When it comes to serving the LORD, every believer should have a great desire to serve Him in the manner He wants us to serve Him. Let me illustrate this thought. When I was a boy, my mother often gave me chores, but she wanted me to do them right. If I didn't do a thorough job, she made me go back and do it thoroughly. In other words, though I did the job, I did not do it in the manner that she wanted. If I griped and complained about doing the job, she would tell me to either do it cheerfully, or she would give me a reason to gripe and complain. My mother wanted me to do right, but she also wanted me to do it in the manner that she desired. God wants us to serve Him, but He also wants us to serve Him in the manner that He desires. Romans 12 shows six expectations for the manner that God expects us to serve Him. Let me share these expectations.
First, we are to serve the LORD with our whole being. The verse above says, let us prophecy according to the proportion of faith. It matters not if what I do for God is more or less than what another does; it only matters if I do it with all of my ability. God does not compare you to another; He compares you to your ability to serve Him.
Second, we are to serve the LORD with faith. To serve God in our own abilities is unacceptable to God. God wants every believer to step out by faith and go beyond their abilities because the life of faith forces the believer to trust Him. You cannot please the LORD if you do not serve Him by faith.
Third, we are to serve the LORD by serving others. Verse 7 says, let us wait on our ministering. The Christian walk is not about what others can do for me, but what can I do to help others. When you get “I” out of your Christian walk is when you can see clearly through the eyes of God to see the needs of others. You will never please the LORD until you make yourself a nonissue with everything you do for Him. Sadly, one of the greatest tasks a pastor must deal with is getting people to get along with each other because most people serve the LORD for themselves. Take yourself out of the equation of serving the LORD and you will be happy to be used to help others.
Fourth, we are to serve the LORD with simplicity. Verse 8 says, let him do it with simplicity. God wants the believer to be careful about becoming double-minded in their service to Him. God wants all of your focus. He understands that you cannot have a dual focus and please Him.
Fifth, we are to serve the LORD with diligence. Verse 8 continues to say, he that ruleth, with diligence. This is doing everything for God with a standard of excellence. Don't just do good enough for God, but accept nothing less than excellence for God. Don't do halfway jobs for God, but go all the way and with all of your being. Be diligent, work hard, and serve the LORD with a standard of excellence for your expectation.
Sixth, we are to serve the LORD with cheerfulness. Verse 8 concludes, he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. God doesn't want His children to serve Him with a bad or negative attitude, but with a cheerful attitude. It is not hard to serve the LORD with a cheerful attitude when you realize it is a privilege that the LORD would let you serve Him.