except self. And you're gonna be very limited in your life as far as being able to maintain. Even if you did grow to some kind of success, it's gonna be hard to maintain it because let me tell you something. I don't believe that you will ever be successful by a team of one. I believe it takes a team of people that love you, support you. But a lot of people try to get there with just a team of one, and that's not how that works. Verse 27 says this, "For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth"? And we understand right now that the guy that serves is greater, but the world will say somebody who sits at meat. No, that's not how that happens. The reason why it's greater is because they may look like they're in last place now, but where they are, the place that they are now is the right place for them to be exalted, amen.
Number three, number three, you want to develop a servant's heart, serve as an example, just like Jesus did. Serve as an example, an example of your Christianity. If anything that should be involved in discipling other Christians or young Christians in the Lord, it should be serving as an example. You know, we see this. In fact, I want to show it to you again, John 13, verses 4 through 5. And then I want to move down to verse 15 because that's exactly what Jesus did. That's exactly what he did. In John 13:4-5 he says, "He rises from the supper, laid aside his garment. He took a towel, and girded himself". Verse 5, "And after that he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded". Now look at verse 15. So why did he do that? What was the purpose for doing that in front of them? "For I have given you an example". That's why he did it. "I have given you and example, that you should do as I have done to you". Jesus says, "I did it as an example".
Now, if maybe one of the issues today, one of the reasons why we might not have a lot of people with the servant's heart in the body of Christ is because there are not many examples. That should be a part of our discipleship of any person that we're discipling. The part of it is not to disciple them so they can serve you because you want to be served. The part of it is for you to demonstrate servanthood. As I began this church as a pastor, I demonstrated servanthood for an example. I was there setting the chairs up for an example. I was there cleaning up for an example because I wanted to show them, listen, I'm the pastor. If I can set chairs up, and if I can clean up, and if I can do some of the things I'm asking you to do for an example, then you should do it for others as well.
What are the examples of servanthood? Can you see if we're demonstrating the right things? I mean, when you disciple somebody, you know, are you trying to pretend like they're your little personal congregation so you can just get off on making yourself look big in front of somebody because you're just, you're just that neurotic? I mean, that's not what this is for. It's to be an example so that they should be able to do as they see you do. So, the number-one example in discipling a person is to make sure that they have an example of serving somebody and serving others. Think about that. What if that were to rub off on some Christians? What if everybody in our church would just start doing that? And oh, my goodness, just imagine the things that would happen because when you have a heart to serve, you're looking for, "What can I do for somebody else"? Greatness is not found in rank or position, but in service. Greatness is not found in rank or position. Greatness is found in service.
Number four. Here's the fourth way to develop a servant's heart. Now, this is important. If you really want to develop a servant's heart, you're gonna have to do this, you can't miss this step. You gotta face the reality of your own weakness and need. Facing the reality of our own weakness and our own need. Wow, that's powerful. So, now this is a moment where you're gonna have to look inward honestly. You have to look in, you have to find an honest mirror now, and you gotta face the reality of your own weakness and your need. No one in their own energy has the ability to give themselves sacrificially as servants, according to the example of the Savior. For this, you and I both, we need the transforming ministry and the enablement of the Holy Spirit, and the renewing directions, and the grace of God, and the strength of God that comes from growing in the Word of God.
And, so this is so important that you understand that you don't just automatically get here fixed and ready to go. You're gonna have to face the reality of your own weakness and your own need. And your need is gonna have to be God. And by getting in that Word and leaning on God, and leaning on his Word, and leaning on his Spirit and allowing him to begin to give you the desires to do what pleases him, that's really where it's gonna come from. It's gonna come from that relationship that you have with God to bring you to this place where you can sacrificially do it. Because I know I had a great example, I had great examples of the servant's heart. But as I began to do it, I really had to lean on God. I mean, I wasn't too fond of it. I felt like, really like, I don't know, I felt weird. I felt like I was like a slave or nobody. And because I had my own insecurities that were never dealt with, and as a result of it, then it begin to affect my servanthood.
You know, I was around serving and I look around like, why I'm the only one here pulling up carpeting? And where the deacons at, why they ain't cutting the grass? Why am I here cutting the grass? That ain't no good because now you're complaining about it. But when I got in the Word and I started leaning and trusting God to make me that kind of servant that the Bible talks about, the burden was removed and the yoke was destroyed. And there was a level of ease that came over me where I enjoyed it. And I was the first one in and the last one out. And it was a joy. And as I back into the sanctuary, I had my little music on and put it on all of the mics so I could hear around the church. And I just turned that into a praise time, just praising God while I was serving, just praising God while I was ministering to people that were not even there.
I so wanted them to walk into church and smell how clean the church was, and to notice that things that have been touched, and to notice I did that, because that's what I could do at the time. The Bible says whatever your hands can find to do it. That's what I could do at the time. And not only was I cleaning the church up, but I was playing for the choir, and I was doing all kinds of things. And I thought, man, you know, this is getting rough. But when I got this one revelation, I'll never forget that the servant has a pool of anointings available to him to accomplish any job that he faces. And I thought, man, that's big time.
I said, some people are limited to their one anointing, but a servant has access to whatever anointing is necessary for him to get the job at the time. And I decided I'm gonna tap into this and as a servant, as a servant, praise the Lord. When it came time to preach it on the pulpit when the pastor had to have a procedure done, I thought he was gonna pick the guys who sat up in the pulpit every Sunday, and they never did anything but sat up there and tried to look cute and all that. But I was the one that got called in, the servant, the guy cutting the grass, the guy chauffeuring the pastor, the guy that would be willing to do anything, the guy that was tapping into the pool of that anointing so when it was time to stand in his shoes and preach, there was an anointing to minister from the pulpit available in that same pool.
Oh my God, y'all don't hear me. That set me free. And all of a sudden, the servant's heart was something that I had to maintain. That is not, for me, just teaching people. To me, it's this is how I now serve you. Because of that, God has given me and surrounded me with people, so many people, so many of you, who take on some of the things that I've talked about today, which allows me to get deeper and deeper into my area of service as you are edifying the body and building them up so we can edify one another. And it was an amazing, amazing experience to come to that place, but it took leaning on the Holy Spirit and getting in the Word of God in order to be able to function like that. So, it was just so exciting and I'll never forget those days, amen.