“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (v.20).
Being a disciple of the Lord Jesus means obeying and doing the work He has for us. As we obey and serve, we run the risk of making idols out of success and service. We see this in Luke 10.
The seventy disciples came back rejoicing in the fact that demons were subject to them. They could not believe at how successful their mission was, yet Jesus told them, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (v.20).
We are to obey the Lord, we are to go forth and preach His gospel, but we are to do so out of love for the Lord and what He has done for us. We are not to be motivated by success or discouraged by a lack of success. The thing that should make us rejoice every single day is the fact that He loves us and has written our names in heaven, not how great a response we are getting or how effective our ministry seems to be.
Another pitfall for those who serve is to get so busy serving we forget to worship and spend time with Jesus. This is illustrated in Luke 10:38-42 where Martha is busy serving and doing lots of things but forgetting to sit at the feet of Jesus like Mary. For the busy servant, we can make the focus of our lives the ministry itself rather than Christ. That does not mean we should not serve or be busy with our Lord’s work, but we have to make sure that we are making time to sit at His feet, read His Word, pray, and do all out of an attitude of worship.
So why are you serving and what makes you rejoice? Does your joy come from God and is your service focused on Christ? Or have you made an idol out of success and an idol out of service?