Acts 17:25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
Somehow we always get it backwards. It has been said the kingdom of God is that upside down kingdom, I tend to agree. The natural, unrenewed mind wants to be good or pleasing to God by doing. We feed the hungry, visit the prisoners, intercede for the lost, counsel the confused, tithe, fast… have I forgotten anything? I get tired just thinking about it all. The problem with that approach is we receive credit because of all our deeds. That’s not what glorifies God. What glorifies God is Him serving or ministering to us. That was the ministry of Jesus, He is the Giver we are the receivers. There is a fine balance here, we serve from a different perspective. We have received everything from His hand. We still do all of those other things, it is just somehow different. We could never think of taking credit for anything. Everything we have came from Him. Here is how John Piper explains tis.
“The difference between Uncle Sam and Jesus Christ is that Uncle Sam won’t enlist you in his service unless you are healthy and Jesus won’t enlist you unless you are sick: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners”. Christianity is fundamentally convalescence (“Pray without ceasing” = Keep buzzing the nurse). Patients do not serve their physicians. They trust them for good prescriptions. The commands of the Bible are more like a doctor’s health prescription than an employer’s job description.Therefore, our very lives hang on not working for God. Workmen get no gifts. They get their due. If we would have the gift of justification, we dare not work. God is the Workman in this affair. And what He gets is the trust of His client and the glory of being the benefactor of grace, not the beneficiary of service.”
So we have to be delivered from serving; we have to be changed from Martha to Mary. Somehow I think Mary spent her life doing what we would call ministry or Christian service. It just has a different feel about it when it all starts from Him. He is the Giver, I am the receiver. It could never be different from that.